CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Seattle WA, USA
Connect on LinkedIn
Kayla Glenn had a creative path to project management and consulting, leveraging a dance degree into small business ownership, to event planning and volunteer wrangling, to running a Burning Man camp for 6 years and counting! She’s currently enjoying a role as an IT project management consultant with a focus on technical professional services, requirements gathering, and stakeholder communications.
What is your project management super power?
I thrive on chaos – to quote Marie Kondo, “I’m so excited, because I love mess!” As a chaotic person, improvising under pressure is my happy place. And I have a toolbelt of systems and methodologies to bring even the most unruly projects into harmony.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
Smarter people than me have written a lot on this topic, so my advice would be to invest time in yourself and your team by doing your homework!
The thing I often notice is that a lot of stereotypically feminine behaviors aren’t always acknowledged as “real” work. If someone on your team (of any gender) is always taking meeting notes and sending the follow-up meeting, that’s work. If they are using empathetic communication to mediate issues on the team, that’s work. If they are taking the time to copy edit and fact check a colleague’s documents before sending to an important exec or customer, that’s work. As project managers, we should understand better than most how much time these “invisible” tasks take, and how much value they add to the team.
As women, we should elevate each other whenever we can. The majority of my current team is women, and I’m so grateful to be supported by so many confident, competent ladies!
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Flexibility, thinking on your feet, and being a lifelong learner! Everything moves so fast these days, and the methods that worked ten years, five years, or even one year ago may no longer be the best fit.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
I am my own worst critic, so when things go wrong it can really spiral. I like to find “small wins” that remind me that I’m good at what I do. Maybe it’s an easy task that I know will really wow a client. Or taking a quick breather to catch up on personal tasks so I feel great going into my work day.
The other thing I do is reassess my plan – if there’s difficulty, that may be a sign that my original plan wasn’t the right approach. Take the opportunity to ask the hard questions and find success going forward.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Remember that we’re all on the same team – if you can find a mutual goal and approach tough conversations with empathy, conflicts start to feel like they resolve themselves. I’ve won over so many “impossible” stakeholders just repeating what they said back to them before I state my case. People just want to feel heard!
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Purpose, cooperation, novelty.
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.
- If you’re a woman working in project management, I want to hear from you! Submit your profile today to make sure to be included in this years event which has already begun.
- Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to be inspired by daily posts as we celebrate all of these wonderful women in project management! Feel motivated by their stories, achievements and perspectives.
- Tell us how you feel and support other women by including #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement in your social media posts.
- Join our FREE exclusive Celebrating Women in Project Management Facebook group – a new space for women in project management to come together and discuss ideas, give advice, provide support, and network with women from all over the globe.