CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Connect on LinkedIn
Over the last 25 years, my corporate career journey has introduced me to working across many industries such as; Telecommunications, Engineering, Retail, Hospitality, Public service and Banking across a range of business, commercial, people and strategic initiatives. Over the last 8 years, I have specialised in leading high value complex IT programs of work ($10M-$100M) and have found this extremely rewarding.
I am currently in the early stages of getting my own start-up off the ground – since exiting the workforce last year after receiving a redundancy. I started my adult working career as a teenager – entering the corporate world as an eager receptionist. I worked my way up over the first 15 years of my career to become a highly regarded Executive Assistant, before someone told me one day that I’d make a great Project Manager about 10 years ago. I did all this while raising a wonderful daughter, who is now 23 and an Interior Designer.
I pinch myself everyday that I’ve had the opportunities to learn what I needed to and the capacity to do what I had to do in order to be in the position I am today of becoming an Entrepreneur !
Why do you enjoy working in the field of project management?
I was born to be a Project Manager !
What are your greatest achievements as a Project Manager?
I do have a great track record of always delivering on time, within budget with a positive return on investment. I do this by keeping the team focused on communicating well with each other, while providing them with the information and resources they need to ensure they can complete their work on time. My keeping close with my team, I also can identify risks and issues quickly – often eliminating them due to early intervention.
My collaborative approach to improving internal processes that support project teams deliver more effectively has proven to be a key mechanism to gain recognition from leadership, and support from my peers.
Why is a career as a Project Manager a great choice for women?
Women are born “gatherers”. Anyone who has children is already a Project Manager, especially if they are also working! I had never really thought of myself as a PM and “accidentally” became one as my superiors started giving me projects to manage – small ones at first with zero budget… I found I absolutely loved it – being a PM combined all the skills I’d gained in the administrative arena – and satisfied my hunger for more “meatier” work. I gradually earned trust of management with every successful delivery of a project and eventually found myself being called a “Senior” Project manager looking after the end to end delivery of multi-million dollar IT projects with Telstra ! In March 2017, I decided to formalise my experience and decided to obtain my PMP credentials through the PMI.
How can women stand out in the field of Project Management?
I think we can stand out by being ourselves and not trying to fit in with traditional cultures, and championing the softer skills which are so important when trying to motivate people resources in a matrix organisation !
What are some of the challenges women face as Project Managers?
In the area of IT, women aren’t generally appreciated for knowing technical stuff. I’ve also experienced double standards where men can be blunt and direct (and are considered assertive thought leaders), but if women are blunt and direct we can be branded as difficult to work with.
What can we do to help women to be exceptional Project Managers?
Advocacy, Awareness, Exposure and Recognition
Any other comments about Women in Project Management?
It’s extremely rewarding leading large projects – I encourage all women who may be thinking of a career as a Project Manager to just DO IT !
Don’t be intimidated by the industry or the gender mix – if you are a naturally organised with a good eye for detail and problem solving skills – you will be a natural Project manager.
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!
- Submit your own profile as a PM to be shared and celebrated online!
- #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn)