Welcome to the Autumn 2019 APM Women in Project Management SIG newsletter
APM Women in Project Management SIG – Autumn Newsletter 2019
- Welcome message from our Chair
- Events update
- WiPM vision and strategy
- Road to chartered status - becoming a ChPP
- Update events of interest
- Books and links we like
- And finally...
1. Welcome message from our Chair
Welcome to the autumn APM WiPM SIG newsletter. This is my first newsletter as Chair and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the members of the committee who have recently stood down, your hard work and enthusiasm has been vital for the success of the SIG. I would also like to thank Adeline Daly for her tireless work as Chair last year.
The new committee have been working with me to develop this year's strategy. We have been asking what our membership want us to work on over the next year to make a difference for women in project management. There is a taster of our plans for the next year in the newsletter. I think it will be an exciting year.
I can’t go on without mentioning the highlight of the summer for the SIG, the APM Women in Project Management Conference 2019. The conference was well attended with over 600 people coming to the event. The organising committee did an amazing job arranging an array of entertaining and inspiring speakers. The atmosphere at the event was incredible and all the people I spoke to took a great deal away from it.
One of the new features at this year’s conference was the introduction of a number of support sessions for women wanting guidance and mentoring about working towards becoming a Chartered Project Professional (ChPP). These sessions booked up incredibly quickly and it was great to talk to women at different stages in their progress towards achieving ChPP.
The APM WiPM SIG is also proud to be working with the APM to set up a mentoring programme with the aim of supporting people in the ChPP application process. There was a lot of interest in this at the conference and I am looking forward to updating you on this at the next newsletter. We also have our first profile on a female ChPP in this edition of the newsletter. If you are Chartered and want to have your profile in a future newsletter, let us know.
APM WiPM SIG Chair
2. Events update
Thursday 26 September 2019 saw the return of the annual APM Women in Project Management Conference, held at the recently opened 133 Houndsditch ETC venue in London. We are delighted this years sold out attendance of 600 delegates were greatly inspired by a host of dynamic, thought provoking and motivating speakers, with this year’s theme ‘Diversity Delivers’ as our focus.
Diversity brings different mind sets, skills, priorities and challenges to the profession. It exposes project professionals to other perspectives in a way that project team members can grow and empower each other. The conference aimed to challenge how diversity can deliver better balance in the project profession, exploring the role of diversity in embracing transformation and change and the tools and techniques that can be utilised within delegates professional and personal lives.
This year’s conference kicked off with warm opening remarks from the conference Chair, Adeline Daly. APM’s first female President Sue Kershaw addressed the audience on what APM has been up to in the past year and how the Chartered status is bolstering the organisation and the profession. We were also inspired and entertained by our two keynote speakers, Claire Lomas MBE, spinal injury charity campaigner and fundraiser, and Cally Beaton, a stand-up comedian and former member of a TV executive board. Delegates had options to choose from various sessions in three streams: Better Balance, Transformation & Change and Tools & Techniques.
Feedback from the conference has been hugely positive. You can catch up on what happened on APM’s website, the Youtube Channel and view some of the presented slide material and amazing pictures from the day in the photo gallery.
The APM WiPM SIG committee would like to extend our thanks to the APM organising committee for another successful conference we are proud to champion. We also offer our sincere thanks to conference chair and departing committee Chair Adeline Daly. We look forward to start planning for 2020!
3. WiPM vision and strategy
Every year we are tasked with updating our SIG strategy – and this year is no exception. In order to continue to support our objectives and vision, we will be adopting the following strategy:
- Empowering women in projects - engagements in workshops
- Mentoring - Enabling more women into Chartership, RPP & FAPM
- Supporting women in project management groups around the world
- Being visible - A role model
- Having critical conversations
- Being seen as inclusive
- Voice for all women - Diversity (intersectionality)
- More women in leadership
- Connect more with other SIGs/branches
4. Road to chartered status - becoming a ChPP
When the team working on this newsletter asked me to write about becoming a ChPP, I was not sure what to write. I applied through Route 2 as I was already an RPP and was one of the first cohorts of ChPPs. I thought that my journey of how I got there might be interesting to others thinking about taking the first steps towards becoming chartered.
