Projectified with PMI Podcast

Projectified with PMI is a podcast that delivers insights and perspectives from senior and rising project managers, business leaders in Fortune 500 companies and startups, best-selling authors, top researchers and a wide range of leading-edge thinkers.

Last month Lindsay Scott was a guest on the episode: Women in Project Leadership – Gaining Ground. This has been a big issue for a number of years of course but recently (with Hollywood gender pay gaps revealed) has blown up. We reported our findings from the 2018 Project Management Benchmark Report on this issue in the blog post: The Challenges of Gender in Project Management.

In This Podcast

Co-presenter, Teigan Jones highlights her concern about women in the project management space bringing us stats from a number of studies as well as introducing: Jane Canniff, Lindsay Scott and Carrie Fletcher to discuss what it takes to be a woman in charge and in project management.

Teigan raises the point “Diversity is power” and that oragnaisations increasing their talent pool is something that will bring about positive results.

However when looking at both the stats that Teigan has found from the 2018 PMI Salary Survey as well as the findings that Lindsay presents from the PMBR it is clear to see that the workplace is not yet completely equal.

Arras People: Latest PM Vacancies

Facts and Figures

  • 1/5 project managers in Brazil and Australia are female.
  • The UK fairs slightly better with 1/4 however this is still only a quarter.
  • The pay gap in the US is $11,000 between men and women for the same role. That’s roughly 9%.
  • In Europe it’s 10,000 or 12%.

There are many contributing factors to this, a study by Hired.com showed that firms interviewed only male candidates 46% of the time. However, the study also found that 2/3 women asked for less (around 6% less) but at the same time men were offered higher salary 63% of the time.

What’s Had an Impact on These Figures?

Lindsay believes that the lack of flexibility in the workplace has had a major impact “The other thing that we see a lot more as well and I’ve never really understood this is that projects, by their very nature should be allowed to, you know, have working practices that are flexible in terms of things like working hours. In my whole years, many years of recruiting, I could tell you on one hand how many part-time positions have come into our recruitment firm.”

This can impact both men and women of course, trying to balance raising a family and progressing your career is difficult and as it is women who predominately take time away from their careers to do this, lack of flexibility can impact them more.

Lindsay goes on “I think that’s what is impacting you know really impact women more. For example, if you have taken time out for your raising a family it makes it, you know, that often they’re wanting, to ease themselves back into a role rather than, bang, we’re straight into a big project.”

How Will this Change Going Forward?

The belief is a change in the way we work will come sooner rather than later. It will have to “thinking about going forward. I believe that there will be changes because I just think that the next generation coming up will probably demand more of it.

That’s what I’m just hearing about generationally what the next lot of the workforce will be looking for. And I think organizations will have to think better about how they can bring in flexible working because ultimately there’s going to be more women in the workforce anyway going forward. So it’s like how do we, you know, make sure that we’ve got the best people being able to work in the best way.”

If you want to listen to the full podcast it is available via the link below. It is free to listen to and provides interesting insights into the world of Project Management. Alternatively, you can find the transcript for Lindsay in this podcast below also.

Listen to the podcast here! 

Full Interview Transcript

Hello, Hi, I’m Lindsay Scott. I’m a director for Arras People, which is a company based in the U.K. We’re a specialist recruitment agency focused on project management. We have an annual benchmark report called the Project Management Benchmark Report and we’ve been doing this for the past 12 years. And one of the things that we’ve always covered is how gender differences play out in the project management profession.

It’s one of the interesting things we’ve seen around the whole project management profession is that, you know, is this, some legacy stuff, that projects and program management careers have always been seen as a second career. So people, what they mean by that, is that people’s first career is in things like construction and engineering, which were, you know, male-dominated industries. And it’s almost like that legacy is potentially where, you know, we see these figures still at a quite high level between males and females.

However, there was also gender stereotyping in terms of some of the roles. So, for example, and it’s probably no surprise, but from a project supporting type level you see that there are more females working in that kind of space which means that, you know, those supporting level roles are also at the low end of the salaries. But also things like you find that more females work in the public sector, for example. And that’s mainly because of things like, they’re having the flexibility and the organizational culture is perhaps what they prefer to look for in terms of fitting in with their ideal career choice. However, those kind of sectors are going to pay less than private sectors.

So again there are just different figures and the really interesting one that came out of a recent report is that actually when it comes to permanent salaries, that’s where you see a difference between the men and the women. However, if you look at people working in project management as a contractor or a freelancer, their salaries or their rates, their day rates and things are very comparable. So there’s not much difference between male and female.

The other thing that we see a lot more as well and I’ve never really understood this is that projects, by their very nature should be allowed to, you know, have working practices that are flexible in terms of things like working hours. In my whole years, many years of recruiting, I could tell you on one hand how many part-time positions have come into our recruitment firm. And actually, I think that’s what is impacting you know really impact women more. For example, if you have taken time out for your raising a family it makes it, you know, that often they’re wanting, you know, to ease themselves back into a role rather than, bang, we’re straight into a big project.

And, you know, it’s about being, thinking about going forward. I believe that there will be changes because I just think that the next generation coming up will probably demand more of it. That’s what I’m just hearing about generationally what the next lot of the workforce will be looking for. And I think organizations will have to think better about how they can bring in flexible working because ultimately there’s going to be more women in the workforce anyway going forward. So it’s like how do we, you know, make sure that we’ve got the best people being able to work in the best way.

 

 

 

 

 

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