Former president of IBM, Kátia Vaskys tells trajectory and female ‘rescue’

Former president of IBM, Kátia Vaskys tells trajectory and female ‘rescue’

The first lecture of Mulheres em Movimento, by OVALE, was invited by Kátia Vaskys, former president of IBM Brazil, who in an inspiring way told about her trajectory — she was the first woman president of the company in 104 years.

Vaskys, who answered questions from the audience, spoke especially about her experience of leading in mostly male environments, and how she needed to “rescue her femininity” to find her best version.

“What usually happens to women when we get into executive positions? In the corporate environment within large companies, when you are a woman, the first thing you do when you start to ascend to positions of greater prominence and greater visibility, is to ‘deny’ that you are a woman. You keep trying to show that you’re not. Because to stand out, first you have to recognize that you are here for competence, to disassociate yourself from this female condition”.

The event at Teatro Colinas was sponsored by Construtora Patriani, it was also supported by the ACI (Industrial Commercial Association) of São José dos Campos, the OAB (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil) of the municipality, Sebrae and Next7.


From an immigrant family, a widowed mother at age 40 and the youngest of five sisters, Kátia Vaskys started working at the age of 13 and began her undergraduate studies in Social Communication, before finding herself in the data use specialization.

Kátia detailed her trajectory and shared cases such as her own pregnancy, which was ‘scheduled’ so that the birth of her daughter did not coincide with specific dates at work – at the time, in the early 2000s, she was already working at a high corporate level.

It was precisely motherhood that allowed the female ‘rescue’, and made her life change — and her vision of women. “I also had a rescue from the other side of feminism, which we don’t see. That is the poor woman, the black woman, the disabled woman, who lives in a condition of vulnerability. Because even feminism is still very elitist, and it takes a very small amount of who manages to stand out. And at the time that my daughter was born, she gave me this redemption of my femility and how much I could do for other human beings as a gift”, said Kátia, who was soon invited to work at IBM, where she organized groups and related meetings. to minorities.

“This phase of my career was a resounding success, but it was only possible by rescuing my sensitivity”, he said. “Because if I continued on my hardening line, I was going to be the same. What brought me, what rescued me and highlighted me, was precisely the possibility of being human, in the fullest way I could”, he explained.


Kátia talked about the importance of correct data analysis and everything related to the planet and the environment. She even quoted an excerpt from Pope Francis’ speech at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic: ‘We thought we could live sane in a sick world’.

“We won’t be able to succeed, we won’t be able to be spiritually and materially rich with the person on our side down there. So, working in favor of communities, the environment, the planet in an active way, this has to be the mission of all of us. As an individual, as an entrepreneur, as a person. […] Never stop looking at yourself and being sure, looking and thinking that today I’m living to the fullest. Be you, in your fullness, be you wonderful today, today, look at your side and transform someone’s life today. Don’t wait for tomorrow, because that opportunity won’t come. It will come from what you build now.”

Source: The Valley

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