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Celebrating Female Champions: FDM everywoman in Technology Awards 2023

Paul Brown
16.03.23

On March 9, 2023, the 14th annual FDM everywoman in Technology Awards were held in London to celebrate some of the exceptional female talent in the UK tech industry.

Everywoman is a global hub dedicated to advancing women in business through empowerment, advocacy, and professional development, driving positive change and growth. Since its inception in 1999, everywoman has supported thousands of women worldwide in establishing businesses and progressing their careers.

The FDM everywoman in Technology Awards shine a spotlight on the female role models in IT at every stage of their career, from apprentices to executives who can inspire the next generation of females to start a career in tech. Whilst positive strides have been made to foster gender diversity in the tech industry, much remains to be done.

To put this into perspective, only 26% of the UK tech workforce are women and just 5% of leadership roles in tech are held by women. This lack of female representation across all job roles and skill levels is leaving much work to do to close the digital skills gap in the UK. 

With three million tech jobs needed to be filled by 2025, businesses must do what it takes to create a diverse tech workforce that is inclusive of those from underrepresented minorities.

(L to R) Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder everywoman in Tech; Sheila Flavell CBE, COO FDM Group; Pamela Maynard, CEO Avanade; Karen Gill, co-founder everywoman in Tech; Marverine Cole, radio and television presenter

FDM everywoman in Tech Awards 2023

The FDM everywoman in Tech Awards 2023 had 16 different categories showcasing the very best of female talent across various stages of their professional careers. From CTO/CIO of the Year to Innovator Award, Entrepreneur Award, Rising Star Award, and Apprentice Award – it was a celebration of women excelling in a variety of different roles within tech.

The awards were a testament to the fact that by increasing diversity in tech, companies can access a broader range of perspectives and ideas, which can lead to better problem-solving and innovation.

The event was held at the Park Plaza Hotel in London and was a fitting tribute to International Women’s Day celebrated the day before.

The winners for each category were chosen by an illustrious panel of judges who represented the very gender diversity that the awards strive to promote, including Alayna Mansell, Group Marketing Director, FDM.

Woman of the Year Award

The winners all spoke of the importance of DE&I in tech and some of them shared motivating stories of building their careers from scratch. Rod Flavell, CEO FDM Group caught up with Pamela Maynard, CEO at Avanade who received the Woman of the Year Award sponsored by FDM.

Rod spoke of his own inspiring journey of building FDM Group 33 years ago without a tech background and asked Pamela about her experience.

Pamela grew up in Basingstoke at a time when they were one of the only Black families living there. She said it taught her early on to learn resilience and embrace what was different and this in turn inspired her to go out and achieve her potential.

As she accepted her award Pamela acknowledged and commended the audience for their shared commitment to make tech more accessible. She said – ‘Having been through the events of this evening, (I see) that passion and energy to make tech more innovative by making it more diverse and inclusive is shared by you all in this room.’

Sheila Flavell CBE, COO FDM Group and Pamela Maynard, CEO Avanade, winner of the FDM Woman of the Year Award

Shared vision

The common theme that ran through most of the winners’ acceptance speeches was an acknowledgement of the progress that has been made in the industry with a vision for an even more inclusive and equitable future.

Jackie Carter, Professor in Statistical Literacy, University of Manchester received the Academic Award for her outstanding contribution to technology and science. She mentioned that whilst she was trained as a mathematician and worked as a computer scientist, her current role lay in training students of social science in data analysis. She highlighted how the tech industry needs to embrace people from all backgrounds and look beyond STEM in order to be truly inclusive. ‘I am here for every student whose path into data and tech I have changed,’ she said.

Jackie’s words echo FDM’s own ‘No STEM, No Problem’ commitment. As a company we are continually striving to help more people access a career in tech, regardless of their background. We help launch fresh graduates, ex-forces personnel and those who want to return to work after a career break. Moreover, 10% of our internal IT staff are apprentices, without any degrees at all.

FDM’s commitment

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer of FDM Group emphasised FDM’s pledge and ongoing work to foster a more diverse and inclusive work culture. She said, ‘only through harnessing talent across genders, cultures and continents can we support the creation of lasting solutions to the tech challenges facing our world today. Diversity drives innovation.’

An estimated USD 13 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2030 if the right steps are taken now to promote gender-parity improvements and bring more women back into the workforce. We at FDM recognise the incredible value of harnessing female talent and this is why we are committed to do what we can to help close the gender diversity gap in our industry.

FTSE Women Leaders has ranked FDM the highest position amongst participants in the Industrial Goods and Services sector category for the level of gender diversity in our senior management team.

According to 2022 UK government data, the gender pay gap across the UK is 14.9% in favour of all male employees. FDM is proud to report a -4.3% median pay gap and a -5.2% median bonus pay gap for 2022. Read our full 2022 Gender Pay Gap Report.

Sheila said, ‘We’ve always seen it as our duty to promote, support and amplify those voices leading positive change and inspiring others.’ This is why we were proud to be the headline sponsor of the everywoman in Tech Awards for the 11th year.

This was an excellent opportunity to not only recognize the accomplishments of outstanding women but also served as a platform to highlight the need to improve gender diversity at all levels.