CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Windsor, England
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Marisa Silva, the Lucky PM, is an experienced certified PMO and PPM consultant, trainer, and speaker, with a track record of building capabilities in complex organizations undergoing transformational change. A passionate advocate of the value of PMOs and project management, she is Secretary of the APM PMO SIG, a Senior Consultant at Wellingtone, and Programs Director at Project Managers Without Borders. Marisa is the author of “Bedtime Stories for Project Managers” and the founder of in2PMO, a specialist PMO and business transformation consultancy firm dedicated to help organizations deliver impactful and sustainable business value from their PMOs, projects and programs.
Why do you enjoy working in the field of project management?
I love working in project management because the field offers you so many opportunities! All projects are different so you are exposed to different stimuli, experiences, you get to know and lead amazing teams and, most importantly, to make a dent in the universe, even if it is an organisational one! Projects are not just investments, they are also legacies we leave behind. They help the economy flourish, a new future to be built, and they even make dreams come true. They are the nicest balance I could find so far between order and chaos, discipline and adventure. How not to enjoy an exciting and dynamic environment where you can learn something new every day and contribute to a bigger purpose at the same time?
What are your greatest achievements as a Project Manager?
It’s difficult to select a particular one, because each project has its own challenges and joys. Being a project management consultant, it’s always rewarding to enable a client to go a step further in their maturity journey. Most recently, however, something that made me really proud of was the development of the PMO Practitioner course, a project on its own, which went through several stages until we got the APM’s accreditation.
Why is a career as a Project Manager a great choice for women?
A career as a Project Manager is a great choice not only for women but for anyone looking for a solid and fascinating career path. Working in the projects space means shaping the future, gaining exposure to different industries, project shapes and sizes, leading a team and, most importantly, making a difference in organisations and helping them realizing their strategy. Women are naturally suited with some of the competencies that make great project leaders, such as communication, empathy or influencing skills, hence, to use these competencies towards a purpose makes a winning combination.
How can women stand out in the field of Project Management?
There are no hidden formulas or magical tricks, I’m afraid but with so many projects failing each year, anyone who consistently delivers successful projects is in a good position to stand out. As Steve Martin would say: “be so good they can’t ignore you”, a nice advice to live by.
What are some of the challenges women face as Project Managers?
I personally have never faced any challenge just based in gender and, in fact, I could perceive more prejudice relating to my age rather than to the fact that I’m a woman. At a fundamental level, my view is that you stand out because of your work, not because of who you are.
What can we do to help women to be exceptional Project Managers?
Exceptional Project Managers are the ones that perceive themselves to be more than just doers, a view that is still dominant, yet in my opinion outdated. Exceptional Project Managers are concerned with the big picture and display an holistic and systemic view of the world around them. From a personal development viewpoint, exceptional PMs are eager to always learn more and they give back to the community. This is what I would advise someone wanting to become an exceptional PM to pursue: start with your own development first.
To celebrate International Women’s Day for 2018, I will be sharing the profiles and stories of some incredible women who have flourished in their project management careers. May they inspire you and the women around you to kick goals in the world of project management.
Read more about my ‘Celebrating Women in Project Management’ 50-day series here. Starts February 1, 2018.
Join the conversation!
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