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Kuwaiti women being trained as project managers

by Yamurai Zendera on Mar 16, 2014




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The training of local women professionals is at the core of Faithful+Gould's work to set up a world-class project management office (PMO) for Kuwait’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW), the firm has said.

Faithful+Gould was appointed in June 2012 to set up the PMO that will oversee the country's multi-billion dollar infrastructure development programme.

The firm is training a team of 180 MPW professionals to manage and operate projects, with 90 of them women, typically with two to five years’ professional experience.

Most of the women are graduates - some with master’s degrees - in disciplines including architecture, civil engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and computer science. Some are now applying for PhD study.

In the first phase of the 30-month project, Faithful+Gould partnered with Kuwait United Development and specialist sub-consultant CMCS to review MPW’s existing organisation and the methods used to manage its projects. A tailor-made Project Control System (PCS) has been developed as the second phase, centralising and standardising planning, design, procurement, construction and operation processes. An evaluation and continued training phase will ensure that the newly embedded system is understood and fully functional.

The firm's team of 45 project managers is working closely with MPW to ensure significant legacy benefits. The resulting PMO capability will enable MPW to exercise ongoing control throughout the project lifecycle, including efficient operation and maintenance of completed projects.

The training of MPW’s professionals is part of a wider initiative in Kuwait, where incoming consultancies are required to contribute to the country’s investment in training and development. On this project the training comprised 39 days of formal tuition, followed by 39 days of project-based training.

Shani Foad, Faithful+Gould learning and development manager, said: "The women in MPW’s team are especially enthusiastic and receptive to the project management training they’re receiving. They also provide a great mutual support network for each other – a collaborative approach that helps women fulfil their potential in this traditionally male-dominated industry. The MPW women are determined to invest in their own training and self-development, which in turn invests in their country’s social and economic wellbeing.

"In the long term, women could form a significant part of Kuwait’s construction talent pool. The MPW team’s experience will hopefully inspire other Kuwaiti women to establish and sustain successful careers in the construction industry."

 



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