Meet Janet Schijns: Cloud Expert of the Month – May 2022!
Cloud Girls is honored to have amazingly accomplished, professional women in tech as our members. We take every opportunity to showcase their expertise and accomplishments – promotions, speaking engagements, publications and more. Now, we are excited to shine a spotlight on one of our members each month.
Janet Schijns is CEO and Co-Founder of JS Group, a go-to-market consultancy dedicated to achieving results as well as an independent member of the Board of Directors for both AvePoint and Ninjio. She is the founder of the #digitalnormal movement in the channel driving profitable change in the partner community. Janet is a top 10 CEO Disruptor 2021, Top 10 Women in Technology 2020, 2021 (Analytics Insights), Top 50 Technology Influencers 2020, 2021 (Awards Magazine) and was named Channel Influencer of the year in 2019 beating out a slate of nominees from the top tech firms in the world, she has been in the top 5 influencers every year for the past decade. She was formerly EVP and CMSO at Office Depot, Chief Channel Executive Verizon and Channel Chief for Motorola Enterprise and Government. She has coached, mentored, and counseled hundreds of Women in the industry to success and is regularly called upon to speak about empowering and advancing Women in the technology industry.
When did you join Cloud Girls and why?
I joined Cloud Girls in 2017 because I saw the digital and cloud transformation that was happening in our industry and knew that women needed to band together and help each other succeed. With so many powerful and insightful women who are members of the group it was clear to me that this was a group that would add value in our industry and provide an unmatched network of like minded cloud professionals.
What do you value about being a Cloud Girl?
The thing I value the most about being a Cloud Girl is the community support, this is truly a group of women who come together to help the industry and each other and are always there to make things better for our members.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I ever received was to write a career goal that was specific to exactly how I wanted my career to progress and to make that goal wildly optimistic – something to really reach for vs settle for in my career path. Once I wrote that down: EVP in a Fortune 500 firm and an Independent member of Board of Directors; which for the record was quite the stretch goal when I wrote it down as single Mom of 2 with a Bachelors degree from Montclair State and new to the technology industry after an initial career in consumer goods. Then once I wrote that down to write down not the roles or titles but the experiences I needed to have to get there. This perspective lead to me pursuing my career goals in a completely different manner than I would have with a traditional view of a career plan.
What one piece of advice would you share with young women to encourage them to take a seat at the table?
The one piece of advice I would share with young women today to encourage them to take a seat at the table is that progress happens when we are all willing to get out of our comfort zone and be part of a new kind of solution. For women in tech often that comfort zone of being in the background vs at the table has been built by years of us having our voices silenced, being talked over, interrupted or not even invited to the table – we must push through this now with this next generation of women who are so highly talented and deserve to have their voices heard at that table. By getting that seat at the table you can influence the next generation to do better, go take your seat!
Where would you go in a time machine? Why?
If I had a time machine, I would go back to May 25, 1977 and see Star Wars the very first day it released on the red carpet viewing. While there, I would also buy all the toys (now collectibles) for my collection and finally have some of the items I have wanted for decades!
Congratulations to Janet for being not only a female company founder and channel leader and influencer, but for being May’s Cloud Girl of the month! We would also like to celebrate Janet for recently being named to the board of AvePoint. Such a huge and well-earned accomplishment!