In recent years, women have made huge strides in the workplace.
But the COVID-19 pandemic, and its disproportionately negative impact on women in the workforce, has reconfirmed the gap between women and their male counterparts in terms of pay, promotion and fulfillment between work and work. life.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, in March 2021, one 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 daycare centers and the massive shift to homeschooling, with childcare and online course facilitation largely falling on mothers.
Of course, there are other issues at stake. Women are often mired in careers that offer little or no opportunity for advancement or face discrimination as they strive to stand out. . According to a recent McKinsey study **, women are less likely to be hired into entry-level positions than men, and for every 100 men promoted to managers, only 86 women are promoted.
Although the barriers to success are high, applying project management principles and skills can help women move forward. As I have observed and experienced personally for over 20 years in this rapidly growing industry, women can adopt project management techniques and methodologies in all industries as they strive to thrive in their lives. personal and professional.
Remove obstacles to professional growth
Here are some tips for breaking down barriers and getting the success you deserve.
Pay attention to power skills
At the Project Management Institute (PMI), we have identified several “power skills” that are essential for successfully completing a project and working with others effectively and efficiently. These skills are useful to all professionals juggling the demands of work and their personal life: empathy, communication, spirit of innovation, and collaborative leadership.
By developing and putting these skills into practice, professionals will have more control over their personal and professional growth and can help provide professionals with the tools to navigate difficult social situations. While some of these skills can come naturally, they can be learned and honed through practice.
Develop skills to move forward
Seeking new opportunities by upgrading skills to meet the changing demands of the workplace can help professionals embark on a different and potentially more satisfying career path. Whatever your role, project management is part of your daily work. To teach professionals the basics of project management, PMI offers KICKOFF, a free digital course that provides downloadable templates for budgeting documents, work plans, and more, allowing anyone to get their project started.
In addition, an emerging skill and working methods are the development of applications using low-code / no-code software. Microsoft has 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 get into this high demand movement, Citizen PMI Developer is a suite of resources that educates individuals, even those with no coding experience, and organizations on the best practices for building apps using low-code / no-code platforms.
Goodbye, “work-life balance; “Hello,” work-life fulfillment“
Today, the ongoing demands of a career can make a balanced life elusive. However, the fulfillment of work and personal life can be achieved. But that will not happen without setting and taking into account the limits.
For example, it is essential to take the time to decompress and to make time for yourself. A PMI survey found that around half of workers (46%) prefer breaks during the working day. 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 achieve professional and personal growth without sacrificing either.
* NWLC, “One year after the pandemic, women still lack nearly 5.1 million jobs”, March 2021.
** McKinsey & Company, “Women in the Workplace 2021”, September 2021.
Brantlee Underhill is Managing Director, North America, for the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading trade association for a growing community of project professionals and change makers around the world.