Fujitsu has recently been announced as one of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2018, reports Karen Thomson, Fujitsu.
Making the Times list is a fantastic achievement, because it’s a benchmark for diversity and inclusion excellence across every industry. It’s a place that lots of women will go to when they are choosing which organisation they want to work for, so it’s great for helping us connect with brilliant female talent.
Fujitsu has been working hard to develop a new ethos for the company, but it always takes time for this to translate. Having such success so early is a testament to how far we’ve come and it’s extra special as it validates the change we felt was happening around us.
As if the Top 50 wasn’t enough, Fujitsu UK’s Global Customer Relationship Leader Val Risk has been named Gender Champion of the Year! We’re incredibly proud of Val, all of her hard work and her very deserving win.
Our original goal was to make the Times Top 50 by 2020. It was an ambitious aim at the time, but I think that we’ve made progress off the back of setting our sights high.
The other aim we set down was to have 30% female representation in the company, and 25% women in senior management roles. Research has shown that having a 30% female employment ratio increases profit margins by up to 6%. It’s another ambitious goal, but hopefully it’s the next achievement we’ll be celebrating.
Small steps amount to big change
We’ve run a range of initiatives to try and address as many aspects of gender inequality as possible. It’s a hugely complex issue, so we have to take multiple approaches to tackle it.
Here are some of them:
- Encouraging and supporting young female talent – 32% of Emerging Leaders and 35% of Future Leaders at Fujitsu are now women. We’ve also implemented projects designed to get women into the STEM pipeline, from graduates to school children.
- Spreading the message throughout the organisation – Raising the profile of diversity and inclusion (D&I) is incredibly important. It was critical to secure the support of the senior leadership team in this. Our CEO has signed the Tech Talent Charter; Senior Leaders held a webinar addressing the importance of gender pay parity; each Senior Leader has to hand in gender action plans to the CEO, and there are quarterly diversity and inclusion breakfast meetings for the Senior Management. This ensures every level of the management team has a stake in D&I at Fujitsu.
- Gender pay gap report – Fujitsu was the first big tech firm to produce and publish a report on gender pay in their organisation. Since then we have created an action plan and are working to achieve a year-on-year reduction.
Being the change we want to see in the tech industry
Fujitsu being included in the Times Top 50 proves that the tech industry is a good place for women to work.
The IT industry has a challenging reputation to overcome. Only 18% of computer science graduates are women, and 52% of women in STEM careers will leave the industry due to workplace barriers.
In making the Times Top 50, Fujitsu is signalling to its industry peers that it is possible to drive change in a sector traditionally considered to be masculine. It’s also validation for everyone that their hard work is worthwhile – and everybody has worked really hard!
Our biggest challenge over the next few months will be maintaining momentum. We’re an army of volunteers and we all have busy day jobs, so it could be tough to keep our foot to the floor at all times.
Another pressing challenge will be extending the programme and making the initiatives as inclusive as possible. We have already opened up the women’s business network for men who want to join but we need to keep championing this. This isn’t an elitist movement; we want to bring men on the journey with us, and make sure they can play their part!
As well as keeping the movement inclusive, we will also work towards making it global. The whole Fujitsu organisation can benefit from better diversity and greater equality, so we can take the lessons learned from the UK movement to the rest of the world.
Our main priority is to keep setting ambitious goals and hopefully achieve them ahead of time. This is the biggest and most exciting challenge that we have ahead of us: to keep going!