"Working for the ICRC naturally gives a definite meaning for our actions, which must always be kept as a guiding principle for our daily work."


Johana Mortemousque, Head of Sector CRM based in Geneva, Switzerland.


Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to join the ICRC?

I liked computer science when I was very young. At the age of 13, I spent a lot of time on the family’s AMSTRAD, figuring out how a computer responding to binary instructions worked. I was testing, I often bugged it, tried to fix it, and it didn’t always work. I refused to take the PC to repair, I always wanted to try to find out by myself. Then the arrival of AOL, the internet, and the world open to us. I was captivated by this limitless web.

Following my computer science studies, I joined Microsoft's world with VB 5 programming, then I never left it, passing by. NET, I am now working on a Microsoft system– CRM Dynamics.

I joined the ICRC in 2013 to participate in the implementation of the first CRM Dynamics brick in the institution. The project was exciting.

What motivates you each day?

From the first step in this institution, I was immediately captivated by this energy conducted by our businesses, those who represent the field's voice and the needs and who carry them with such will and commitment. I have never felt such intensity; such a responsibility supported by several teams to move the projects forward.

What motivates me every day are the people I work closely with, my always very positive manager, peers, and team spirit that our leader nurtures. My team gives tirelessly every day to best meet requests. I love this sincere commitment, fueled by people who communicate with the field, who come back from the field, or want to return. These people who share to us the needs, the impacts, the emergencies…

I like positive people; we need them in this time of pandemic. I like the energy of a team that moves forward together and trusts each other, I like that catalytic effect of a group. That is my motivation.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Currently as a manager, challenges are everywhere.

A new service center in 2020 with a new AGILE methodology to deploy. A CLOUD strategy that is not quite emancipated. A very complicated budgetary situation with the pandemic.

In the midst of all this, and for me the most important, try to keep a team together, and that continues to make things happen. Because I believe in this team, they are reliable, invested and I know I can count on them.

In this time of uncertainty, protecting my team is critical, and that we continue to move forward. Mainly create a space of cohesion with near-shore teams and teams based in Geneva.

Provide a framework of trust, security, bring meaning to what is done, get a space where people dare, position themselves and invest themselves.

How does the ICRC support you in your job?

The ICRC supported me in all the different positions that I could have for ambition.

The different managers I could have during these eight years have always pushed me to meet my goals.

When I got the job as Head of Sector, I could count on my manager and peers. Always ready to help me face my new responsibilities. I appreciate the energy we maintain, allowing us to meet challenging moments.

My manager always keeps the team morale up in the team, and he always has original, innovative ideas, which keeps us in a constant and supportive emulsion. This energy continues to bind us all together, which flows through our teams.

I am thrilled with how the ICRC has accompanied me in all my choices and the excellent prevailing atmosphere at Application, where we all try to stay connected.

Can you tell us about an IT project you are proud of?

My very first year at ICRC I worked on the migration of a project managing ICRC beneficiaries.

This project is captivating because of its history, its digitized information parcels that continue to bring to life past events and that continue to highlight key indicators for the institution and our partners. The institutional choices and strategies are based on this information that comes from our systems. The requirements for these projects are high.

The complexity was important on the deadlines, the volume of data to migrate, the integration and the architecture design.

We successfully completed this project thanks to the cohesion between the different teams. We were united, we all work in the same direction and for the same objective, which allowed us to move forward together and successfully complete this project.

How does your job at the ICRC differ from your previous work experience?

In my former work, the latitude of my actions was very different segments. I started from the needs collection through the design of the application to the training of the users.

Since I became a CRM manager, my responsibilities are quite different. Understanding the changes, communicating, maintaining motivation, ensuring the whole team's progress, and managing emergencies on very different topics require additional investment. A constant impulse of energy to keep the team's pulse stable and creativity to deal with situations. Conviviality, proximity, autonomy, and responsibility are, in my opinion, an essential ground that I try to cultivate to create this inertia in decision-making, in positions, in the balancing of the team.

What advice would you give to potential applicants?

Take pleasure and invest in what you want to do.

Understand why you perform your tasks, for whom, what meaning it brings, for what benefit, and you will take great pleasure in what you are doing.

Working for the ICRC, naturally gives a definite meaning for our actions, which must always be kept as a course in our shipwrecks, missions, in our daily work.

And if you are a woman who is hesitating about applying because you do not entirely fit the position, please follow your ambition. We need women's voices in IT. Inclusion brings different visions, opportunities, approaches… which enriches and raises the whole team. You can join with your different way of thinking, with your ideas, experience, way to solve problems. You will join with your perspectives, and we will be glad to meet them.

Would you like to follow in Johana's footsteps? Take a look at our ICT related positions here.