International IT services provider, FDM Group, hosted another successful women in IT event at its flagship London office in honour of Ada Lovelace Day, a day that is recognised worldwide to celebrate the role of women in technology and encourages the sharing of stories about inspirational women.
FDM’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheila Flavell opened the evening by telling attendees how she came to working in IT,“I started my career in the Glasgow Police Force and was one of the first women to patrol the streets as the Equal Pay Act came into legislation. I then moved on to work for an international airline and lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates. Twelve years later, I found myself working for FDM in IT, so working in a male dominated environment is nothing new to me! I have worked in gender imbalanced industries throughout my career but instead of feeling disadvantaged, I ceased the opportunity to learn the skills in order to succeed in these environments.”
The purpose of these events is to inspire younger generations to take the leap into IT. It is widely known that IT is severely male dominated, with only 14.4% of women taking on IT roles in today’s industry. It is therefore the aim of FDM’s ongoing women in IT campaign to encourage more women to consider an IT career and to create a supportive environment for all.
The session included presentations delivered by Charlotte Keens, FDM Consultant placed at UBS, Louise Weale, Release Manager at Business Link and Dr. Sue Black, Senior Research Associate of Department for Computer Sciences at UCL. The speakers told the audience of 60 students, graduates and professionals looking to pursue IT, about their careers, people who havae inspired them, how they have inspired them and the words of wisdom they continue to use today.
Black is a founder of BCS members group, BCSWomen, which provides networking opportunities for all BCS professional women working in IT. The objective is to provide support for female IT professionals, as well as mentoring and encouraging women to consider an IT career.
Of the event Black said, “"I was delighted to be part of the event, it's so great that FDM Group are keen to make a positive difference to the number of women working in computing."
Weale confirms that she has always worked in environments where there are more men than women. Since leaving school, she has worked in an array of roles spanning from software engineering to quality management. Speaking at the event, Weale said, “I’m very encouraged by FDM Group’s commitment to increasing the number of women entering IT and I think the entire industry will benefit from having more women in the workforce.”
The event closed with an enjoyable round of networking, which gave guests the opportunity to forge relationships with other like-minded women that could support them throughout their careers. On the success of the event, Flavell commented, “I am delighted that so many people have taken an active approach towards combatting the current statistics on gender imbalance within the industry. Hosting and attending events like these bring us one step closer to closing the gender gap. Thank to our speakers for their inspirational words and we hope that attendees have come away motivated to work in IT.”
Last week, the world welcomed the first UN International Day of the Girl, which promotes girls’ rights, and highlights the gender inequalities that remain between boys and girls. The aim is for communities and political leaders to highlight the importance of girls’ right to equal education and their fundamental freedom. In celebration of this day, the “WOW Girls” festival took place to help girls’ progress in education and career opportunities.
FDM Group is an international IT services provider specialising in six core service areas: Project Management Office, Application Support, Development, Testing, Infrastructure and Training. Renowned for service excellence, FDM supplies effective and innovative IT solutions to over 200 blue-chip clients worldwide. With offices in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA, FDM has shown exponential growth throughout the years and has firmly established itself as an award winning IT services provider.
FDM Academy is a division of FDM Group, responsible for launching the IT careers of 3,000 graduates worldwide, for over 21 years. FDM’s award-winning graduate programme consists of approximately 12-16 weeks of skills development followed by a minimum of two years employment and is designed to provide both the practical skills and business awareness required in today’s demanding workplace.