Earning Respect as a Project Manager & a Woman

As a project manager, you are needed to oversee projects from start to end. You have to undertake several steps from initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing within the projected period of time. This means leading a team of different professionals who take various roles in the projects. But, for you to be able to lead and show direction, earning respect from your team is paramount. You must agree that gaining respect from team members doesn’t come automatically for leaders. Moreover, you have to work a little harder if you are a woman, especially when leading male colleagues. Here are some tips that you can implement in your leadership to earn the respect that you deserve.

Prove your capabilities

For the people that you are leading to see your worth and give you respect, you have a task of showing them that you are capable and equal to the task. For this reason, ensure that you know your job well and what you are required to do. Before taking up a role as a project manager, ensure that you get the required training. In addition, strive to keep learning and improving your project management skills. One way to ensure this is by undergoing the PMP Certification training. The Project Management Professional certification is accepted worldwide, which expands the opportunities pool for you. In addition, this certification proves your ability to manage people and processes for the successful completion of projects

Carry yourself respectfully

How you carry yourself says a lot about you. Moreover, most people will only respect you if you respect yourself first. How that is going to happen is by understanding that a project manager is a leader and acting professionally in all aspects. It is good to forge relationships with your colleagues, but be very careful not to let them cross beyond work boundaries. Be sure to draw a line between the workplace and your social life. Avoid office gossip and politics. If you go for happy hours, you might want to stay away from alcohol lest you start behaving in a way that can lead the team to lose the respect they had for you. In addition, dress in a way that will command respect.

Show respect for others

One thing that you need to keep in mind is that respect is reflected. Your team will give you the respect that you give them. If you treat your team badly, barking orders and insulting them, they end up losing respect for you. Sure, they will do what you say, but out of fear and not respect. So, if you want to be respected, start by respecting the people that you are working with. Listen to what they have to say, give orders politely, and correct them with kindness. In addition, avoid micromanaging your team members. Give clear instructions and trust them to complete the job.

Be a team player

Another thing that can easily make you lose respect is tossing your workload to the team. Show your team the importance of achieving the set goals by playing your part. Don’t be a person who always makes excuses. You are going to drag your team backward and they will do a good job at following your example. In addition, be ready to help when the team needs you. This means wearing an approachable and friendly demeanor so that your team sees you as the go-to person.

Be firm

As much as you need to be respectful and friendly, it is important to know when to lead. Being a woman, you can easily become a pushover with your team, especially if there are intimidating individuals. You will need to be very firm and confident to command the respect of the team. Make sure that you stick to the decisions that you make as long as they are for the benefit of the project. If you have to change your mind, let it be because you want to enhance your approach, but not because a few people swayed you to do it.


When leading a team as a project manager, it is paramount that they respect you for successful completion. However, not everyone will respect you because of your higher position. You will have to work hard to earn it as a person and as a leader. Most women leaders have it difficult. However, the above tips can come in handy to make it easier for you.

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