My journey towards Chartership started in 2016 when I heard that the Chartered Standard was being developed by the APM. At that point I was a MAPM and had been a project manager for about 10 years working in the aerial survey and offshore geotechnical engineering industries. It was exciting to know that the Chartered Standard was being developed and I could work towards something that would show all the work that I had put in during that time and demonstrate that I was as much a professional as the Chartered Engineers and Surveyors that I regularly worked with.
I attended an evening session in Southampton about becoming a Registered Project Professional (RPP) and was told that working towards this would also help towards becoming Chartered. Well my course was set. I downloaded the RPP guidance the next day. I spent three months planning, writing, re-writing and re-writing again my submission showing the projects that I worked on, how they were complex and how I demonstrated my ability to do all the PM Competencies. I think that the hardest thing was getting everything that I wanted to say in the word limit. I even had a spreadsheet tracking what I had done and how many words I used. Pressing send on the email to the APM containing my portfolio was one of the most satisfying moments ever.
Then there was the waiting to find out if my submission was OK and if I was going through to the next phase. I am not always very good at waiting so this was not easy for me. I finally got the email asking me to an interview. A big sigh of relief, my portfolio was OK, followed by a worried thought (or six) about a two hour interview.
The interview was tough. The examiners were very pleasant but they went through my portfolio with a fine tooth comb and grilled me on it, looking at my project experience, my knowledge of project management and my approach to leadership and ethics. I haven't had to work so hard in an interview since I defended my thesis at university. I was so happy when I found out two weeks later that I had passed and had yet more letters after my name. I had achieved the first stepping stone on my path towards being Chartered.
When the applications for being Chartered came out I was ready and waiting. The morning that the applications portal was launched I was ready to submit my evidence. I had a couple of IT related hiccups but 15 minutes after the portal opened I had applied to be Chartered.
Then came the interview stage, this was a half hour interview via Skype. Although it felt gentler than the grilling I had for my RPP interview, the examiner still questioned me thoroughly to find out if I was Chartered Project Professional material.
The first cohort of ChPPs was announced on Tuesday 31 October 2018. Normally the focus in our house would be on Halloween and trick or treating, not that year. I was overjoyed when I found out I was one of the first Chartered Project Professionals ever.
As you can see my journey was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Was it worth it? Definitely! Do I have any top tips? Oh yes!
- Take your time writing your portfolio submission. There will be many drafts involved.
- Pick projects and examples that showcase your ability.
- Ask someone to read your submission and provide some feedback.
- Stick to the word limits. Anything over the word count is cut off and will probably make no sense to your examiner.
- Prepare for your interview. The examiners will want to cover a lot of material in your interview and will want examples of what you did.
For those of you who are thinking about applying for Chartership, I recommend that you do. It is very rewarding. There is support available for people working on their applications. There was a ChPP support stand at the 2019 WiPM conference and it was lovely to talk to so many potential ChPPs on the day. The APM has also just launched a pilot mentoring scheme with the APM WiPM SIG to support people on their road towards Chartership. I hope that this will grow and provide support to many people.
I wish you all good luck with your own journeys to Chartership.
#Takethefirststep #ChPP #GetChartered
5. Upcoming events of interest
International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020
This is an annual global event that celebrates the achievement of women all around the world and promotes the benefits of a more balanced and equal society.
Events are being planned for March 2020 and will be organised in collaboration with other SIGs. More details will follow in the next edition of the newsletter.
6. Books and links we like
It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace: Women’s Conflict at Work and the Bias that Built it
by Andrea S. Kramer and Alton B. Harris
Mind the gap, the gender pay gap
by Vicki Griffiths
Research summary series
"The aura of capability": Gender bias in selection for a project manager job
by Jeffrey K. Pinto, Peerasit Patanakul and Mary Beth Pinto
Each quarter we will include links to articles, webpages, blogs and book reviews of interest to the members of our community. If you have any suggestions, please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
7. And finally...
Adetoun Ayilara and Briony Bragg
APM Women in Project Management SIG committee members - newsletter co-editors