The recent 2018 Women in IT Awards organised by Information Age saw FDM Group collect two awards.

FDM was named Employer of the Year in recognition of the work it does to attract and retain more women to IT to create a more diverse and inclusive working environment.

The second award was presented to FDM’s COO Sheila Flavell, who was named Woman of the Year in recognition of her achievements of IT excellence, innovation and leadership and for her work to shine a light on the great things women in IT can achieve.

The Women in IT Awards are dedicated to tackling the technology industry’s gender imbalance by showcasing the achievements and innovation of women in technology, identifying new role models and promoting further dialogue around diversity among industry influencers. 

Rod Flavell, FDM Group CEO, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been recognised as Employer of the Year.

“We take pride in making a positive contribution to the industry, working hard to encourage and promote diversity in our workplace.

“For us, this is not just the ‘right’ thing to do, it is also the ‘smart’ thing to do for our thriving modern business.”

28 per cent of FDM’s employees and circa 50 per cent of its senior management team are women.

The group was also an early adopter of the Government’s gender pay gap reporting, becoming the 6th company in the UK to submit its report with figures showing an average gender pay gap of 6 per cent and a median pay gap of 0 per cent compared to the UK average of 18.4 per cent.

In 2017 the company was also listed in both the first UK Social Mobility Employer Index and the UK’s Best Employers for Race.

Sheila Flavell said: “This is a great honour and a testament to the people I work alongside at FDM Group.”

As a firm believer that “you cannot be what you cannot see” and with extensive experience of mentoring and an understanding of the importance of highlighting strong role models within business, Sheila acts as a mentor to several women within the IT sector supporting them through their career progression. 

She sits on the main Board of techUK and the Women in Tech Council and is frequently called to advise government committees on various issues, especially around the digital skills gap.

In October 2017, Sheila was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Scotland Women in technology for her services to IT and named Woman of the Year by Computing.

FDM’s initiatives to encourage more women into technology include a Global Women in IT initiative which strives to attract, support and promote the opportunities available to women.

They also host ‘Advantage Sessions’ for female students on topical subjects featuring inspirational speakers. They sponsor the annual FDM everywoman in Tech Awards which aim to reward, celebrate and promote the achievements of outstanding women.

They are also working closely with clients to help them increase their diversity recruitment within their own organisations while also running the Getting Back to Business Programme, which assists returners to work to re-enter the workforce after a career break.