As new driving technologies emerge, we exame drivers and keep the roads safe

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Larisa Wentholt is the Chief Information Officer at the Central Bureau of Driving Certification (CBR), the public independent administrative organisation that assesses the skills and fitness of professional drivers.

What most excites you about working at CBR?

We are witnessing the digitalisation of the automotive industry. Drivers today must know how to operate advanced assistance services, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic parking. As the world of mobility changes, we need to update our exams and make sure drivers are properly trained to use these features. We also think about how we can add value through innovation for our customers.

As the CIO, at the uppermost level, I define the vision and drive innovation together with CBR’s executive team. Within the IT organisation, I manage daily operations, including technical infrastructure, business applications, information management and development.

Because I work in the public sector, I am able to see how my work affects the people around me. For example, CBR digitalised the driver’s licence exam. Whereas I completed my exam in a large room where the exam was projected on the wall, applicants now complete it on a touchscreen device during an individual timeslot. Although teens today experience this milestone differently, I recognise the same excitement on these young people’s faces as they walk through the door. I enjoy seeing the relevance of my work every day.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in digital technology?

Initially, I studied IT at the University of Nijmegen. When I began to understand how digital technology was going to transform our world, I decided to combine IT with change management at the University of Eindhoven. In my early career, I helped organisations transition from DOS to Windows. Later on, I introduced email and electronic collaboration in offices. Today, I work with automation and satellite global positioning systems.

Digitalisation, IT and data are revolutionising every aspect of how we work and live. This is what excites me and drives me. Through my work, I look for ways I can add value to this change.

As a woman in a technology-focused leadership role, can you describe the landscape in terms of gender diversity?

I see almost no women in network and system maintenance roles. I see some women in application development, but I would like to see more women in these pure technology roles. Diversity is good for companies, and changing team dynamics is healthy.

Be inspired

Mimoent Haddouti is the Global Head of IT Continuity and Security Services at Rabobank. After quickly rising through the ranks and being appointed to a global leadership role, she was named the 2016 Manager of the Year by the Ethnic Businesswomen of the Netherlands (EZVN) for her efforts to lead by example and open doors for others.

Kay Formanek is a researcher, author, lecturer, coach and adviser on the topic of diversity and performance. After 25 years as a partner and managing director at Accenture, Kay founded her company, Diversity and Performance, to help organisations shape their diversity programmes and drive performance outcomes. In addition to developing the Integrated Diversity Framework, Kay spends her time writing books, lecturing at top business schools, speaking at events and serving on the board of Health Works, an NGO focused on liberating the talent of women and children from communities devastated by war.

Ayman van Bregt is a digital strategist, founder of Ignite.cx and co-founder of the Dutch Social Media Academy. As a trainer and coach, he helps leaders and organisations take the next step in their digital evolution by teaching them how to generate insights from social and digital media and create value for their customers. Ayman has written numerous books on digital marketing and social media, and his knowledge is being applied at several business schools throughout Western Europe. He is a core lecturer for the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme.

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