Asya Watkins – Connecting and supporting women
For 20 years Asya Watkins has worked for some of the biggest healthcare companies in the US, sometimes as the only woman in a room full of dozens of men and more often than not as the only woman of colour.
It hasn’t always been easy to gain the respect of her male co-workers, to show her value and smash that glass ceiling, which is why she feels strongly about supporting other women in the industry. Asya started women’s groups at many of the companies she worked for, and was one of the founding members of Women of Walgreens, which paired female future leaders with Walgreens Corporate leadership mentors.
Now, she channels that passion through Women of Project Management, a support network for women and women of colour in project management, providing resources and advice and helping others avoid some of the pitfalls she has already encountered.
In this podcast, Asya speaks with Elise Stevens about some of the challenges women in project management face and how we can be champions for each other.
Points raised in this podcast with Asya Watkins:
- If you are the only woman in a room full of men it can be difficult to get respect, and to show your value.
- Leading a multi-million dollar project as a woman can be intimidating especially if you’re new to the role or organisation, but it will get easier.
- Women can be invisible, particularly in male-dominated industries. Meeting knew women and learning their industry, location and title can lift their visibility and yours.
- Women who have families can often struggle to find the time to attend networking events and their careers can suffer as a result.
- Project managers across different industries can benefit from an exchange of information and advice.
- Women often sell themselves short and don’t celebrate their successes enough.
About Asya Watkins:
Asya Watkins has 20 years’ experience in the healthcare industry and an extensive project portfolio. She began her career as a Project Coordinator and has since held several high-level positions including Director of Mentorship for the Project Management Institute (PMI) – Atlanta Chapter, as well as managing a series of large complex projects.
Asya is the founder of Women of Project Management – a platform that connects and supports women and women of colour in the project management industry worldwide with networking opportunities, management aides and industry news.
She is a graduate of Xavier University of New Orleans with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She is a certified LEAN Six Sigma expert as well as a globally certified Project Management. You can connect with Asya on LinkedIn.