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The Arras People 2011 Benchmark Report is out – and this year the study shows some interesting facts about pay.

Pay for female project professionals peaks at the £30k to £40k salary band.  Salaries for women over £65k are rare, and only 15% of women earn over £50k.

Male salaries plateau between £30k and £50k with 47% of the male project community falling into this section.  Another 40% earn over £50k.

Fair enough: you probably will find more women in project co-ordinator or support positions, or in part-time roles.  But when you look at the respondents who specifically identified themselves as project managers, there are interesting parallels.

The gender balance is almost even between men and women earning less than £30k. The most common salary for female project managers falls in the £30k to £40k bracket. We see gender balance again in the £40k to £50k range, but – as reflected in the overall analysis – 30% of male project managers earn over £50k, compared with only 12% of female project managers.

Perhaps it is because we are paid less that women manage the cheap, small projects. Something isn’t right there.

The situation for contractors

The gender pay gap for contractors is widening.  Last year 38% of women earned £349 per day, compared to 32% of men. This year, more men have shifted into the higher paid bracket of £350+ per day, while 49% of women now fall into this bracket.

Only 15% of female contractors earn between £500 and £749 per day, compared to a third of men.

Is maternity pay an excuse for sexism?

Just for the record, sexism at work is not allowed

“Whilst these are interesting changes, it may be in part due to the distribution of gender across roles,” says the survey.  This could well be the case. One respondent reported that ageism and sexism were “still allowed” in the contract market.

Just for the record, sexism at work is not allowed, although you only have to speak informally to women to know that discrimination of all sorts is still very much a part of working life.

Alistair Tebbit, Institute of Directors spokesman, believes sexism at work will get worse with the EU voting to extend maternity leave to 20 weeks on full pay. “It is not desirable for the EU to create a large tax, in effect, on employing women,” he said. “Such a step is unlikely to improve the prospects of women in the workplace.”

MEPs also voted to give men two weeks’ paternity leave at full pay. The European Council now has to discuss the proposals, and this could take some time.

I’m all for laws increasing maternity pay, but I’m also keen to see effort put into enforcing some of the equal pay legislation we already have. In the meantime, women (pregnant or not) have 58 years to wait before they earn the same as their male counterparts. I really hope we can do better than that.


The Social Media & Project Management Survey returns

This year I am once again running the Social Media in a Project Environment survey.

This time last year lots of you completed the survey and the results (which you can access on my blog; scroll down to Social Media Survey Results 2010) provided a snapshot of how social media tools were being used by project managers and in project environments.

In case you missed it, the survey is open until the end of the month, and I would really value your input.

Thanks for contributing!

Take the survey now!

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Social Media in a Project Environment: 2011 Survey

This year I am once again running the Social Media in a Project Environment survey.  This time last year lots of you completed the survey and the results provided a snapshot of how social media tools were being used by project managers and in project environments.

This year I have tweaked the survey slightly to give us clearer results, but it should allow for a comparison between 2010 and 2011.   As before, there are 9 questions which take less than 5 minutes to complete.

The last question gives you the option to enter your email address to receive a copy of the results when they are available.

Click here to complete the survey now.

Thank you!

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Earlier this year I ran a survey looking at the uses of social media and enterprise collaboration tools in a project environment.  Thank you, if you participated.  I had responses from 32 countries and nearly 250 people, so I was very pleased with the breadth of data I was able to gather.

I did have a couple of people contact me to say that they didn’t believe social media tools had a place in project management.  The survey bears that out – to some degree.  More people aren’t using social media at work than are.  But those that are get some benefit from it.

The range of tools in use across organisations show that both large and small corporations are adopting social media and enterprise collaboration tools.  From Google Docs to Basecamp, Yammer to Ning, respondents named over 40 tools they used both personally and professionally.  The most widely used tool for business purposes was Microsoft SharePoint, with 48% of respondents saying they use that in the workplace.  It was closely followed by LinkedIn, which is not surprising given that 86% of respondents said that use social media tools to stay in touch with colleagues.  Instant messaging tools were also popular for work and personal use, with 80% reporting they used these.

53% of survey respondents carry out meetings online.  49% use social media tools for project status updates and 43% said they manage their project team with social media tools.

The survey did highlight the fact that companies are not doing enough to quantify the benefits of using social media tools in the workplace.  Although 62% of respondents believe that the use of social media and enterprise collaboration tools have given them efficiency benefits in the form of improved communication, 10% say their companies have realised no financial benefits at all.  Over a third of companies are not tracking financial benefits and a quarter of companies are not tracking efficiency benefits either.

The lack of interest in benefits implies that the 46% of companies who have formally adopted social media and enterprise collaboration tools have taken a punt on the fact that they will receive some kind of pay-off for the effort involved in implementing new technology.  Project managers agree that there are benefits to be had, with 82% feeling that social media and enterprise collaboration tools can/do improve the way they manage their projects.  It seems as if companies are unwilling or unable to work out how to measure the benefits, which is perhaps an enlightened approach – after all, who measured the benefits of text messaging or email?

If you’re interested in reading more from the survey, you can download a .pdf of the results here.


PM News round-up

Lots of little announcements today.

So What giveaway: last few days

If you haven’t entered the giveaway to win a copy of Mark Magnacca’s book So What?: How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience you have until Friday.  Find out how to enter here.

Social Media in a Project Environment survey

I’ve had over 200 responses to my social media for project management survey, which is a lot more than I ever expected!  Thanks, guys.  If you haven’t done it yet, I’ll be closing the survey soon, so please take the time to give me your opinions on how social media can help project managers deliver projects better.  You can enter the survey here.

PMI Events

The dates for the 2010 PMI research and education conference have been announced.  It’s 11-14 July in Washington and this year there will be new interactive sessions.

There’s research funding up for grabs as well, so if you are academically inclined and want to bid for a slice of US$50,000 the call for proposals opens on Monday.


The Programme & Project Support Office Specialist Interest Group (PPSOSIG) has also announced some events.  The new London branch will be meeting on 25 February to discuss the new P3O Practitioner accreditation and Peter Taylor (you know him, the Lazy one) will be making an appearance.  And it’s free!

PPOSIG’s next national conference will be 19 March at the Open University in Milton Keynes.

Is your diary full of project management commitments and events yet?  It should be.  This year networking and sharing skills is going to be even more important, as there are still likely to be job cuts and limits on training budgets as we hobble out of the recession.  So make the most of the free project management events happening near you and online!


State of the Industry: your say

If you have taken my social media for project management survey and have got the taste for giving your opinion about project management, Arras People are also running their comprehensive Benchmark Report again this year.  You can have your say about the state of the project management industry in the UK via their website.  It is also very short, so you can fit it in this Friday lunchtime.  It’s work – you are contributing to important project management research!  And you can use that excuse for my social media survey, too.

The Arras industry survey closes on 15 January 2010.