Kylie Stephan Celebrating Women in Project Management

Kylie Stephan Celebrating Women in Project Management

Kylie Stephan


Location: Brisbane, AUS

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Kylie is an experienced project professional and co-founder of Future Project Leaders. She helps organisations develop leading project professionals who consistently deliver excellent outcomes. Before the age of 30, Kylie had delivered millions of dollars in projects and built a reputation as a high-achiever for one of Australia’s largest Commonwealth Agencies. She developed systems and strategies to work smarter and lead successful initiatives. Now Kylie is on a mission to share her knowledge with other Project Managers, to help them achieve the same. Kylie believes that if organisations are to thrive, and not just survive, we need to foster the growth of project leaders. For too long talent development programs have focused on traditional “management” skills. Now more than ever in this age of project leadership, there are a new set of skills which are critical for success. As a thought leader in the field of project management, Kylie understands the challenges Project Managers face. We work in challenging times. The rate of change is rapid and resource constraints are commonplace.

Kylie is driven to help Project Managers to embrace these challenges to be at their best. To deliver outstanding projects, on time and on budget. To deliver future focused projects and thrive as industry leaders. And in doing so, support Australian organisations to deliver on their strategic objectives. After all, projects are what drive Australia and our organisations forward.

See Kylie’s 2018 and 2019 Celebrating Women in Project Management profile. Also, Podcast: SOS (Save our Stakeholders!).

What is your project management super power?

I listen to understand, rather than listening to respond. Have you ever been in a conversation where the other person interjects or acts like they know what you are going to say, or sometimes entirely misses the point of what you have communicated? We’ve all been there. And we are all guilty of this from time to time.

Listening to understand means that you stay present in the conversation. You gather a true understanding of requirements. This superpower helps me to deliver what is actually required, and adapt to changes quickly and accurately. And the person who I am communicating with feels heard and understood which I find helps develop super productive and positive relationships – and those relationships are the foundation of many successful outcomes.

How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?

Championing each other and supporting one another. If you look at gender diversity in different sectors you will find that some sectors have more female than male and vice versa. Let’s commit to supporting portability of project professionals between sectors by championing achievements and supporting each other to recognise transferable skills. With more confidence to port our skills between sectors we can support diversity across the sectors, in turn resulting in better outcomes across the board.

As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?

Leadership, productivity and innovation.

How do you recover from difficult situations?

I reflect, plan and then act. Difficult situations are inevitable. And how we respond to them can be career defining. When a difficult situation arises for me, I stop and reflect: How did we get here, what is the environment, what are the risks and opportunities, who can I go to for support or guidance. I then plan: where am I now, where do I want to be, what are the next logical steps to get there. And then finally I act. This process may be as quick as 5 minutes or as long as a week depending on the scenario. But taking this time is invaluable in ensuring the best outcome from a difficult situation. I believe in acting from a place of poise and proactivity, and not being a reactive “fire fighter”.

What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?

Back to my superpower: Listen to understand, rather than listening to respond. Understand the other party’s point of view properly before you try to reconcile this with your requirements and find a solution. And just as importantly: be proactive in resolving conflict and choose an appropriate communication medium. No one ever effectively resolves a conflict over email or message.

Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?

Delivering tangible outcomes.




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.

  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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