As part of the month-long celebration of Women in March 2021, iCentra Academy in partnership with PPMC Canada hosted the ‘Female Trailblazers in Advanced Project Management Webinar’ on March 20, 2021. The webinar brought together 4 female speakers from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to celebrate their achievements so also inspire and expand the participation of women in project management, an industry mainly dominated by men.
Ifeanyi Francis-Shokoya; the first female certified Program Management Professionals (PgMP) in Nigeria, opened the session discussing how she got inspired to seek a career in Project Management which started while studying for her first degree in Computer Information Systems. She also lists the ability to bring different subject matter experts together to identify solutions that are suitable for an organisations needs as an inspiration for pursuing a Project Management career.
Addressing the question ‘What can we do to develop more women participation in advanced project management, Tooba Mirza; the first female certified Portfolio Management Professionals (PfMP) in Pakistan, answered “In my opinion, what we can do is to showcase our own examples to our people via events, webinars, social media, and online sessions. Other ways is to approach people who have some influence in project management so they highlight the skills, talent and art globally for all to see.
Speaking on traits that women possess naturally and how they come in handy for a project management career, Karen Bello; the first female Nigerian certified Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) said “Women are conscientious, diligent, industrious…having a woman on a project team is a great addition to any team. She further talks on challenges program and portfolio managers could face and lists poorly defined organisational strategy, keeping people on the same page, skills and resource allocation as difficulties.
Despite project management being a field largely dominated by men, Hanan Al-maziad; first Saudi Arabian female Program and Portfolio Management Professional mentions that in Saudi Arabia, women are now accepted and well recognised and that organisations in her country have done some work to promote gender equality in project management in Saudi Arabia. Responding to a question from the audience on ‘How do you deal with leading men in such a patriarchal society’ Hanan said she makes them understand that they are not in a competition, and working together is ultimately for the success of the organisation.
The webinar also featured interactive question and answer sessions from both speakers and participants. All event speakers confirmed the role mentorship played in their certification journeys. They motivated participants through each of their individual career journeys to be confident in their abilities, to seek experience and remain committed to professional development.
Paying tribute to women in the project management industry, hosts of the event; Taopheek Babayeju, CEO iCentra and Femi Adegbulugbe, Managing Partner PPMC Canada praised the achievements of women, describing them as more organised and meticulous. Taopheek attests that the best Project Managers he has worked with are women. “The year 2021 has been the year of the female gender, we have seen the first female lead the WTO, first female vice president in the USA, first female president in Tanzania…first female PfMP from Nigeria, first female PfMP from Pakistan” Femi said.
Videos from the webinar can be accessed below