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What can we do to encourage women into IT project management?

Last week, the BCS’s Project Eye blogged about the low numbers of women entering science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to pursue careers. Project and programme management is still required in this fields – so given that women choose project management as a career, why aren’t they choosing it in STEM areas?

I’ve teamed up with Dr Brendan D’Cruz from Newport Business School to try to look at this a bit further. We’d like to do some academically rigorous research into readers’ perspectives on a number of issues, and we hope to usefully gather the views of both men and women. We want to start by gathering your general thoughts on what employers, individuals and universities can do to support and encourage women into project management in IT and other areas. The focus is on IT because that’s what we both know best.

Leave a comment below or drop me an email and Brendan and I will use those (and the comments on the Project Eye blog) as the basis for working out what themes we should be researching.

This is what we are thinking about at the moment:

  • Why do women pick IT project management as a career, and what makes them leave or stay?
  • Should companies provide ‘extra’ support like women’s networks and mentoring schemes? Is there any evidence that these are successful and do they just discriminate against people who don’t take part?
  • Is there still a glass ceiling and what can we do about it?

Given my previous articles on the fact that women manage the small, cheap projects and women’s pay doesn’t match men’s, I think you’ve got a fair view of my opinions about equality at work. However, for me, this investigation is about what practical steps are required to make a difference. If you have any suggestions, let us know! Thanks.

About Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth HarrinElizabeth Harrin is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management in the UK and the award-winning blogger behind A Girl's Guide To Project Management. She's passionate about demystifying project management and making tools and techniques work in the real world. She's also the author of several books including the PMI bestseller, Collaboration Tools for Project Managers.

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