Balancing the IT gender gap

07 June 2017

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The FDM Group is helping to build a “strong pipeline” of women, according to its CCO Sheila Flavell.

The FDM Group has reported an average gender pay gap of six per cent and a median pay gap of zero per cent compared to the national average of 18.1 per cent.

A professional services company with a focus on IT, FDM is an early adopter of gender pay gap reporting introduced by the government in April.

This requires organisations with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female workers. Companies have until April 2018 to report their figures. 

Citing research from McKinsey & Co published last year, FDM says eliminating work-related gender pay gaps could add £150bn to annual GDP by 2025 through enhanced productivity and business reputation.

The company claims to be the UK’s largest IT graduate employer and says it’s created a culture that supports diversity and inclusion that is lead from the top. It says 26 per cent of its staff and around 50 per cent of its senior managers are female.

FDM COO Sheila Flavell says: “In developing a culture that supports diversity, social mobility and inclusion, we have learned that if you measure and monitor, you can take proactive steps to understand where the issues lie and devise strategies to develop a culture that supports and improves gender parity.”

Some of the strategies that FDM has developed to encourage more women into IT include: creating senior leadership roles within the business; challenging government to tackle these issues; outreach work with local schools to encourage more girls to consider a career in technology; etc.

Furthermore, in 2016 FDM launched its Getting Back to Business careers programme to provide training and employment for returners. Following seven weeks of in-house training, returners are employed as FDM consultants and are placed onsite with company clients for up to two years. 

“We believe that returners are a valuable source of experience for an organisation, they are an untapped talent pool,” says Flavell. “By making it easier for women in particular to re-enter their careers in tech, we’re also potentially building a strong pipeline of women who can progress through the management structure and reach board level and help drive diversity further.”