Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Career Advice

Hidden Talent Pool

John Smith

The global economy is becoming increasingly digital and the IT sector is evolving at an exponential rate. In order to keep up with this growing demand, the IT industry needs to tap into the hidden talent pool from non-technical backgrounds.

Traditionally the IT sector is perceived to be dominated by men from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) backgrounds. However, as the UK’s leading IT graduate employer, FDM shows that graduates from non-STEM backgrounds can thrive in a career in technology.

FDM is committed to championing diversity, currently 56% of our female Consultants in the UK come from a non-STEM degree background and our PMO stream* brings together graduates from over 33 different degree courses.

A recent study by FDM’s Business Sustainability and Innovation team investigates what else can be done to encourage more women from a non-STEM background into the IT sector.

The IT industry is often perceived as inaccessible, restrictive and male-dominated by women especially those from non-technical backgrounds. Through a series of case studies of women working in the IT industry, the BS&I team have highlighted a significant shift in perception toward the IT sector before and after joining a tech company. By intervening among students from non-STEM degrees and presenting the IT industry as accessible and attractive, more employers could benefit from new talent.

As can be seen in these word clouds many women from non-STEM backgrounds misunderstand the opportunities available in IT and perceive themselves as not technical enough to work in this sector. Soon after joining a tech company these perceptions changed as the creativity and innovation central to the sector are brought to light. This shift highlights the need to expose students to the IT industry; not only to break down these stereotypes but also to increase the flow of women into careers in the IT sector.

*Report published July 2016.

Updated 20 May 2019

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