CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
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As a Managing Consultant at CITI Limited, I specialise in change enablement consultancy, building capability within organisations to support the delivery of strategic change through effective Portfolio, Programme and Project Management. We believe that people not only need the technical expertise, but also the behavioural consciousness to sponsor, manage stakeholders and realise benefits within P3M to deliver successful change.
The recognition for learning and development; mentoring; coaching; wellbeing and ethical consciousness within projects is something I have been involved in with CITI. My background in organisational development means I have a passion for authentic and progressive leadership. I believe in engaging stakeholders to opt for learning that is effective, creative and blended using social learning; formal and informal learning (70:20:10 approach) to meet the organisation’s strategic requirements as well as to consider the culture and sub cultures within the company when delivering projects.
Experience as a consultant for over 15 years has taught me that better equipped and capable professionals with an appetite to manage their own career path, develop their skills and challenge themselves tend to be more effective, loyal, committed and confident in their work, creating a harmonious and productive environment.
Why do you enjoy working in the field of project management?
Never a dull moment! variety is the spice of life.
What are your greatest achievements as a Project Manager?
I really believe that my learning & development and project management experience are closely related, it was probably always in my subconscious and once I brought it into my conscious mind, it unleashed a whole new comprehension of the interaction between people and technical skills that has supported the organisations and people I work with.
Why is a career as a Project Manager a great choice for women?
Women are adaptable, Project Management needs adaptability. Most women possess innate skills that enhance projects and programmes and through the availability of new technologies, virtual management, planning and communication are all easily accessible. These now support the busy work/life balance that we all strive for.
How can women stand out in the field of Project Management?
I truly believe that women stand out in Project Management as we bring a different dimension. We think about the technical and humanistic elements together within any project and bring a softer approach to debate and conflict. Women also ask more questions, are more curious about playing through the consequences and outcomes before delving into action, which might be perceived as a frustration for some, but can eliminate risk later on and is essential during initiation.
Women also stand out as leaders within projects, not always from the top however, within PMOs and from within a project team.
What are some of the challenges women face as Project Managers?
There have been occasions where it is evident that if your style is not one of dominance, what a woman says or new ideas are brushed aside. There needs to be a respect for all and behaviours need to alter, power play is not something many women find a natural trait, being less confrontational does not mean a lack of knowledge, experience or influence.
There are many very knowledgeable and experienced women within the project management community that have and are continuing to influence and change the landscape of PMOs and Project management in a positive way. The challenge is to create, maintain and sustain an influential voice within the discipline and for out male counterparts to embrace and appreciate difference.
What can we do to help women to be exceptional Project Managers?
I think that women can and would flourish in project management through being given trust, encouragement and opportunity. Supporting flexible working, incorporating new technologies to work practices, working smartly and supporting women in the workplace generally increases loyalty, productivity and performance….therefore profitability and more predictable project performance.
I also believe there needs to be more self-belief within women themselves. You can be working in any industry sector, any size company, any country and remain a subject matter expert within your own field, fine tuning your project management knowledge, techniques and skills can enhance your impact.
Any other comments about Women in Project Management?
Women the world over have been managing successful projects either in the background or as leaders. We have been the “hidden figures” of the project community and now is the time to shine brightly.
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)