Dear PMI South Africa Chapter members

Happy Women’s Month!

I think it is fortuitous that my first letter to you is in August, a month dedicated to acknowledging women’s contributions to creating the new South African society. August 9 is Women’s Day.

As a woman, I am keenly aware of the need to be inclusive in support of the professional development of women project managers. Project management has been historically viewed and dominated as a man’s profession, due to project management’s origin in the defense industries and the technical field of engineering. While this is changing, the presence of women in project management varies from industry to industry. It is important to note here our progress in South Africa, based on the number of female project management professionals (PMPs). While the figures for PMPs in our chapter do not provide a complete picture of the number of female project managers, it does provide us a picture of those who are developing professionally in South Africa.

Women comprise around 20% of our current membership of 767. Our estimates show that out of the current 367 PMPs, around 78 or approximately 21% are women. Six women out of 21 members are certified in CAPM, or about 28%. We have much more work to do to encourage and support the development of women professional project managers.

PMI SA’s vision is to advance project management careers and the profession in South Africa. We want to support our members to have a professional approach to the management of projects and to contribute to the growth, appreciation and acceptance of professional project management as critical to development in the country. Strategic initiatives, to bring about change, growth and sustainable development, are projects—projects that need to create value and benefits. Professional and inclusive project management is critical in government, private business and not for profit sectors which are key drivers for development across the society. Value creation requires co creation. Enduring development requires inclusion. Projects have the potential to operate as the quintessential value and benefits co-creation organs. Inclusive project management can help bring this about.

Growing the project management profession means ensuring support to women and acknowledging their contributions. We look forward to hearing directly from women project managers to let us know what you are doing, your challenges and accomplishments, or from any project manager, so we can recognize you for your contributions and growth in the profession.

As a professional organization, PMI South Africa is dedicated to providing value-added services to enhance your performance and career potential. We do this through offering you opportunities to access new knowledge and skills. This happens through monthly branch meetings and presentations on key areas of project management, covering the PMI talent triangle of technical PM skills, leadership, and strategy and business competence. The provision of presentations, workshops, fora, networking and special events increases your learning while enabling you to earn professional development units to maintain your PMI certification. Our activities draw on the global network of PMI resources. We enhance the value from these resources by rooting them in the South African context and helping to develop and provide access to the community of professionals working in project management. This enables you to develop a quality benchmark that encourages improved personal performance and the achievement of successful projects.

Recent chapter events, in addition to monthly members’ meetings, include the launch of the Port Elizabeth satellite branch on June 8, focusing on the Professional Project Manager: Creating Value for Business; the Cape Town lunch time event on July 20, “Professional in Business Analysis: Ensuring Business Value in Projects”; and Mentoring Circles on the PMI Talent Triangle in Johannesburg on July 15. These events were well attended, engaging, and provided valuable information, according to members and non-members who attended. We want to ensure that these and other activities and events are available to members throughout our chapter.

As a voluntary professional organization, PMI SA is dedicated to serving its members. This service is based in volunteering. Chapter activities are planned and offered through the service of our members who volunteer at the executive level, the branch level, in committees and for specific activities or events. As a volunteer organization, we can only be as vibrant as our members who are willing to offer their expertise, and time—little or a lot. We have volunteer opportunities that could take an hour a week, several hours a month, or anything in between. It is a great way to develop and test leadership and other new skills and try out your PM skills in new environments. Volunteer opportunities are available at the four branches: Gauteng/Johannesburg/Pretoria, KZN/Durban, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth. Our chapter cannot exist without volunteers.

We are all trying to make our mark professionally. However, as a colleague recently said, “You can’t make the mark, unless you make a mark.” Make your mark! Volunteer with PMI SA and see just what you can do to develop yourself professionally, enable chapter activities in your region, and make your mark on the development of project management in South Africa.

Remember to vote in the upcoming elections and watch out on information on the Annual General Meeting to be held August 17 in Johannesburg.

Have an impactful Women’s Month!

Dr. Lynn A. Keeys, PMP
President/CEO
PMI South Africa Chapter

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