Women in Security: Jessica Burton of Seagate Technology

Burton sees a bright future for women in security
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

CUPERTINO, Calif.—Jessica Burton has more than 10 years of experience in IT storage, and is currently the global surveillance product marketing manager at Seagate Technology, where she has been for the past two years. Prior to her current position at Seagate, she was the worldwide product marketing manager for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, working on the storage, server and cloud portfolios. She also previously worked for HP as the global business planning and product manager.

At Seagate, her responsibilities include everything from developing launch, training and awareness materials to helping support web design and messaging regarding trade shows, portfolio positioning and messaging.

“But what is really fun about my job is crafting use case studies with our systems integrators and customers who use our products in the field in their different environments, whether it be smart cities, healthcare, or banking,” she said. “So, understanding how the data is flowing, how much they are using. With the industry growing so rapidly, I also work with our ecosystem partners to make sure we have close integrations with them. And then, finally, I talk with our systems integrators and customers, understanding their challenges and opportunities, and how we can make it easier on them, such as providing storage calculators on our websites and apps you can download onto your phone.”

While the security industry seems to be more male dominated, “the times are definitely changing,” said Burton. “At Seagate, for example, we have a very diverse workforce with several women in upper management and executive leadership roles. I know that is not the case with all technology companies but I do see a gradual movement to more women in leadership roles. Also, in going to trade shows, I am seeing more women at those as well.”

In regard to getting more women involved in security, Burton believes “it really starts with raising girls not feeling that they are stereotyped for certain roles or careers for their future,” she said. “It really means getting girls involved in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] activities at an early age and encouraging learning and experimentation. From my experience, and I have several friends who are teachers, you are seeing STEM integration of curriculum starting even in daycare, which is really good to see and good for the next generation.”

She continued, “Girls should be guided with a more growth mindset and believing that intelligence can be developed over time through practice, failure, and learning, which is incredibly important to help them develop determination to help them overcome those gender stereotypes and jump into more of these technology roles.”

In regard to the future of security, Burton sees AI playing a key role in how we leverage big data.

“Done are the days when surveillance was just about catching the bad guys, as there is a lot more value with AI technology, which you can use to recognize trends, improve efficiency and grow profit margins,” she explained, noting that retailers are using AI to recognize previous customers, and provide valuable info to sales people on the floor, for example.

“A lot of what is being built out today is based on big data and AI combined, and so I think that is going to be critical in the future of not just businesses but also consumers, and it will touch every part of our lives,” she said. “I see AI being used with computers, mobile devices, smart TVs, vehicles and much more. In the future, that greatly expands opportunities for data storage from our perspective and makes life easier, and people are able to be more efficient and make smarter decisions.”