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MP Amber Rudd visits FDM Leeds

F.d.m. C.O.O. Sheila Flavell with Amber Rudd.

FDM Group was an early adopter of the Government’s Gender Pay Gap reporting mandate and subsequently, became the first company in its sector to report last year (with a 0% median gender pay gap in 2017 and 2018). This year, we are reporting a median gender pay gap of -1.7%, which is due to having more women in the upper two quartiles.

F.d.m. C.O.O. Sheila Flavell with Amber Mudd.We work on a plethora of women in tech initiatives engaging with schools, universities and various industries. Our Getting Back to Business Programme, launched in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Glasgow and Leeds, supports people who have taken a career break and want to return to work. Keen to build strong relationships with businesses and personnel in the field, on Wednesday, 14th August, our FDM Leeds Centre welcomed Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the newly appointed Minister for Women and Equalities.

Our Chief Operating Officer, Sheila Flavell, sat down with the Minister to discuss FDM’s commitment to women in the workplace. Sheila explained how there can a host of reasons for people to take a career break. “It’s not always just for childcare. The women and men on our returners programme have taken a lengthy break away from the workplace for reasons such as family relocation or caring commitments.”

Since launching, our ‘Getting Back to Business Programme’ has re-started the careers of over 170 people globally. But it’s not just returner programmes when it comes to FDM. Our Ex-Forces Programme aims to bridge the gap between leaving the military and the commercial world. Amber Rudd had the opportunity to meet one of our Ex-Forces classes currently undertaking their Excel training. The group discussed the journey they went through upon leaving the Armed Forces and how they plan to capitalise on their skill set in the commercial world.

F.d.m. C.O.O. Sheila Flavell with Amber Mudd and a female graduate.

To learn more about the environment our ‘Getting Back to Business Programme’ offered, the Minister also hosted a discussion with FDMers who re-launched their careers through FDM’s from returner backgrounds. Focussing on the career stories of the women in the room; the group discussed how they grew in their chosen field and how they developed their careers upon joining the FDM Getting Back to Business Programme. A consultant on the programme said: “‘On occasions like this, it's a good reminder of where I was, my aspirations and the amazing opportunity through FDM.”

One of FDM’s top priorities is to grow talent. Amber Rudd and Sheila Flavell met with a group of diverse female FDMers from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities. The sessions focussed on the importance of recruiting women into technology and many trainees expressed why they felt underrepresented within the sector. The conversation moved onto how we as a company can inspire the next generation of talent and how FDM and the Government can provide opportunities that are available to them.

The Secretary of State ended with a Q&A session offering an insight into the first two weeks of the role and what her priorities in the position are by answering questions on her vision for gender equality, advice for women in male-dominated industries and how the Minster plans takes on new responsibilities. The MP said, “Sometimes in life you’re thrown a new task or role that you might not have much experience in, but you’ve got to make the most of it – meet as many people as possible and thrive at every opportunity you’re given.”

F.d.m. C.O.O. Sheila Flavell with Amber rudd and a large group of females.

We would like to thank Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the newly appointed Minister for Women and Equalities for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit our Leeds Centre and for us to introduce the work we do here at FDM Group.

Read or download a copy of our 2020 Gender Pay Gap Report here.

If you enjoyed this article, check out more of our blogs:

Here at FDM, we work hard to lead by example and do our part to close the gender gap within the tech industry. Read more about our work to promote diversity and inclusion and support women in pursuing a career in technology.

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