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International Men’s Day: positivity amidst challenges for men in the project profession

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19 November marks International Men’s Day; a chance to celebrate the contribution men make to the project profession, but also to recognise what they see as the main challenges affecting the profession – both now and in the future – and to offer support.

Association for Project Management (APM) revealed the key concerns for the future in its most recent Salary and Market Trends Survey, with coronavirus and its ongoing impacts emerging as the main concern for both men and women who work on projects.

Among male project professionals who took part in the survey, 60 per cent said they saw coronavirus and its ongoing impacts as a major concern for the years ahead, with 20 per cent citing it as the single most significant challenge facing the profession.

  • Planning and delivering projects in the midst of a pandemic, or even now as the world’s focus shifts to post-COVID recovery, presents many issues and barriers to navigate. Project managers seeking guidance can visit APM’s YouTube channel, which contains many videos on COVID-related topics.
  • The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Project work often deals with fast paced and dynamic workloads that can contribute to feelings of stress. For men who may be experiencing difficulties, APM’s Mental health toolkit contains a range of useful resources.

The journey to net zero is also very much on the mind of men who are involved with projects, with 43 per cent of survey respondents saying they’re ‘not at all equipped’ or only ‘a little equipped’ to tackle net zero challenges in their projects.

There are many factors surrounding decarbonisation plans. Over a third (39 per cent) of men say there are competing priorities within their organisation causing issues. Also, whilst there is a strong desire to achieve net zero, 36 per cent say financial and investment restrictions are a cause for concern.

Moving forward with positivity

While the project profession does face unprecedented challenges, there are also many reasons to be positive. The survey showed that 84 per cent of male respondents are ‘fairly satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ in their current role, with most expressing a positive outlook for the profession and the economy.

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of men said they felt the project profession would be enhanced over the next five years. Furthermore, a combined 55 per cent of male project professionals rated the UK’s year-ahead economic prospects as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

In a changing and challenging world, the project profession has never been more important. Project professionals of all genders are at the forefront of delivering in the face of change or delivering change itself. The environment for project delivery is complex, which is why the project profession needs to be better understood. APM sees International Men’s Day as an opportunity to promote awareness and understanding, to provide clear, consistent standards and set the highest of bars.


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