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National Apprenticeship Week: Girls Into Tech programme launched

09 February 2024

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, FDM Group is spearheading efforts to bridge the gender gap in the technology industry with the launch of its Girls Into Tech programme.

FDM, a global business and tech consultancy, is hosting groups of girls selected from local schools in London and Leeds, to provide an overview of the tech industry, what tech careers there are and the different types of technical roles. 

Girls Into Tech aims to create rewarding pathways for women pursuing a career in the tech industry, which currently has 26 percent of women in its workforce. This gender gap starts from an early age, with only 35 percent of girls choosing STEM subjects after their GCSEs, and just 25 percent pursuing them at university. 

FDM Group has made efforts towards gender equality, with women making up 33 percent of its board, 38 percent of senior management, and 31 percent of all employees, significantly higher than the tech industry average.

More work must be done with girls in schools to achieve better gender representation. The FDM Apprenticeship Programme provides an opportunity to focus its efforts with the early career year group. 

Kate Hawthorn, Director of Consultant Talent, FDM Group, said: “Encouraging young people to enter the technology industry is vital, especially amid rapid technological developments in the digital age. 

“National Apprenticeship Week offers a timely reminder for organisations to reflect and evaluate their efforts to help the next generation break into the tech sector and close the skills gap. 

“Technology should drive business and innovation, but also social change, and at FDM we are delighted to deliver the Girls Into Tech programme to help reduce the gender divide in tech.”

The candidates on the programme will be matched with an FDM consultant in the tech space who will act as their ‘buddy’. The buddy system will provide the groups with relatable role models who will reinforce and support the messaging from in-person events. 

They will be one of the many female role models throughout the programme giving them career development tips and advice.

As part of the programme, FDM has hosted events featuring a panel of female consultants from the energy and banking sectors, along with an internal apprentice and Gangotri Bhatt, FDM's Head of Training UK and EMEA, providing valuable insights on diversity in the tech industry.

In January 2024, it hosted a workshop which offered tools and skills required to step into the world of tech and provided attendees with a sense of self-belief and understanding with the knowledge that they will be tested throughout their careers but with the right mindset and attitude they will thrive under these circumstances.

Looking ahead to March 2024, FDM is set to deliver the final bootcamp of the programme which will introduce participants to basic digital and business skills as well as a project and will end with an opportunity to take part in interviews, which will fast-track them to the final stage FDM’s Apprenticeship Programme.

Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group, said: “The gender gap in tech isn’t something that can be solved overnight, but every single programme, every bit of support and every teaching moment contributes to bridging the gap. 

“Across the UK, we need to level up our outreach and support for girls in schools, aiming for better representation in the technology industry. The FDM Apprenticeship Programme presents a chance to do just that, helping those in education who are looking to start their careers. 

“These workshops seek to provide these groups with a chance to learn about the tech industry and to challenge stereotypes that hinder capable young women from pursuing careers in this exciting field.”


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