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Women in Project Management Conference 2023

21 September 2023 | etc.venues, 133 Houndsditch, London
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Programme and streams

Choosing from two streams of ‘Strategies for progressing your career’ and ‘Think Differently: Project success from the inside out' you will hear from a range of speakers from the profession and beyond, sharing their own stories and the skills and behaviours needed for your personal and professional advancement.

Programme subject to change

Plenary session

Hear from our opening and closing keynotes as they open the conference and round up after a full day of inspiring debate and discussion.

Stream 1 - Strategies for progressing your career

Hear from project management practitioners - case studies and lessons learned, sharing insights gained on their career journeys.

Stream sponsor: Smartsheet
Stream host: Jennifer Swimley, Senior Regional Director, Smartsheet

  Stream 2 - Think Differently: Project success from the inside out

Interactive sessions to support personal and professional development and progression.

Stream sponsor: CITI Ltd
Stream host: Kay Sanders, CEO, CITI Ltd


🕑  08:00-09:25  |  Registration and welcome breakfast


🕑  09:30-09:45  |  Welcome remarks

Adam Boddison, CEO, APM
Caroline Ojo, Programme/Project Delivery Manager, DMDTS Strategic Solutions Ltd, and APM WiPM SIG Committee Chair

🕑  09:45-10:30  |  Opening keynote: It’s your life, your career – tips and tricks for owning it

Dame Inga Beale took over the helm of the 330-year-old City financial institution Lloyd’s of London in 2014, after working in senior leadership roles in some of the world’s largest insurance companies.

With over three decades of global business experience she was awarded her Damehood in 2017 for services to the UK economy. Inga Beale now has a portfolio of non-executive director roles for a variety of multinational companies and is an Ambassador for Stonewall – the UK LGBTQ+ charity.

Dame Inga Beale, Portfolio Director and Workplace Equality Advocate
Host: Adam Boddison, CEO, APM

🕑  10:30-10:50  |  Morning refreshments

🕑  10:55-11:55  |  Sector insights to support your career plans

Insights from project management professionals in different sectors for a comparative view of their differences and needs. 

  • How do they differ in working environment and culture?
  • How do they see the project management role adapting to the changing landscape and what are their skills needs?
  • What are the biggest challenges they are facing?
  • What are the transferable skills across sectors?

Chair: Lisa Chapman, Project Delivery Manager, MI-GSO | PCUBED
Hayley Burnell, Senior Portfolio Manager, Versus Arthritis
Victoria Richards, Head of Profession for Project Management, Jacobs
Ruqaiya Isa, Programme Manager, HMRC

🕑  10:55-11:55  |  What can you do to build your emotional intelligence?

This activity-led session will discuss this undeniably important set of skills for effective leadership and successful project outcomes.

Join to learn more about developing these skills, critical to navigating social interactions, making informed decisions, and building positive relationships to support your personal and professional successes.

Session facilitator: Kay Sanders, CEO, CITI Ltd
Q&A facilitator: Abbie Watson, Social Media and Marketing Consultant, CITI Ltd

🕑  12:00-13:15  |  Lunch break

🕑  12:30-13:15

Networking activities

Facilitated topic tables:
Change management
Annette Andresen, Director, Marlowe Consulting

Why soft skills are hard to acquire
Jessica McHattie, Project Management Consultant at MI-GSO | PCUBED
Marion Thomas, Chief Trailblazer, ExtraordinaryPM

Leadership coaching taster
Shireen Ali-Khan, Intersectionality Lead, Women in Transport
Natalie Wright, Project Resource Capability Manager, BAE Systems

How to move on up the ladder
Sue Simmonite, Global Project Management and Control Director, BAE Systems

APM Stand Membership, qualifications inc ChPP, volunteering, mentoring - your questions answered

🕑  12:30-13:15

Focus group - Projecting for the future: Harmonising Energy and Environment

‘Projecting for the Future: Harmonising Energy and Environment' APM research focus group (in association with Alliance Manchester Business School) discussing the challenges the profession will face to deliver net zero, and how our members are working to achieve these goals.

🕑  12:30-12:50

Planisware lunch-and-learn - strategic resource management

lunch-and-learn session with Planisware, a leader in project management software solutions; Benefit from valuable insights into effective resource management tools and techniques. Discover innovative solutions available to enhance project management practices and contribute to project success.

🕑  13:20-14:20  |  Strategizing your career: How to move on up the ladder?

A discussion around career journey options and skills needed for established project professionals wishing to move the next step up into a more senior or leadership position, or progress into another area of the profession.

  • Top tips for how to progress irrespective of the level at which you are working
  • Thinking tactically about your next steps
  • Harnessing your skills and strengths for potentially different fields of specialisation.

