Caroline Whitley Celebrating Women in Project Management

Caroline Whitley Celebrating Women in Project Management

Caroline Whitley

CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES

Location: Chester, UK

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Bio:

10 years experience in Ecommerce & Multi Channel Retail Logistics. Currently a senior project and programme manager for XPO managing a team of PM’s working across retail customers such as Marks & Spencer’s, H&M, Beauty Bay & Missguided.

Previously worked in Development roles for ASOS and House of Fraser.

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

I love working across many different specialisms

What are your greatest achievements as a Project Manager?

I believe that people deliver projects. My biggest achievement and personal motivation is helping my team develop & achieve their personal and professional aspirations.

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

Project Management naturally lends itself to flexible/dynamic working, whether that’s part time if the size of the project allows or by managing remote teams using technology.

If all goes to plan, periods of high- activity (Go-lives, launches etc… ) are predictable. This supports women that need to balance their work/home commitments or are returning to work.

Project Management also allows women to excel in traditionally male dominated industries.

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

From my own experience within Logistics, meetings are often full of extroverts with big ideas. That’s great, but I think to be effective you don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room, women can stand out by having a different style and approach. I also think we are funnier which helps 😉

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

I’ve known awesome women PM’s that lack confidence relative to men with similar, or even less, experience. This can be difficult as Project Management requires you to walk in and manage new teams with varied and sometimes disruptive dynamics. People can be change adverse or dismissive. As you aren’t always a subject matter expert it can be challenging to engage the respect and authority you need to manage the team without confidence in your ability to deliver.

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

I think we need to celebrate the skills that women bring to the party. Support smart or part time working and appreciate that any flexible arrangements you can offer your team will often be reciprocated in loyalty and commitment! Encourage your team to network at Industry events such as the APM SIG’s and suggest strong female mentors that will support their growth and raise their profiles within your business.

Any other comments about Women in Project Management?

I’d love to see more women in Project Management, particularly within Logistics. My team at XPO has a wide range of experience & many different professional backgrounds. There are many transferable skills that can make a successful PM and with the resources and training available through APM & a supportive business, I believe you can take the step over to Project Management at any stage in your career.

GET INVOLVED

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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