• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Sub-Saharan Africa is bridging gender gap in project mgt – Survey

How to set up a project management office (PMO)

A new global survey has said the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region made steady progress in addressing gender imbalance in the project management industry.

According to the survey by Project Management Institute (PMI), a U.S.-based not-for-profit professional organisation that analysed data from over 1,900 female project professionals, male project managers outnumber their female counterparts worldwide in every sector, but the gaps differ significantly by region and industry.

“The gender gap in project management is universal. Male project professionals outnumber females in every region worldwide, but the disparities are most significant in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia Pacific, and South Asia. Gender gaps are lowest in North America, SSA and China,” PMI said in a statement.

George Asamani, managing director at the PMI Sub-Saharan Africa region, said while it is important to have more female representation, we need to look at how we can build capacity and create opportunities for education and training and for women to take on leadership roles.

“There is a glaring disparity which has immediate negative implications for project teams. 88 percent of project professionals say having diverse project teams increases value. Workplace gender equality is not just about inclusivity, it also has a compelling commercial imperative,” she said.

Data from the International Labour Organisation shows that the global labour force participation rate for women is fewer than 47 percent, compared with 72 percent for men.

“This gender gap in employment is even starker in project management, where male project managers outnumber female project managers by 3:1,” the PMI statement said.

The survey also found that women earn less than men and are slightly less likely to have a project management certification or degree. “While there are fewer women in the project workforce, they are slightly less likely than men to have a leadership role.”

For Africa’s biggest economy, the salary difference between the female and their male counterparts is nine percent.

“Stimulating dialogue on female representation in the workplace, especially on occasions like International Women’s Day, is crucial to driving awareness. Achieving gender balance in the sector won’t happen by accident,” Ifeanyi Shokoya, North Branch Lead, PMI Nigeria Chapter said.

She said the women in project management report offers hard evidence of where the gaps are and should help organisations take deliberate and strategic actions to fill those gaps.

“Agenda 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. And achieving the goals therein rests on the successful management of the flagship projects. Organisations need to be intentional about building inclusive workplaces. We can and must do better,” she added.

Despite the gaps in earnings and certification, the PMI data showed that the disparity in leadership roles is relatively tiny as 21 percent of women report some level of management role, compared to 23 percent of men.

“Leadership positions include Project Management Office director, portfolio manager, product manager, functional manager, and development manager,” the statement said.