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Inspirational Female Leaders and Managers


Published: 17th February 2021

Whilst the world of project management may be seen as a predominately male one, there are in fact some incredibly successful female leaders and managers out there who we can take inspiration from, whether we’re taking our first tentative steps into project management, or we’re just looking for someone to learn from. As we approach March the 8th, International Women’s Day, it seems like a good time to take a look at why women in project management are often in high demand.

Let’s take a look at just 8 of the inspirational female leaders and managers who have really made their mark in their field and are women.

Katherine Graham

Katherine (Kay) Graham, worked for the Washington post, a major American Newspaper; she was the very first female publisher there. It wasn’t until the movie premiere of “The Post” that her persona really took its place on the map. She was portrayed by Meryl Streep, the multi award winning actress, as a persistent, strong and brave women. Graham was responsible for making the decision to publish the documentation about the infamous Watergate scandal.

Whilst strictly speaking Graham was not in fact engaged in project management, she should be considered as both a great manager and leader; a woman who had the capacity and skills to lead her company to success regardless of the risks that she faced, thanks in part due to the clear vision that the company had. This type of attitude is particularly sought-after in the field of project management.

Sheryl Sandberg

Not only is Sheryl Sandberg the chief operating office (COO) of Facebook, but she is also the founder of (the Lean in Foundation). She was also the first female to hold a position on the board of directors at Facebook. She is the author of the bestseller “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead”. In the business world she works to spread the importance of a female presence and the leadership of women in the world of business. The example afforded by Sandberg shows how any woman can be not only good at managing a company but also a great leader.

Wendy Kopp

Wendy Kopp is the co-founder and CEO of TechforAll a non-profit organisation which looks for companies who provide solutions which are designed to make life easier. She is also the founder of Teach for America (TFA). This is also a non-profit organisation which was set up with the aim of offering the opportunity for young people to access education and learn.

Kopp is another woman who was able to achieve a successful position in the world of business. Because of her work to close the economic and social gap for young people, she has made it possible for other women to be inspired to aim high and take the necessary risks to succeed.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The director and the chair of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University and a Harvard Business School professor of business, Rosabeth Moss Kanter has worked hard to achieve her position as an inspirational leader. Whilst she has many scientific works to her name, she is also distinguished by her numerous books on change management and her works written on the subject of management have been acclaimed widely by critics.

Muriel Siebert

The first women to ever own a seat on the Stock Exchange in New York, Siebert was also the very first women to be at the head of one of the member firms of the New York Stock Exchange as well. People do not generally recognise being a part of the NYSE as a job for a woman making this a particularly important achievement.

Siebert is also known for her strong support of women working in the world of business. This is an approach that can be especially inspiring for any women considering a role in the field of project management.

Rebecca Winston

In the world of project management, Rebecca Winston is without a doubt an inspiring individual. She is not only a former Vice-Chair, Chair and Fellow of the Project Management Institute (PMI) but she is also a product and project consultant to the US Government. She has considerable experience and a broad knowledge in her field making her a highly sought-after expert in project management.


Whilst it is really great to have role models who can serve as the much-needed inspiration for your work it is always important to remember that we should not compare ourselves to someone else. This is particularly important when there is always likely to be someone else who is managing to do things that little bit better. Remember to be the very best version of yourself that you can be, use your project management qualifications and always strive to give 100% of yourself in your work and then YOU will be amongst the very best project managers that are out there.

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