Growing up in a family of engineers and attending a tech-savvy school like Cal Poly gave Kim Hibler the step up she needed to achieve her successes in the tech industry. Hibler, a Cal Poly business graduate who studied management and human resources, has worked extensively in this fast-paced technology sector for companies like Dell and Citrix while pioneering the way for women in the industry.
During her time at Cal Poly, Hibler said one of the most valuable parts of her education was getting away from a siloed thinking and experiencing a little bit of what the other colleges had to offer. “I liked the diversity of what it allowed me to be engaged with,” Hibler said. “It’s almost like being a generalist rather than a specialist because I had the opportunity to learn from peers with different disciplines and specialities.” The diversity of her college education ultimately fostered her interest in technology and helped her to begin her career.
Upon graduation, Hibler got a job at a small startup, Voyager Systems, where she created their first ever employee handbook and operating manual. From there, Hibler soon became the director of training where she traveled internationally and taught employees and customers how to use Voyager System’s products.
During her international travels in the early 80’s through the middle east, Hibler experienced firsthand the gender disparities that permeated her industry. “Women didn’t do business like they did in the States,” Hibler said. “I saw very few women working with computers, and I found there were no women’s restrooms, in the places where I was going to work.”
Hibler never let the lack of women in her field discourage her from becoming successful, but rather it drove her to overcome and achieve success in her field while becoming a mentor for other women on the rise. During her career in the industry, Hibler has served as the regional vice president and was the first female general manager at Wyle Electronics. Additionally she served as the vice president of business development at PartMiner, held many positions at Dell including vice president of small and medium business, and currently works as the vice president of global sales at Citrix.
Throughout her career, she has learned that it is essential to ask for help when you need it. “The smartest people are the ones that ask for help,” Hibler said. “It’s hard for a young person to admit that they don’t know…but people want to help you, and asking for that help is sort of a gift.”
Hibler’s passion for technology will no doubt lead to her continued success in the industry, as she Learns by Doing and adapts to the changing business climate. “I don’t think anyone can sustain a career without Learn by Doing,” Hibler says. “If you’re just doing something without learning anything, then why would you want to do it?”
To Hibler, her work has always been rooted in a greater purpose of bringing people together around the world. “I love technology and I always have,” Hibler says. “I still work in technology today because I love what it enables the world to do. My career has really become about helping others succeed, the people who I work with and the customers who use the products we create.
To Hibler, her work has always been rooted in a greater purpose of bringing people together around the world. “I love technology and I always have,” Hibler says. “I still work in technology today because I love what it enables the world to do. My career has really become about leading technology and leading people.”