International Women's Day 2017: Janneke Rozendaal
My name is Janneke Rozendaal, and I have completed a bachelor's as well as master's degree in communications & Business at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
I started my career as a freelancer in the communication field working for several companies before joining Panasonic in their incubator technology startup program. I was given the unique opportunity to create a new product from scratch, which was very exciting. We began with the blueprints and saw the project through to final release.
At DJI, I currently manage events for the European market. I am often on the road, travelling to major events and trade shows such as the various legs of the World Rally Championship or Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. I ensure that all the events that DJI participates in showcase our products creatively and that we provide the best customer experience possible.
When did you join the Tech Industry?
I have worked in a couple of different companies all related to the technology industry. For me it's all about developing technology to improve people's lives. At DJI, I am able to have an impact in society and bring this amazing technology to the wider market. Being at the forefront of this new sector is amazing, as we can push the whole market and bring innovation to the masses. This is a great step in my career.
What did you think about the industry prior of joining it?
I didn't own a drone before joining DJI, but thanks to my reading, I was aware about this rising industry. I joined DJI back in October 2015, shortly after the launch of the Phantom 3 Professional and lot of people were curious about the different ways drones could be used. Nowadays, education through different types of events and collaborations have greatly helped shape the industry. To learn, grow and experiment alongside DJI as the industry evolves has been a fantastic experience. We're always stepping into the unknown and there is so much potential! I believe this is a very exciting time to work in the industry.
How do you deal with challenges in your career?
It's true that this is a male oriented industry. The people working in the industry are mostly male engineers, journalists, and clients. When you attend trade shows and other industry events, you don't see many female speakers at the forefront. I have never considered this fact to be a roadblock in my career path and instead see it as a challenge as people may not expect me to be a contributing member of the community.
In Europe, we are a small team pushing the industry forward. Hard work and dedication are required to get things moving, and often we are asked to perform duties outside our comfort zone. We cannot let the novelty of a challenge or uncertainty of a solution stop us from keeping going.
Could you please share more a time you take the lead and change the ways things were organized or a given situation?
As an event manager, my role requires me to face unexpected situations, react quickly and be ready to implement solutions within a very short timeframe. Pressure is indeed a part of each event, and the bigger the event, the bigger the pressure can be. However, when you see the results - when you see that you have built an amazing experience from scratch – you know it has been a great achievement. I feel privileged to be able to lead these initiatives at the European level, and in some cases for events outside of Europe such as various Rally events in Mexico, Argentina and Australia.
What does change represent to you?
Travelling is a big part of my position, through which I have been able to meet people coming from all walks of life. It is interesting to observe how the same setup situation of tradeshows can unfold so differently depending on where you are. People's reactions and the results of the events are strongly affected by the different social relationships and cultural norms of a place. I have been able to gain a unique perspective on European culture and have realized that gender equality advancements are at very different points everywhere.
I believe change is a required step in bringing about improvements to people's lives. It's all about creating bridges and fostering possibilities instead of keeping the status quo. It's about bringing new ideas to life in places that haven't even begun to consider the topic. It's about bringing alternative solutions, standing on your own two feet and not trying to avoid the difficulties of a situation. Truth to be told, this does require a lot of personal will and dedication, but I do believe this is the way to build a better future for us all.