08 March 2024 | 10:00
Laura Lasaite

Empowering Women in Project Management: Celebrating Diversity and Leadership on International Women’s Day

In Lithuania, my homeland, International Women’s Day on March 8th is profoundly celebrated. Streets burst into colors with flowers, a symbol of appreciation gifted to women of all ages.

Now, working in an international setting, I’m fortunate to collaborate with highly professional, accomplished, and sharp-minded individuals, particularly in the IPMA Operations team, predominantly comprised of women.

It’s truly inspiring to witness women in leadership roles within IPMA Governance – as Vice Presidents, Chairs of Boards and Committees, Global Coordinators, Auditors, Product Directors, and Project Managers. Notably, women chair both the IPMA Finance and Ethics Committees, as well as the Young Crew Management Board. This marks a significant shift in a historically male-dominated profession, paving the way for young female leaders to claim their rightful place at the governing table. Younger generations need relatable role models and mentors in upper-level positions. It’s time for inclusive leadership in the business world.

Although women’s representation among the IPMA’s highest recognition – the Honorary Fellowship – stands at just 13% (6 out of 45 Honorary Fellows), it’s heartening to see progress, with hopes for continued growth.

As a part of the annual reporting, IPMA requested our national Member Associations to report membership numbers by gender. This was a challenging task, as not all countries distinguishmembers by gender due to national customs, regulations, or other reasons. Yet, nearly 50% of IPMA MAs across 31 countries responded with gender-specific data. Among regular individual members, the gender ratio reported was 1/3 female to 2/3 male. Could it be influenced by societal and cultural norms, work-life balance challenges, or maybe a simple confidence gap? 

However, a promising trend emerges among Young Crew members, approaching a 50/50 split, indicating an increase in young female project managers under 35. Once again, women’smentorship could play a crucial role here in supporting and empowering female professionalsand consequently ensuring gender equity in the projects led by the new generation.

This is to honor the diversity within project teams and celebrate female leaders in project management, who bring unique perspectives, drive innovation, and enhance team dynamics with their leadership skills. Their achievements not only set a high bar for excellence but also inspire the next generation of women in this field. IPMA is committed to orchestrating the project profession for a better world, and ensuring gender equity and inclusion is fundamental in creating this better world.

Written by
Laura Lasaite

IPMA Director of Operations & Compliance

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