Laura Handley Celebrating Women in Project Management

Laura Handley Celebrating Women in Project Management

Laura Handley


Location: Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, UK

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Project management is a career change for me after 40. I taught for 20 years in state schools in the UK, when I decided in 2017 that I was putting more in than I was getting out I decided it was time for a career change and project management seemed to fit well with my strengths; I’m good at planning, organising, communicating, coaching, listening and doing. I was fortunate enough to be offered a project support role working flexibly from home at RedWizard, a PMO consultancy, and have since become qualified as both a Prince 2 practitioner and Prosci Change Manager practitioner so I’m able to bring the technical and human elements of project management together. It’s been a very steep learning curve but I’m glad I made the jump and I’m looking forward to progressing my new career further and helping more businesses achieve success! I’m also passionate about pushing project management as a career option for the younger generation.

What is your project management super power?

Bringing together the technical and the human aspects of projects so the likelihood of success is optimised.

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

We need to start engaging with all secondary school pupils and providing project management as a career option early on. The world is in constant change and moving forward into the digital revolution we are going to need people with well-defined project management and leadership skills, add to that the demands of being productive in a flexible, work- to-live culture there is a lot of work to be done. Girls need to be shown positive role models in professional careers, and that it is possible to successfully combine family with a professional role. They need to know that it is OK to have strong ambitions and to aim high and be given the tools to let choose who to be.

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

Flexibility, independence, thinking strategically, ability to communicate at all levels from C-suite to the workers on the ground, working with AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), pulling insight from data.

How do you recover from difficult situations?

I learn from them. Take the knock, cry a little if I need to then think about what to do differently next time. Firstly, I’d try to provide a workable solution that might involve some compromise from all involved, ensure that the team feel valued and then do something proactive about it.

What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?

Remember, nobody knows what anyone else has going on their lives, be kind, be compassionate and make people feel that valued. Create a culture where different opinions are encouraged and work in partnership to find and action a solution.

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

Challenge, Planning, Added-value




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.
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