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Sheila Flavell discussed reducing the skills gap with MPs

Chief Operating Officer Sheila Flavell has once again been briefing MPs on the hidden talent pool and its potential to reduce the IT skills gap.

52 per cent of employers are struggling to fill digital vacancies with over a million new technology recruits needed by 2030. By encouraging non-technical female students into digital role, there is potential to reduce the digital skills gap.

“There is no doubt that it’s important to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects however, we also believe that there are real opportunities to encourage girls to consider a career in IT whatever they are studying,” Flavell said.

FDM are able to offer this insight following a research project which interviewed over 400 female FDM Consultants to gain their thoughts on how to attract more individuals into digital careers.  Contrary to popular belief technical degrees are not necessarily required for digital careers due to the diversity of the roles and skills.

The experience of the FDM graduate programme, which is degree agnostic, shows that many of the skills developed by non-STEM graduates can be successfully transferred into digital roles.  Our business analyst and project management streams are particularly favoured by non-STEM female graduates. As proportionally fewer women take IT related degrees, opening digital roles to non-STEM graduates opens the industry up to many more women.

By increasing the visibility of non-technical roles and actively discouraging negative perceptions of the industry that are stopping talented young people from entering the sector organisations can make significant improvement in the digital skills gap. FDM’s research showed that the perceptions of the technology industry being ‘techy’ and ‘introverted’ were dramatically changed after working at FDM. Respondents perceived the sector as ‘exciting, creative and innovative’ having started their digital careers.

FDM is committed to driving gender diversity in the workplace with circa 50 percent of the management team and 26 per cent of all employees being female.  COO, Sheila Flavell also spearheads our Women in IT initiative to encourage more women into IT as well as support all our female employees.




Updated 17 January, 2017

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