CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Arlington, VA, USA
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Sarah is a project manager and strategy consultant with 11 years of experience directing complex projects and leading diverse global teams. Passionate about being resilient in the face of uncertainty, her career has focused on incorporating project management techniques to improve organizational business processes. Sarah authors a blog and podcast, The Stealthy Project Manager, focused on project management and productivity.
What is your project management super power?
I can swoop into any situation, quickly get up to speed, diagnose what’s wrong, and figure out how to rally the team together around a common goal to motivate the group and accomplish what’s needed.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
Men and women need to engage each other as allies to recruit talented women, compensate them fairly, elevate them and build their confidence, mentor them throughout their careers, and act as sponsors to represent them in the rooms where they are currently underrepresented. Women also need to prioritize helping other women, with the support of men (so they aren’t penalized for spending time on mentoring versus other activities that are deemed more important for supporting the project/business.)
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
With the rise of artificial intelligence and automation, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and leadership skills will be increasingly important for project managers to distinguish themselves and advance their careers.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
For me, self-care is paramount. Spending the time to recharge outside of my day-to-day work helps prepare me to tackle the tough problems–such as dealing with difficult stakeholders and working with a team–that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish otherwise. In my case, self-care involves sleeping 8 hours a night, exercising 3-5 times a week, and writing to relax.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Conflict is not a bad thing if it promotes creativity and ultimately generates a better outcome. Building an environment where your team trusts you and each other to raise issues is critical to prevent conflicts from festering. If a conflict does ensue, having an environment where people are comfortable to discuss issues candidly helps promote conflict resolution. One way to build trust is to be open with your team about each other’s preferred communication styles, give feedback candidly, host retrospectives to analyze ways you could improve, and show vulnerability as a leader.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
Creativity, diversity, productivity
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.
- 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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