Alicia Aitken Celebrating Women in Project Management

Alicia Aitken Celebrating Women in Project Management

Alicia Aitken


Location: Sydney, Australia

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Dr Alicia Aitken is leading ANZ’s Transformation & Change capability as they transition to a new, more agile, way of working across the organisation. Alicia is responsible for ensuring ANZ has the right capability to deliver on our investments. In addition to her work at ANZ, Alicia is the current Chairperson for the International Centre for Complex Project Management.

Prior to her role at ANZ Alicia held the position of Chief Project Officer for Telstra, where she led the organisation’s journey to establish project management as a stand-alone capability separate from IT, business and engineering skills. Alicia spent several years as CEO, Human Systems International now a PMI owned company. Her experience ranges through several industries including Telecommunications, Banking & Finance, Defence & Aerospace, Pharmaceutical, Engineering & Construction, Mining, Oil & Gas and Government.

Alicia holds a PhD in project management and psychology with a particular focus on how project managers cope with stress.

Why do you enjoy working in the field of project management?

I love the dynamism of projects.

What are your greatest achievements as a Project Manager?

Nurturing a culture in a large corporation where project managers are valued and respected for the contribution they make.

Why is a career as a Project Manager a great choice for women?

It’s fun! It offers opportunities to grow your skills fast working with multi-disciplinary teams and there are so many ways to let your inner leader shine.

How can women stand out in the field of Project Management?

Be the best you, the whole you to project. Don’t waste time or energy on hiding parts of who you are.

What are some of the challenges women face as Project Managers?

Not being heard. Your ideas can be the best in the world but if you can’t get yourself heard the customer is the one that loses. You owe it to your customer to find a way to get your voice heard.

What can we do to help women to be exceptional Project Managers?

They already are a lot of exceptional project managers. If you’re already an exceptional project manager turn around and offer a practical helping hand. Look for the talent coming up behind you, help them get their next project, sponsor them into promotions, tell them they are exceptional so they hear it.

Any other comments about Women in Project Management?

Project Management has given me an opportunity to live a life more extraordinary than I ever thought possible. I have travelled the world, worked with exceptional people and organisations, the project I have worked on have made real differences in people’s lives both of the customer and the project teams. It is very personally and professionally rewarding and a LOT of fun.


To celebrate International Women’s Day for 2018, I will be sharing the profiles and stories of some incredible women who have flourished in their project management careers. May they inspire you and the women around you to kick goals in the world of project management.

Read more about my ‘Celebrating Women in Project Management’ 50-day series here. Starts February 1, 2018.

Join the conversation!

  1. Submit your own profile as a PM to be shared and celebrated online!
  2. #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn)



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