Zakiyya Cassimjee Celebrating Women in Project Management

Zakiyya Cassimjee Celebrating Women in Project Management

Zakiyya Cassimjee


Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

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Zakiyya is skilled in the software delivery space with over 19 years of experience in implementing technology projects within the banking, insurance, aviation and retail sectors.
A passionate Portfolio, Program & Project Management Consultant and Coach with a natural flair for breathing new life and energy into individuals, teams and projects, moving people to action and making change happen. Passion for continuous improvement.

See Zakiyya’s 2019 Celebrating Women in Project Management profile.

What is your project management super power?

Being the conductor of the orchestra and getting people on the same page in the same direction in a very calm manner. Being able to lead the right conversations for delivery. This helps coming from a technology background.

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

Gender diversity is a global issue that needs to be changed within corporate and outside. We need to be inclusive in incorporating women into leadership roles and then supporting them and then celebrating them. Am part of a women’s circle network within my company and outside that disrupts the status quo through leadership training and conversation. Having mentors within your network and outside.

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

Behavioral leadership and leading from the heart. Motivating people and teams and creating the spaces for this. Also being brave, having the courage to stand-up and be vulnerable and calling out the unconscious biases. Connecting with people.

How do you recover from difficult situations?

To be open about it and then reflect on it – what can you learn from the situation.

What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?

At some level, there is something that the conflicting parties agree on. Usually more than one thing and probably at a higher or more strategic level. Use what they agree on as a place to begin the discussion. When things get tough, go back to what they agree on and start again. If those in conflict can’t agree, escalate to someone who can make the call and frame it as a win-win. This gives both parties the space to move on together without loss of face.

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

To be able to have courageous, honest and difficult conversations with the team and this starts with building a culture of trust and transparency. Remain calm and remove the emotion from the equation. Gut, heart and mind.




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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