Celebrating Differences makes the Difference
Project management has been characterized as a “macho profession” in the 1990s (Cartwright, 1995). In the 20th century a successful project manager was a tough, hard-working guy who impressed his team and the stakeholders by his mental and physical power. Following literally the quote “actions speak louder than words” a project manager would have also lend a hand with the realization of the necessary tasks himself.
Times have changed within the last 20 years: today a successful project manager is one who can manage relationships, who can deal with the complexity and uncertainty, who is able to cope with different cultures, who shows emotional intelligence, can listen carefully, is able to build up trust and to solve conflicts. We observe a shift in the profession from a technological planning and control based discipline towards the focus on interactions and inter-human competences. Competences that are linked to women.
Women were never in history better educated than today. By nature women tend to be good natural team players with psychological competences, good intuition, the capability to integrate, they are creative and flexible – they are good in many competence areas of todays interconnected project life. The bi-annual career and income study in Project Management in Germany and Austria shows that female project managers are better educated and higher qualified than their male colleagues. However women still fail in climbing the project career ladder, they remain in the lower management positions with lower income. Obviously good education and profound competences are not enough to reach senior management positions.
But corporations and economies cannot afford to waste these talents any longer. In their annual study on Women in the Workplace 2016 McKinsey and LeanIn found out that 87 % of the CEO´s of the researched companies see gender equality as their top priority. Why are they doing so? Having more women as project managers will lead to different approaches how projects are planned and directed. Women change the way how projects are managed. This includes the leadership and communication style, team development processes, or the way of coping with new challenges in projects. The 2nd Diversity in Project Management conference 2018 by IPMA takes place from June 7th – 9th in Croatia. The theme of this year´s conference is “Celebrating Differences makes the Difference”. The conference will deal with the challenges that differences bring to an organization i.e. diversity into the staffing of project teams and how to come to more diverse project teams in a world where diversity is not yet the key. How to bring along the ruling class of mainly Caucasian men and the feeling that more of the same won’t bring the required success anymore in a more and more diverse world? How to overcome the challenges and conflicts that can derive from diverse, heterogeneous project teams? The conference wants to show best practice approaches to create a high-performance team out of a formerly group of culturally diverse individuals and other instruments than quotas to bring in a more diverse workforce in organizations.
There is a call for paper for presentations (academic or professional), the dateline for submitting the abstracts is March 30th, 2018. The best papers will be published in the OTMC journal or the European Project Management Journal. The submission of abstracts, papers and presentations is sent to [email protected]