International IT services provider, FDM Group, sponsored everywoman’s first Leadership Academy this week, which focuses on the need to develop the leadership skills of women in the technology sector and builds on the profile of the everywoman in Technology Awards.
The theme of the day was ‘Navigating Your Path to Success’ and included keynotes and panel discussions with inspirational businesswomen, interactive Masterclasses and a motivational session on corporate networking.
everywoman co-founders Maxine Benson MBE and Karen Gill MBE welcomed the 120 delegates from companies around the country and introduced the day’s keynote speaker, India Gary-Martin, JP Morgan’s Managing Director and Global COO of Investment Banking Technology & Operations.
The panel discussion then commenced with Wendy Mars, Senior Director of Cisco and Rebecca George OBE of Deloitte leading the session. Mars shared her views on how best to achieve professional success and why she believes it’s important to share these experiences.
Panelists included Lyn Grobler, BP, Mandy Chessell, IBM, Polly Burtinshaw, Cisco and FDM’s COO Sheila Flavell.
When asked whether Flavell saw the lack of women in IT, specifically within senior roles, as a problem with retention policies, Flavell said, “Organisations have a responsibility to be flexible with employees in this day and age. More often than not, I’ve found that being flexible with my employees means they become more committed and loyal to the company. This is because they appreciate the flexibility and repay the organisation by working harder. However, not all organisations are flexible and therefore lose valuable employees, although I don’t think flexibility is the only aspect for retention.
“In order to retain employees, the business and the individual have to share the same values, be motivated to perform at their best and encouraged to progress.”
After the panel discussion, attendees were treated to Masterclasses led by Sara Parsons of Rusholme Consulting and Kate Turner of Motivational Leadership.
Parsons shared her experiences and knowledge, which she has built up over the last 15 years working with clients and various personality typing models. She gave attendees an insight into the differing personality types and predictive behaviour patterns to demonstrate how to influence and communicate effectively in a male-dominated environment.
This followed with a thought-provoking session that invited attendees to consider the well-researched activities carried out by leaders across a number of sectors, which have led to their success. The aim of this Masterclass was to teach attendees how to become a leader from within.
Previous everywoman in Technology Award winner of the ‘Corporate Leader of the Year’ accolade, Flavell, said of the day, “The Leadership Academy is a great platform for providing future female leaders with the insight, knowledge and practical skills that will help them to succeed in technology. FDM and everywoman share the aim to contribute a positive change to the current 14.4% women in IT statistic, and we hope that hosting events like these will encourage more women into the sector.”
everywoman continues to host events to showcase and celebrate the success of women in business, with its next technology event taking place in March 2013; the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards. Nominations for these Awards are now open and will close on 19th November 2012. For more information, please visit www.everywoman.com/techawards
About FDM Group:
FDM is one of Europe’s fastest growing international IT companies. It is well known for its award-winning graduate training programme that has offered thousands of graduates the opportunity to kick-start their career in technology. The company specialises in providing clients with IT Consultants trained in core IT disciplines, business analysis, software development, system testing and quality assurance, application and infrastructure support.
FDM provides flexible, cost-effective and low-risk IT services to over 200 clients worldwide to help them achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance. At last year’s Cisco everywoman in Technology Awards Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer was awarded ‘Leader of the Year in a Corporate Organisation’. For more information, please visit www.fdmgroup.com or follow the company’s latest news on Twitter @FDMGroupLtd.