Contemporary Issues In Project Management - Gender

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GENDER AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT The term "gender" refers to the male and female roles shaped by a society, learned indi¬vidually and re-negotiated by each new gene¬ration. Male/female roles are determined pri¬marily by the social, cultural and economic organisation of a society, and by the prevailing religious, moral and legal perceptions. Female and male roles and scope for action are not static, but are subject to constant change. They can vary enormously from one society to another, and even within any one society there can be significant differences depending on social class, family status, and ethnic or reli¬gious background. These roles are not neutral but characterised by different possibilities for making choices, and different rights and deci¬sion-making powers; generally to the disad¬vantage of women. In contrast to the societal-ly-shaped role, or gender, the biological sex is determined at birth and is unalterable. Gender is an issue for every sector and every level of intervention. It is clear that in the context of our work gender should be seen as a cross-sectoral theme which is relevant at various levels of intervention and across all sectors, including those often termed "technical sectors", such as transport and construction. In very few instances, say projects covering solely the supply of materials and equip¬ment, can projects adopt a non-gender-differen¬tiated procedure. Gender Imbalance in Project Management Recruitment Though more women are now getting involved, project management it is still dominated by men. Is this because of sexist attitudes of recruiters, or is it because of some other reasons? Female Project Managers, who had established themselves in project management in spite of their gender sometimes express real feelings of intimidation as part of their early experiences when they stepped into this predominantly male discipline.

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