Why the Women in Project Management SIG is so valuable

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

There’s more women than men coming into project management at entry level, and yet the large majority of senior roles are still occupied by men. Why is that? Any woman working in project management probably has a few theories!

For 26 years, the APM Women in Project Management Special Interest Group has worked to even the playing field and empower women to build successful and rewarding careers in project management.

Vicki Griffiths is the current Chair of WiPM and in this podcast, she speaks to Elise Stevens about what makes the group so valuable to its members.

According to Vicki, if we want women at the top of the game, we need to start listening to them.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • The mission of the APM WiPM SIG is to develop a powerful profile, promote a no-barrier culture, engage with and respond to project professionals and build a collaborative community.
  • WiPM has built its profile by being active, inclusive and visible, and having an enthusiastic and motivated committee. It now has 2500 members.
  • This profile allows it to be the voice of women, and an opportunity for other women to see female role models.
  • Although some progress has been made in supporting women in project management and other industries, there continue to be barriers that make it harder for women to advance their careers.
  • Some of these barriers include a lack of role models, family responsibilities and unconscious biases.
  • WiPM engages with its members through its events, networking opportunities and webinars. More than 600 people attended its annual conference in London in September.
  • These events build a network of like-minded people, so even women who do not have female role models in their organisation can feel connected.
  • Starting a great SIG begins with finding enthusiastic people with diverse backgrounds and life experiences and developing services that will have genuine value to its members.
  • A SIG for women should be founded on market research that reveals barriers for those women, and what they feel they need to better develop themselves as professionals.
  • What about men? WiPM exists specifically to support women, and its value is proven by the level of interest and engagement it attracts. Men are actively invited to engage with WiPM in order to encourage all project managers to succeed in their careers.

About Vicki Griffiths:

Vicki is a Senior Project Manager at Fugro’s offices in Falmouth, UK, a chartered project professional and Fellow of the APM. She is the 2019-2020 Chair of the APM Women in Project Management Special Interest Group. She joined WiPM as a volunteer in 2017 and joined the committee in 2018.

With a background in geology, Vicki began in project management 13 years ago for an aerial survey company working on LiDAR projects. Seven years ago, she moved to Fugro as a project manager on offshore geotechnical projects.

You can connect with Vicki on LinkedIn