Kristen Manes Celebrating Women in Project Management

Kristen Manes Celebrating Women in Project Management

Kristen Manes


Location: Akron, OH, USA

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By trade, I’m a battle-tested project manager (15+ years) who has led multi-million-dollar projects in various industries. I help companies work through critical, organizational changes, where they’re looking to build efficiencies on a larger scale and – more importantly – HOW to communicate these changes effectively to employees and stakeholders. I also run multi-disciplinary teams – often across different departments, business units, disciplines, and time zones – which include high-level project sponsors (GMs, VPs, dept heads/chairs, etc.). And I understand business: strategy, communications, financials, technology, accountability, and mentoring tomorrow’s upcoming leaders.

As a project manager, I have served in some of the most well-recognized companies in health care and manufacturing. I focus on results-based management (RBM), and have a solid foundation of management experience (up to 10 employees), including mentoring, planning/strategy, strong analytical skills and communications skills, and staffing/hiring/training.

What I enjoy most about being a project manager is:

I enjoy working with people from different functionalities/departments across a company. It gives me an opportunity to learn more how HR works or accounting or finance, etc. I like the different perspectives on a problem and ideas that people bring. And I like that I get to keep refining my skills with each new project, especially on the risk management side of things and how to avoid the pitfalls.

The three most important skills I use to successfully deliver projects are:

1. Communication: keeping everyone in the loop about progress, setbacks, and options
2. Risk management: anticipating what could go wrong, based on past experiences on other projects or working with the same resources in the past
3. Emotional intelligence: learning how to read people, how to leverage their strengths, and how to work with them

I build and nurture my professional network by:

1. By mentoring. After over 15 years at the wheel of project management, I’m always open to help emerging PMs and women leaders learn the ropes and how to tackle problems
2. Being a part of community groups. I’ve enjoyed working with others through the Akron-Canton Foodbank, Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio, and Business Volunteer Unlimited.
3. Keeping in touch with former colleagues. I have lunches and dinners with key contact from my past, and keep those relationships strong and alive.

At the start of my career, the one thing I wish I had known is:

How to sell myself and services better, and really highlighting what I bring to the table. I really didn’t learn about self-branding and self-promotion (and the importance of them) until much later in my career. Like many women, I didn’t want to brag about my accomplishments, but also didn’t realize that I needed to find strategic moments to tell leaders and project sponsors all that I did for them to keep the project going.

Women who have inspired me so far in my career journey are:

Women who have helped me along in my career with words of encouragement, inspiration, or recognition.

The most valuable advice I have ever been given is:

Set the bar high, and hold the team to that expectation.

My advice for women on finding success as a project manager is:

It takes grit and endurance to be an exceptional PM. If you had a bad day, meet up with a friend after work, or have a drink, or go run with your dog…get some sleep, and show up the next day. This job isn’t for the meek or thin-skinned. It takes determination and – some days sheer will – to get a project across the finish line. As a PM, you’ll be lucky if you get a “thank you,” so you need to treat yourself in some way when you’ve done a great job.


Hello amazing women of the project management world!

My observation after two decades of working in the project management industry is that our voices as women are simply not heard enough online in articles, podcasts, and across social media channels. Let’s change that!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Tell us how you feel and support other women by including #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement in your social media posts.
  4. 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.



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