Chair: Adeshola Cole, CEO, Tritek Consulting Ltd
Ewelina Kruk, Transformation Director, The Instant Group
Bel French, Project Manager, Gleeds Cost Management Ltd
Dr Anne McCann, Deputy Director, Capital Projects - London / Whitehall Campus, Government Property Agency

🕑  13:20-14:20  |  Thinking differently about change 

Creating ‘fear free’ zones for change by focusing on neuroscience and behaviours to ensure successful delivery. Why are some people afraid of change? By understanding the neuroscience of fear and the impact that has on your body and behaviours you can start to shift how you perceive change, moving from a fear state towards seeing change as an opportunity for change. If you understand your own feelings, emotions and behaviours when faced with a potentially fearful change you can start to use this knowledge as a resource to help others, especially those who may not be quite as excited about your project as you.

Another key element to leading successful change is to understand the type of change you are delivering. This is essential to keep both your team, and your stakeholders in the ‘fear free’ zone and will ensure your team stay motivated and energised to deliver successful outcomes.

  • Focus on people, not process, for leading successful change.
  • Recognising the behaviours associated with the fear state and how to shift it for yourselves and others
  • Understanding the different types of leadership needed for different types of change to keep everyone in the motivated brain friendly state.

Session facilitator:  Dr Tammy Watchorn, Author, The Change Ninja Handbook
Host: Kay Sanders, CEO, CITI Ltd

🕑  14:25-15:15  |  How to adapt and adopt to embrace change and agility

In today's rapidly changing world, it is widely accepted that agility has become a crucial skill for professionals in almost every field - not least those working in a project management environment. The ability to adapt, learn quickly, and effectively respond to new challenges is essential for success.

Fireside chat with Beth Rylatt, Head of Business Change, Air Sector, BAE Systems
Interviewer: Deborah Feakins, Founder, Marlowe Consulting

 🕑  14:25-15:15  |  How can you better navigate brave conversations?

Join this interactive session to learn some of the key tools and management techniques useful for the 'not-so-easy' conversations often faced in the workplace. Whether it be delivering feedback to a poorly performing team member, sharing bad news with a stakeholder, disagreeing with a colleague - this session will help you prepare yourself for those all-too-common situations, for positive outcomes.

  • What is a 'difficult' conversation, why do they happen, and why do they feel difficult?

  • How can we adjust our mindset to reframe the conversation

  • Tips on navigating them successfully - 5-step toolkit

Session facilitator: Marion Thomas, Chief Trailblazer, ExtraordinaryPM
Host: Kay Sanders, CEO, CITI Ltd

🕑  15:15-15:35  |  Afternoon refreshments

 🕑  15:35-16:35  |  Women in leadership

A panel of senior project professionals will share their learnings from their career journeys.
  • What would you say are your career highlights, the factors that have accelerated your progression?
  • Are there any challenges that you have faced and what are they? What would you say are the lessons you have learned on your journey. What would you have done differently with the benefit of hindsight?
  • What would you say are your top tips for women already in the profession or for those who want to join?
Chair: Shireen Ali-Khan, Intersectionality Lead, Women in Transport, and Specialist Consultant
Emma Burrows, Associate Partner, PA Consulting
Martina Blake, Head of the office for Project and Programme Management, UK Space Agency
Heloise Douglas, Project Delivery Capability Development Lead, British Army Programmes

 🕑  15:35-16:35  |  How to manage stress in a project management environment

Learn the findings of recent research on well-being related issues in project-based organisations, including gender bias and burnout. Stress management for project management professionals. Organisational cultures and the menopause.

Chair: Sarah Outterson, Project Manager, Babcock International Group
Dr Sara Hajikazemi, Senior Lecturer [Associate Professor] in Project Management, MSc Project Management Programme Leader (London Campus) University of the West of Scotland and Committee Member, APM WiPM SIG
Rachel Jackson, Lead Planner, Anglo American, and Committee Member, APM WiPM SIG
Sunchana Johnston, Freelance Consultant, and Author of upcoming book, How to Successfully Manage Stress for Project Managers
Host: Kay Sanders, CEO, CITI Ltd

🕑  16:40-17:25  |  Closing keynote: Addressing the biggest leadership challenges PMs face - Lessons learned from the Executive Coach

Susanne is known for developing leadership development programmes globally and has worked with many high-profile companies such as JP Morgan, Citigroup, Philips, BAM and NXP to name just a few.

In addition, Susanne is a popular key note speaker on the topic of leadership, emotional intelligence and stress. She is a fully qualified Corporate and Executive coach, an NLP Practitioner and is DISC accredited.

Susanne Madsen, Project Leadership Coach, and Award-winning Author of 'The Power of Project Leadership'
Host: Milla Mazilu, Chair, APM and Head of Advanced Analytics, Network Rail, Wales & Western

🕑  17:25-17:40  |  Closing remarks

Irene Maposa, Senior IT Project Manager, and APM WiPM SIG Committee Member
Adam Boddison, CEO, APM

🕑  17:40-18:40  |  Drinks reception

All welcome