Leah Kavanagh-Lim Celebrating Women in Project Management

Leah Kavanagh-Lim Celebrating Women in Project Management

Leah KavanaghLim


Location: Jacksonville, Florida, USA

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I came into Project Management by way of R&D Engineering for medical devices. I have now spent over 15 years as a manager of projects, programs and portfolios, with experience at Medtronic and Zimmer Biomet. The types of projects span from new product development of surgical devices, sterile disposables, biomaterials, and implants… to support of those products in the field, including compliance, supply chain integrity, and remediation. My favorite part of project management is aligning a diverse cross-functional team to a goal and then leading them across the finish line in a collaborative and empowered environment.

What is your project management super power?

My super power is walking into a meeting and figuring out how the project management skillset can help that team…whether it’s problem solving or alignment or organization.

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

I came into project management via engineering…and it’s exciting to see the growth of women in the engineering profession. I’d encourage women to consider a move to project management, as it gives you great exposure to the entire business…and leverages a lot of talents that come naturally to women, such as collaboration and communication.

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

I think everyone would benefit from a greater working knowledge of financial operations within a business. This can help you understand and translate the goals of the business down to your project teams, and increases your credibility with upper management.

How do you recover from difficult situations?

I first try to figure out if there’s anything I can personally be doing better to improve the situation. Once that’s exhausted, I develop a plan of attack to improve the situation, and gather feedback from mentors / coworkers / stakeholders. This helps me attack the situation like a problem, and not internalize the difficulty.

What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?

I find a lot of conflicts arise from lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities. So when conflicts arise, I will often work with others to objectively define their role in the project and the boundaries for their responsibilities.

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





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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