What is diversity and inclusion in project management?

Embracing diversity and inclusion is an important part of project management. Value is created from difference and diverse teams can bring about higher performance. This is because project professionals and team members from diverse and different backgrounds and cultures are likely to have different experiences and perspectives they can bring to the team and project.

There can also be a strong sense of inclusion and community that is fostered when people of different backgrounds and abilities come together for a common purpose. As project professionals, we have the opportunity to improve outcomes by harnessing the diversity of the project team, stakeholders and people available.

Even when people are working in the same organisation and from the same cultural background, the project professional has the opportunity to embrace the diversity and capabilities of their team. There’s more to diversity than representing a range of backgrounds – it’s also about encouraging a range of perspectives and giving people the space to express them.

A positive working environment happens when:

  • people feel they can be themselves at work;
  • ideas and respectful challenge is encouraged;
  • differences are understood and welcomed

As a project manager, equality, diversity and inclusion are as much about understanding yourself as they are about those around you. A diverse team where everyone is encouraged to bring their whole self to work has the potential to yield brilliant results.

Featured resources

Human labels and how they affect project benefits

On the back of my last blog about neurodiversity in project management, I gave my interpretation of the term neurodiversity; and why it is critical that we consider the fact the people’s brains work differently; as part of project management... read blog



A surprise factor? Diversity as a condition for project success

It’s early days for the Association for Project Management’s study into the main factors behind project success, with interviews having only kicked off in September. But even so, some unexpected themes are emerging..... read blog

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Salary and Market Trends survey 2021:
Diversity in the project profession

In order to thrive and grow, the project profession must reflect the society in which it operates.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive profession is tough, but by collecting meaningful data, analysing it smartly and devising better approaches, significant progress is within our reach.

The Salary and Market Trend survey 2021 report summarises the results in the following areas:

  • Make-up of the profession by ethnicity
  • Impact of ethnicity on career development
  • Project professionals with a disability
  • How diverse and inclusive is the profession?
  • Ways to make the profession more diverse and inclusive

Read the full Diversity and Inclusion report 

Watch: Embracing diversity and inclusivity from APM Learning

APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition

The APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition is a foundational resource providing the concepts, functions and activities that make up professional project management. It reflects the developing profession, recognising project-based working at all levels, and across all sectors for influencers, decision makers, project professionals and their teams.

The seventh edition continues in the spirit of previous editions, collaborating with the project community to create a foundation for the successful delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios.

APM Body of Knowledge  Download free for members

Not a member? View benefits and join today 

Watch: HS2 - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

This session covered the following key areas; Why EDI matters to HS2. Workstreams on EDI. What good looks like. How we measure and report success. Challenges for the year ahead.

Project Innovators – Jenny McLaughlin, Heathrow

In this episode, Project editor Emma De Vita discusses diversity and inclusion with Jenny McLaughlin, a project manager at Heathrow Airport, who is also its disability network lead. Jenny is innovative in the way she threads inclusivity through every part of the projects she manages.

APM’s Diversity and Inclusion statement

As an employer, APM is committed to providing equality of opportunity, promote fairness and respect and does not tolerate discrimination. 

Read APM full Diversity and Inclusion statement

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