CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Sydney, Australia
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I am a PMP Certified Project Manager with 10+ years experience in the information technology and services industry, delivering Programs and Projects for customers in Legal, Government, Financial and Manufacturing industries.
My passion for Project Management led me to start Women in Projects Australia, an initiative to support and encourage Project Professionals in the Project Management space.
More from Jen Dolden: Podcast Ep #170 with Elise Stevens: How to set up a group for women in project management.
What is your project management super power?
I have extensive Operational experience, from running my own business, and other people’s businesses. I understand how a project impacts the end user, and ensure that the delivery of the project focuses on the end users benefits to ensure a successful project.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
We need more organisations to support project managers making the role work for their lifestyle. Some people like to start early, get into the office and get onto their tasks for the day before others get into the office. Some like to start late so they can drop the kids off to school on the way to work. Some people are night owls and work best at night. Making the arduous role of PMing more approachable will enable women to see themselves in this type of role, where we have so much to offer. Managers need to share and encourage EVERYONE, especially men, to work flexibly. For example, take the afternoon to go to their child’s concert, knowing the employee will work hard enough to ensure their job is done well. Gender diversity is a two lane highway. We need to support men being comfortable with the idea that working flexibly, or part time, doesn’t mean they won’t be taken seriously.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg proved discrimination against a man to over an issue that mostly impacted women. By making it about a man being discriminated against, she was able to show the inequality of the situation. We need to ask men how they are coping with being back at work after their baby was born, not just the mothers. We need to support men taking leave to care for their children. Once men are recognised as equal parents, women will benefit, and men will understand that women wanting equality won’t take anything away from them.
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Adaptability. Being able to adapt, and quickly grasp new concepts will be key to future success. As the world is now recognising the value in project management, and the benefits of good governance, it’s important not to get stuck in a niche that may not exist in the future. Many people say that the jobs of children being born today don’t exist yet. Imagine the projects for technology that doesn’t exist yet. Imagine how people based projects will evolve as we move further into the future where technology has improved the way we work significantly.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
The most important thing is to learn from the situation. Understand the root cause. Make immediate adjustments, and long term plans to recover and ensure you future proof.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
I like to put myself in the shoes of each person in the conflict, to see the situation from their perspective and understand where they are coming from. I ask lots of questions to help understand why they feel the way they do about the situation, and lastly, the best advice I was given, was to ask them what they aren’t telling me. Once you have all of this, it’s easier to help each person understand the other person’s perspective, and sometimes that’s all you need. It might be a missing piece of information that helps one person understand the other’s perspective, and change their position on the issue with this new information. For example, two people arguing over which route to take to a customer meeting. One person wants to take the motorway, one wants to take the back way. The person that wants to take the motorway knows there is roadworks on the back way, even though it is normally quicker. The other doesn’t. Simply sharing the knowledge that there are roadworks on the back way helps the other person understand the other perspective, and make an adjustment to their position based on this new information.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Get. It. Done!
Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.
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