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FDM hosts executive women in IT event to drive gender diversity in technology

FDM hosts executive women in IT event to drive gender diversity in technology

International IT services provider and Top Ten IT Employer For Women, FDM Group, hosted its first executive women in IT event on Friday at Glaziers Hall, London Bridgewith the purpose to discuss how leaders can drive gender diversity within the IT and technology industries.

The event, named “The G-Factor: Driving Change Through Leadership”, saw sixty women from the industry gather to hear a panel of speakers share their views and experiences of being a female in the male-dominated technology sector. 

The event was held as part of FDM’s global Women in IT initiative, which aims to support and encourage more women to choose a career in IT and to help these women progress to the top of their respective companies. It follows on from FDM’s successful Advantage Sessions, which the firm hosts for undergraduates and graduates interested in entering a career in IT.  

Flavell said, “The purpose of our Advantage Sessions is to inspire younger generations to take the leap into IT. The purpose of our executive women in IT event was to ensure that leaders are showcasing the opportunities available for them to leap into.”

Sheila Flavell, COO FDM Group led the affair, which saw Belinda Parmar, CEO Lady Geek and Author of Little Miss Geek and Angela Morrison, CIO Direct Line Group deliver presentations on the problems women face in the industry and what leaders can do to ensure a more gender balanced working environment. This was then followed by a discussion with Christina Scott, CIO of Financial Times and Lyn Grobler, VP and CIO Functions of British Petroleum joining the panel of speakers. 

Flavell said, “Women enter the technology workforce at the same rate as men but there is a higher dropout rate for women... But diversity leads to more innovation.”

Parmar agreed, “40% more females leave the industry after ten years compared with their male counterparts.”

Morrison believes it is the & lsquo;glass ceiling’ that women are struggling to break through and stereotypes which need to be addressed.

During the panel discussion, Grobler said role models and company ambassadors at middle management and higher can help change this statistic as this will help other employees see that it is acceptable to work in a more flexible way if needed. Scott added, “Not working in the office full-time does not mean that you are less serious about your career, it means that you’re trying to get the balance right for you.” 

The discussion panel touched upon the key differences between male and female approaches to situations, full-time compared to part-time working, and stereotyping.

The event closed with an enjoyable round of networking, which gave guests the opportunity toforge relationships with other like-minded individuals that could support them in their drive to achieve gender diversity in the industry.

On the success of the event, Parmar commented, “I am really encouraged that companies such as FDM are leading in the way in addressing the gender gap in the technology sector. With only 17% of the tech workforce being female, yet 50% of women buying technology, these events are crucial in raising awareness of the fact that this is not a "woman's problem" but a national one.”


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