The importance of female mentorship has been greatly emphasized in male dominated industries and has been portrayed as a useful tool for encouraging a strong female workforce in STEM industries in particular.
With these aims in mind and as part of its ongoing ‘Women in IT’ campaign, New York based IT services provider, FDM Group, has selected a range of inspiring women from various levels of its company to mentor fellow female IT professionals.
FDM Group Chief Operating Officer, Sheila Flavell, said, “Despite the fact that we have a female majority within our management team, there is no shying away from the fact that we are operating within a male dominated industry. Although our aim is to contribute to a change in these circumstances by encouraging women to pursue IT careers, we also need to ensure that the IT careers of our existing female members of staff are being nurtured and supported. We strongly believe that one of the best ways to achieve this is through mentorship.”
The practice of mentoring can offer considerable benefits to both mentors and mentees, particularly in terms of career development.
Through receiving encouragement from someone they aspire to be, a mentee will be more likely to believe that they too can reach the goals of their mentor and therefore strive to achieve more.
Providing this level of support may also position mentees as key figures of inspiration within an industry and often improves leadership skills.
The benefits of the method were recently sited by technology firm Sun Microsystems, which compared the effect of mentorship on 1,000 employees over a five-year period.
The research found that employees who received mentoring were promoted five times more often than people who didn’t have mentors and mentors were also six times more likely to have been promoted.
FDM Group has recognized the clear benefits of mentorship programs, prompting it to embark on its own mentoring initiative.
FDM Recruitment Manager, Madeleine Field, said, “As a leading IT services provider and IT graduate employer we understand the difficulties many women face within this industry. It can often be daunting to work in an environment where you are clearly a minority and seeing a lack of women in more senior positions can often leave women with the impression that their career development is stunted. The aim of our Female Champions initiative is to demonstrate to our female employees that their goals can be achieved and that their careers will be supported.”
The ‘Best Technical Graduate Employer’ of 2010 called for female members of staff to apply for the position of FDM Female Champion last month and has now selected a range of dedicated and inspiring women to fill the posts.
The chosen group of women will mentor and advise female employees at all levels on an ad hoc basis as well as running regular drop in sessions for mentees and women who simply need someone to talk to.
FDM Female Champions will also responsible for organizing a number of networking events for women within the growing organization as well as contributing to the companies external Women in IT events.
The firm, which recently ranked in 9th position of The JobCrowd’s Top 50 Employers, has selected one to four female champions in various locations including New York, London, Brighton, Manchester, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.
The company has chosen to appoint members of staff from various departments and levels of the organization, to ensure that it accommodates female workers within all corners of the company.
For more information on FDM Group’s Women in IT campaign please visit: www.fdmgroup.com/it-company/women-in-it