Leadership Lessons: The Power of Mistakes

"If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything" - John Wooden



We've all been there... that one meeting where we said the WRONG thing, the time we reacted instead of waited, the presentation for which we were profoundly unprepared, the e-mail we wish we didn't send... you know, the moments in our careers that we look back on and wince. Of course, if we let ourselves think about them, those mistakes probably resulted in us growing as professionals more than some of our proudest moments.

WITI's mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity. In that spirit, we know that one of the most fundamental elements of being a leader is the ability to learn from our own failures and to appreciate the journey of others as they learn from theirs.

Join us for our inaugural meeting as we present a panel of accomplished leaders who aren't afraid to share their most memorable mistakes and how those mistakes helped them grow as professionals and people.

We hope you'll join us in our journey to build a robust network of Women in Technology here in Wien!

Featured Speakers

Ana Paula Nishio, Chief, IT Services Division, United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Ana Paula Nishio joined the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in August 2017 as Chief of the IT Services Division. UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. She has 25+ years of professional experience in the field of ICT, serving international organizations such as UNIDO, The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Criminal Court as well as private sector companies (Hewlett-Packard and Goodyear). Throughout her career, she successfully led people and projects in Europe, Americas and Africa, in particular in the area of ICT Infrastructure, Service Management, Courtroom Technologies, and Telecommunications. She holds a Master of Science in Technology Management, as well as professional certifications in Project Management, IT Service Management, Enterprise Architecture, Electronics and ICT

Charles Havekost, Chief, IT Services, United Nations Office at Vienna and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Charles Havekost is an experienced technology leader who has served as the Senior Information Technology Official in national government and several international organizations: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Development Programme, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and US National Institute of Mental Health. Charlie brings experience in managing large, diverse teams of information technology professionals, leading innovative technology implementations, and ensuring that technology is an effective tool in helping organizations achieve their strategies and goals. He describes technology and management issues in terms that are understandable to executives, staff, and external stakeholders. Helping members of the team to find their paths to excellence is what makes Charlie's workday worthwhile.

Renate Hassek, Client Director, Gartner Austria

Renate got in touch with the concept of knowledge management more than 20 years ago. This was the trigger for her to question the way companies are organized and the way they are forcing people to work. Renate detected a tremendous contradiction in how humans tick and how they have to bend themselves in their work in order to obey the rules and frames the organizations impose on them. Thus urged Renate to intensify her research upon leadership and self-organization. During this journey which she still is a traveller on led her to the concepts of chaos and complexity theory. Renate uncovered multiple eye opening analogies to nature and physics, how things are connected with each other and are working together in a breath-taking simple an naturally organized way. Until today Renate is convinced that our current work environment forces humans to ignore their true purpose which inevitably leads to unhappiness. This on the other hand leads to companies which cannot be successful as they are full of unhappy people. But instead of changing their way of being organised around the humans who are working for them they continue to reinforce the dogmas which led to the current abortive situation. After final school examination Renate completed an apprenticeship as goldsmith and achieved her master's degree in international economics. Renate complemented her professional development with an Business Master and a certification as coach and life style trainer. Currently Renate is Client Director at Gartner Austria.

Ivana Medvedova, Business Management Operations Director, IBM Services Europe

Ivana has over 15 year's experience in managing IT services, business transformation, operations and large shared services organizations.

As a member of IBM's CIO senior leadership team, Ivana was responsible for development and maintenance of regional and global applications supporting Quote to Cash processes. Most recently she was responsible for IBM's Global Invoicing, Accounts Receivable application portfolio as well as Q2C Business to Business Integration middleware and gateways. Ivana has successfully driven transformation of her global IT teams to an agile and devops culture, delivering 30% savings as well as increasing speed of delivering business value. She led strategic initiatives and deployment of new technology, such as blockchain, migration of IBM's identity services to cloud and simplification of access management for IBM's internal business applications. She also led the Global IT Compliance and Controls team, ensuring a satisfactory controls posture for IBM applications. Ivana is passionate about bringing talented women into IT, has actively supported a number of diversity programs and collaborated with non-profit organizations in Slovakia. In 2015, she was recognized amongst the top 10 women in business in Slovakia. As of July 2018, Ivana has moved to the new role of Europe Business Operations Executive for IBM Services.

Moderator: Sarah Ferris, Head of Business Technology Coordination Section, International Atomic Energy Agency

Schedule of Events

6:00 to 6:15 - Welcome and Introduction to WITI
6:15 to 7:00 - Leadership Lessons: The Power of Mistakes
7:00 to 7:15 - Selecting future events
7:15 to 8:00 - Networking with light snacks and drinks