Women make up around 17% of the workforce in IT, making it one of the most male dominated sectors in the UK. We think of computer programmers as male, even though the first programmer in the world was female (Ada Lovelace). Furthermore, women currently hold 20% of senior management roles globally, but less than that in the IT industry.
FDM looked at how many women they employed and how many were managers. To increase both of these numbers, FDM launched a global ‘Women in IT’ campaign, encouraging more women into the industry. This campaign involves:
- hosting career seminars and networking events called ‘Advantage Sessions’, to inspire and advise women looking to work in IT
- selecting ‘Female Champions’ at various levels of the business to mentor and promote opportunities for women
- introducing a ‘Buddy Scheme’ where women at FDM can request a female mentor from the business
- creating a ‘Women’s Network’ of women from all levels of the organisation who meet to discuss and suggest internal and external developments
- sponsoring Computer Clubs for Girls (e-skills CC4G) so that girls can learn more about IT in a fun and entertaining way
- partnering with everywoman to sponsor the FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards 2013, recognising and rewarding role models throughout the sector
- becoming a supporting partner of the everywoman in Technology Leadership Academy to develop female talent via master classes, panel discussions, inspirational speeches and online resources
The number of women at FDM has been increasing steadily since the launch of the campaign. Successes since the beginning of the campaign include:
- over 50% of the management team and 23% of overall staff are women
COO Sheila Flavell, honoured as ‘Corporate Leader of the Year’ at the Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards in 2012
- the UK Resource Centre, a group set up to increase the number of women in science, engineering and technology (SET), invited FDM to sign the CEO Charter, recognising FDM’s commitment to encouraging and supporting women in SET
- voted into the top 10 IT employers for women by UK students and graduates in financial year ending 2013 (trendence survey, Guardian UK 300)
FDM is proud to be championing women in IT and will continue to encourage, nurture and support women worldwide.
Find out about the Think, Act, Report campaign which helps companies think about gender equality in their workforces and how your company can sign up.