Case study

Think, Act, Report: FDM

Women in IT.

Summary

BCS and e-skills UK recently reported that only 16% of the UK’s technology workforce is female, so more needs to be done to address this gender imbalance and reduce the skills shortage caused as a result. FDM recognised this and launched its women in IT campaign in October 2011. Since then the company has grown to boast a 25% female workforce as a result of its events, ‘Female Champion’ support network and close partnership with everywoman.

Issue Identified

The IT industry has a lack of women in its workforce (only 16%) and as a result is losing vital skill sets. It is said that a gender-balanced workforce can lead to great productivity and creativity, and companies should drive this forward.

FDM’s business model relies on STEM graduates who are eager to launch an IT career, so we feel it is our responsibility to continuously promote STEM at schools and universities.

According to e-skills, over 550,000 new entrants are required to fill IT & Telecoms professional job roles in the UK over the next 5 years so there are certainly lots of opportunities out there. So what are we doing?

Action Taken

  • FDM signed the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UNWEP), sealing its commitment to promoting gender diversity in the workplace and wider business community.
  • FDM joined the Think, Act, Report initiative, which is a government campaign to drive greater transparency on gender employment issues.
  • FDM partnered with everywoman to continually encourage women into IT. We are the headline sponsor of the everywoman in Technology Awards and inspire and support future leaders at the everywoman in technology leadership academy.
  • The company continues to promote and grow our Female Champion network, where selected roles models are available to mentor employees and provide support when required.
  • FDM hosts Women in IT ‘Advantage Sessions’ to directly benefit female graduates, undergraduates and other women seeking to break into the iT industry.
  • FDM measures the success of our Women in IT campaign by monitoring the increase in women joining the company.

Results

  • UK Guardian 300 listed FDM as one of the Top Ten IT Employers for Women in 012.
  • 50% of the Consultants FDM has placed in South Africa have been women.
  • FDM COO featured as one of Cranfield School of Management’s 100 Women to Watch in the Female FTSE Report.
  • FDM COO featured as one of TechCityInsider’s Top 100 remarkable people redefining digital business in London and beyond.
  • Offer support network for employees. Female Champions are available to mentor all employees. They also organise networking sessions and workshops that are open to all.

Furthermore, with over 50% women in our management team, we are truly championing women in IT and benefiting from a diverse workforce that wholeheartedly believes in equal opportunities.

Going Forward

FDM intends to continue to grow our Female Champion network globally, so more and more employees can benefit from a mentor.

The company has events in the pipeline that will raise awareness and provide opportunity for graduates to network and discover what a career in IT is like as female.

Published 4 November 2014