Project management elevating women in the workplace

In recent years, women have made tremendous progress in the workplace.

But the COVID-19 pandemic, and its disproportionate negative impact on women in the workforce, has reconfirmed the gap between women and their male counterparts in pay, promotion and fulfillment at work and in life. personal.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, in March 2021, a year after the start of the pandemic, more than 2.3 million fewer women were in the workforce compared to February 2020*. Much of this loss stems from the closure of child care centers and the massive shift to homeschooling, with childcare and the facilitation of online classes falling largely on mothers.

Of course, there are other issues at play. Women are often mired in careers that offer little or no opportunity for advancement or face discrimination as they strive to make their mark. . According to a recent McKinsey study, women are less likely than men to be hired into entry-level jobs, and for every 100 men promoted to managerial positions, only 86 women are promoted.

Although the barriers to success are high, applying the principles and skills of project management can help women move forward. As I have personally observed and experienced for over 20 years in this fast-growing industry, women can adopt project management techniques and methodologies across industries as they strive to thrive in their lives. personal and professional.

Removing barriers to professional growth

Here are some tips for removing obstacles and getting the success you deserve.

Pay attention to power skills

AT Project Management Institute (PMI)we have identified several “energy skills” essential to completing a project and working effectively and efficiently with others. These skills are useful for all professionals who juggle the demands of the workplace and their personal life: empathy, communication, innovative mindset, and collaborative leadership.

By developing and practicing these skills, professionals will have more control over their personal and professional growth and can help provide professionals with the tools to navigate tricky social situations. Although some of these skills may come naturally, they can be learned and perfected through practice.

Improve to move forward

Seeking new opportunities through upskilling to meet changing workplace demands can help professionals embark on a different and potentially more satisfying career path. Whatever your role, project management is integrated into your daily work. To teach professionals the basics of project management, PMI offers TO START UPa free digital course that provides downloadable templates for budgeting documents, work plans, and more, getting anyone started on their project.

Additionally, an emerging skill and way of working is application development using low-code/no-code software. Microsoft predicted that of the new apps expected to be created in the coming years, 450 million will be developed by people using low-code platforms that don’t require deep coding expertise. If you are looking to enter this high demand movement, PMI Citizen Developer is a suite of resources that educates individuals – even those with no coding experience – and organizations on best practices for building apps using low-code/no-code platforms.

Farewell, “work-life balance”; hello, “work-life fulfillment

Today, the constant demands of a career can make a balanced life elusive. However, work-life fulfillment can be achieved. But that won’t happen without setting and respecting boundaries.

For example, it is essential to take the time to decompress and schedule time for yourself. A PMI survey found that around half of workers (46%) prioritize breaks during the workday. This is especially important for remote workers who juggle different responsibilities throughout the day.

“Career” and “family” should no longer be conflicting goals for women. While it may take some thought and retooling, women can take steps to thrive in their professional lives without sacrificing either.

*NWLC, “A year into the pandemic, women are still missing nearly 5.1 million jobs,” March 2021.

**McKinsey & Company, “Women in the Workplace 2021,” September 2021.

Brantlee Underhill is Managing Director, North America, of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading professional association for a growing community of project professionals and changemakers worldwide.