New York, NY International IT services provider, FDM Group, last week held its first Women in Technology gathering in collaboration with NYTechWomen at its 14 Wall Street office in an effort to support and encourage women in technology throughout the New York community. The event was a part of the company's initiative dedicated to championing women in IT.
FDM boasts a female majority across its management team and is openly dedicated to encouraging more women to embark on a career within the field.
FDM's Chief Operating Officer, Sheila Flavell opened the evening with some shocking statistics surrounding the lack of a strong female presence within the IT sector. She said, "Only 25% of Computing jobs in the US are occupied by women, indicating a huge pool of untapped talent. IT requires specialist skills and we will continue to see increased outsourcing and fewer jobs for Americans if we do not address the growing nationwide skills shortage."
This comes at a time when it is estimated that there will only be enough Computer Science graduates, male and female, to fill a mere 30% of the 1.4 million computer specialist jobs expected for the United States by 2020.
Flavell was delighted to be hosting the event in New York for the first time: "We host events like these around the world as part of our Women in IT initiative. There are so many exciting opportunities in the field and it is our duty as women in technology to share our experiences in order to inspire other generations."
Jennifer Shaw, Founder of NYTechWomen, spoke of her reasons behind creating the organization: "I was constantly aware of the male dominance in the industry when I started my career in technology. I attended many NY technology meet ups but as there were so few women, I found it difficult to create a support network for myself. To fill this void, I developed NYTechWomen. Our social and professional development events have consistently grown, bringing together more and more women in the field."
Geraldine Hayes of Kuoni led a Q&A session with two FDM trainees, recent graduate Tania Nasser and US Veteran Lissette Roca. Hayes said, "Since we more often hear about the career stories of women who have been in the industry for years, we also wanted to hear from new young women about what inspired them to pursue IT. This provides us with insight on how we can encourage our future generations of ladies to also join the technology industry."
Roca and Nasser spoke of their experiences and the reasons for deciding to embark upon careers in IT, where they see themselves in the future and the challenges they have faced so far. Nasser commented, "In college, I found it difficult being one of very few women in my class but since being at FDM, I don't feel as though I'm in the minority. It's great to see a firm putting all this dedication into creating a nurturing and supportive environment for ladies. The support I have received thus far has been fantastic."
The event closed with a highly enjoyable round of networking, which gave guests the opportunity to forge relationships that could support them throughout their careers. On the success of the event, Flavell commented, "I'm thrilled that so many people have taken an active approach towards combating the current statistics and gender imbalance within the industry. By hosting and attending events like these we are one step closer to making a positive contribution to these figures. Thank you to our speakers for their inspirational words and thanks to NYTechWomen, we look forward to hosting more women in technology gatherings in the future."
FDM continues to host these events as part of its ongoing Women in IT campaign, which encourages more women to consider an IT career and to provide a progressive environment for women in the IT field.
To find out more about FDM's Women in IT campaign, visit: http://www.fdmgroup.com/us-about_us-women_in_it