“It’s normal right now to be the only woman in the room, but we have to change that to create diversity in the new products we develop.”
Women make up less than 30 percent of the workforce in three critical tech clusters: data and AI, engineering and cloud computing, according to a 2020 World Economic Forum report. That doesn’t sit right with Julissa Mateo Abad — one of 50 young standout project leaders highlighted in PM Network’s special Future 50 issue this month.
“If women don’t participate in creating these solutions, we probably end up with a solution that doesn’t fit for us,” Abad says. “It’s normal right now to be the only woman in the room, but we have to change that to create diversity in the new products we develop.”
Along with forging her own path in tech as a project leader at a digitization firm, Abad founded Mujeres TICs RD (Women in ICT Dominican Republic) in 2016. With 250 volunteers and more than 500 members, it encourages girls across the Dominican Republic to study engineering and learn coding.
“We want to make it as normal for girls to study tech as it is for boys,” she says. “We want them to know they can become creators rather than just tech users.”
Abad is out to double the number of women in tech from the Dominican Republic by 2030—and she leads by example. In 2017, she was part of a team that won the first hackathon for women in Central America and the Caribbean. The challenge: generate empathy for trash collectors in Costa Rica. Within 48 hours, she and her team had created a virtual reality program that simulated the working conditions at garbage dump sites.
The project exemplifies her belief that focusing on humanity can inspire teams to create new technologies—and transform society.
Project Management Institute and PM Network have recognized 50 ‘next generation’ leaders transforming our world through inspiring projects.
Project Management Institute has announced its first annual Future 50 list, which features 50 next generation leaders who are creating, building, and transforming the world through notable projects.
The 50 young standout project leaders highlighted in the specially dedicated July/August issue of PM Network® magazine represent a wave of change and talent around the globe—a “youthquake” that will reshape the future and accelerate innovation in the here and now.
Honorees include groundbreaking achievements from people across a variety of industries and countries, including director Greta Gerwig, Laura Jones from the Special Olympics, and Miishe Addy from Jetstream Africa.
According to PMI’s recent Pulse of the Profession® report, only 40 percent of organizations say they prioritize attracting and hiring the young generation of project professionals. But what the Future 50 list highlights is that this next generation will be crucial to driving value for businesses and society now and in the future.
“As a new generation of leaders rise around the world we are seeing them have additional guiding principles and motivations when compared to earlier generations,” said Sunil Prashara, president and CEO of PMI. “Organizations are already rethinking how they can attract, retain and help foster this generation of talent. This next generation of project leaders are deeply committed to driving change across the world—from having a deep sense of social responsibility and improving the environment to driving diversity and inclusion.
“The 50 individuals featured on this list are some of the biggest change makers of their generation. They exemplify the power and transformative change that can happen through projects.”
As part of the July/August issue of PM Network, PMI interviewed this year’s Future 50 winners and other seasoned professionals around the globe to uncover ways to encourage this next generation of talent. The issue also outlines six rules to harness the power of these future-focused professionals, including igniting a learning culture; picking up the pace of development; a flatter, more communicative leadership team; more purpose-driven work; and constant, iterative feedback.
To identify this year’s Future 50 honorees, PMI reached out to hundreds of experts and stakeholders across the globe for nominations. A special committee vetted the rising project professionals and narrowed the options. Finalists were then individually researched and/or interviewed to create a list that represents the full spectrum of regions, industries and achievements in The Project Economy – where work increasingly centers around executing projects both large and small. While some honorees are Project Management Professional (PMP) credential holders, others would not even describe themselves as project managers.
What unites the Future 50 is a commitment to project work as the foundation of positive impact, for today and tomorrow. Get to know these 50 young leaders and their amazing work at PMI.org/Future50.