Shopping is a matter of opinion

Last week’s womenintechnology event was full of questions about project management. People were mostly interested in how to get into project management.
The panel was comprised of JPMorgan’s technology, project, and programme managers. Helen Duguid, from Do-Good Consulting, also answered questions about qualifications. Although it’s difficult to give advice on the qualifications required to succeed, the consensus was that a project management qualification is a good idea if you have the chance.
Stephanie Talbot, a programme leader, stated that women make great project mangers because they can think, talk and write and are good with people. I’ve known great male project managers who could do all these things. I also know women who can’t organize their Christmas shopping. But if we are going to generalize, then I agree with her.
Maxine Varney suggested that, if you are interested in career advancement, then getting project and programming experience is extremely valuable. She pointed out that many of the more straightforward tasks, such as coding, are being offshored or outsourced. There is a growing demand to be able to lead and manage projects and programmes.
The panel was also asked to share their top tip for getting ahead. Maxine’s tip is the only one I can remember: go shopping. Accept that others will judge you within the first few seconds of a meeting. Even though we may be uncomfortable about it, clothes and shoes are an important part in people’s perceptions of us. I was so happy to be in the front row wearing my best suit and shining shoes. That was the only spontaneous response of all the evening. She received a round of applause. You can put a group of successful, senior women in a room and they will still be able to turn the conversation around to shopping.

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