We ask two women practitioners who have made notable contributions to the community on their journey and their advice to others.
Share Best Practices and Build a Community
HOW HAS THE CHAMPION PROGRAM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
I have been part of the PMI South Asia Champion Program since 2016. I have been a passionate volunteer in my professional as well as personal capacity. After I got my PMP certification in 2016, I enrolled as a volunteer for the PMI Champion program for the advocacy of the project management profession. I have learned about PMI offerings that are suitable for various business needs. I have guided over 100 project managers and aspirants on project management in my organization and other organizations. In my previous organization, I co-founded a “PM Connect” initiative for over 300 project management professionals and organized various activities for the annual Project Management Day, including knowledge-sharing sessions with subject matter experts. The program has immensely helped me to be well-connected with the best minds in the project management profession, learn from their knowledge and experiences, and share mine too. Due to these contributions, PMI sponsored me for the PMI National Conference in Hyderabad in 2019.
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE WOMEN WHO WANT TO MAKE A CAREER IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
I would advise women who want to explore project management as a career to understand the nuances of project management and build their skill sets. Women need to be courageous and not get intimidated by any challenges. In my opinion, three skills stand out to be successful in this profession – communication, understanding people, and business. Be clear and concise in your communication.
Management guru Simon Sinek elucidates the importance of an understanding of stakeholders and business, saying, “100% of employees are people. 100% of customers are people. 100% of investors are people. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” This sums up how understanding stakeholders helps us understand the challenges and the risks proactively. It is important to understand why we are doing a project and what business value we are delivering to customers.
THERE ARE VERY FEW WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES. WHAT MUST ORGANIZATIONS DO TO IMPROVE THEIR DIVERSITY QUOTIENT?
Organizations are taking significant steps to improve the percentage of women leaders in their organization. In VMware, diversity and inclusion are core values that we continue to pursue daily. Our leaders are driving initiatives to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organizations. The VMware Taara program encourages women to return to work after a gap of more than five years and upskill themselves. VMware Nirmaan engages with women leaders in the technology industry. It provides a platform for women to come together to learn, share best practices, discuss, and build a community. With such women-centric initiatives, I am confident that many women will be in leadership roles and board rooms in the coming years.