CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
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Karen Chovan is the Principal of Enviro Integration Strategies, a consultancy that offers strategic project advisement, training and implementation support in the realm of lean and sustainability integration for the extractives sector.
With 20 years of mining experience, Karen has engaged with boards, innovation committees, major projects and operations, helping organizations to save millions of dollars, through altered project, operational and organizational processes. Karen is a strategic thinker, and has strength in raising awareness in risk and opportunity , aligning multi-disciplinary teams, working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders, and empowering teams to build consensus on common goals.
Why do you enjoy working in the field of project management?
I can see the big picture, and achieving outcomes.
What are your greatest achievements as a Project Manager?
Initiating, planning and implementation of an organizational change initiative built around mining and sustainability – going above and beyond environmental and social legal requirements to perform to much higher standards.
Solving some very complex problems in the mining environmental space – through collaborative problem solving mechanisms – this is my passion area. Bringing diverse minds together to understand a challenge, and then work through various options to a best case outcome.
Why is a career as a Project Manager a great choice for women?
Generalizing here, but women tend to have a much more collaborative approach and are maybe more open to diverse perspectives and trying different things out. Sometimes seen to be a softer approach, but much more effective and engaging for teams!
How can women stand out in the field of Project Management?
Using your skill sets and natural tendencies to your advantage! Highlighting the outcomes of your projects, including how well your team performs. We need to stop being modest about what we can do and speak up a lot more, show our interest loud a clear for opportunities we might otherwise be passed up for.
What are some of the challenges women face as Project Managers?
I think every environment is different, and women shouldn’t go in with the mindset that they will have more challenges than a man. Every project is a challenge, every new team needs someone to bring them together for best performance, and if we just utilize all the skills in the room, we will always come out with great solutions.
What can we do to help women to be exceptional Project Managers?
I think we need to support each other, and be open to talking about any challenges we do face, sharing wins and strategies. Raise the bar on expectations from our leadership – we should be offered the same learning and project opportunities as our male counterparts. Push for it!
Any other comments about Women in Project Management?
Women shouldn’t be discouraged from going into fields where they might be the minority. I’ve spent 20 years in the mining industry, and I’m still here…
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)