Published on in Responsible Business

Yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day at Fujitsu.

The day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in every walk of life and to recognise the contribution that women make to our society. It is also an important call to action to accelerate gender parity in today’s society. This year’s theme was Press for Progress.

At Fujitsu we have so many female colleagues to be proud of – from our apprentices and graduates right through to senior executives leading business units and account teams.  Whilst we recognise their success all year around, it was fantastic yesterday to take time to reflect and really appreciate their commitment, skill and determination.

However, we still have a long way to go. The tech sector is many things: exciting, innovative, dynamic, fun. But it is not diverse. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Women, for instance, make up only 17% of the tech sector, despite forming almost half the EMEIA workforce, Here in Fujitsu, we have increased the proportion of women in our EMEIA-wide workforce from 24.5% to 25.3% over the past year, so progress is being made – but we realise that this still falls short of the diversity in our broader society.

We also recognise the challenges around the gender pay gap.  At Fujitsu our median gender pay gap stands at 17.9%, according Whilst this is marginally better than the overall UK average – and significantly better than the IT industry average of 25% – it is clearly still not good enough.

Taking action to improve gender diversity and equality

The challenges are impossible to ignore and there is no quick fix – to tackle them we have to pursue a clear plan of action.

Key to this is not trying to address these issues in isolation.  We are working with our partners in education and the public sector, together with industry partners and organisations such as EveryWoman and TechUK.

And of course, we are also actively involving women from across our own workforce.

Working together we are committed to a number of activities to help #PressForProgress.  These include…

  • Identifying and celebrating role models, both female and male, who support gender parity in the workplace. We know that diverse role models can help break down stereotypes and make people more confident that Fujitsu is an organisation where they can succeed.
  • Encouraging our male employees to pledge not to speak on all-male panels at public events. The under-representation of women in the tech sector appears even worse at technology conferences and events. Too often, only male speakers are featured in panels at these events. We want to change the face of the tech sector to enable richer conversations and attract more women to consider a career in the sector. We are also supporting our female colleagues to take advantage of speaking opportunities.
  • Encouraging more girls to pursue STEM subjects, through our work in Education
  • Inspiring more women to consider a career in IT and technology
  • Promoting flexible working practices – for both women and men.
  • Supporting women’s networks both inside and outside Fujitsu, including partnering with EveryWoman to give all Fujitsu employees access to free personal and professional development resources
  • Implementing training around topics such as unconscious bias
  • Affirming our global commitment to the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles to encourage the active participation of women
  • Expanding Ada Lovelace events across EMEIA to raise the profile of our technical women

Measuring progress to improve gender parity

An important part of our action plan is setting clear targets and ambitions to drive the changes we need to make.  And we’re delighted to see some very encouraging signs of progress.

Approximately 49% of our 2017 graduate intake were female – up from 30% in the past 3 years.

Around 30% of our under-25 workforce is female, up from approximately 20%.

External recruitment of women has increased to 42.9%, up from approx. 16% in just the last year.

Changes we’ve made to our flexible working policies have seen over 85% of women coming back from maternity leave remain with us for at least a year after their return.

Over 1/3 of participants in our talent and development programmes are now female.

Clearly there is still much work to do – but these results give us great confidence that we are on the right track.

Networking for success – the Women in Technology programme

2018 marks the fifth year of Fujitsu’s Women in Technology programme.  This is a fantastic milestone, and over the past 5 years our events have welcomed over 300 women working in senior roles across technology and business.

Our events have covered a range of topics, including:

  • The challenges of attracting and retaining female talent
  • Nurturing the next generation of leaders
  • Personal and professional projection
  • The future workplace
  • The rise of connections and networks

Over the five years the programme has been running we have seen again and again the power in coming together to share experiences.  Nobody can succeed in isolation, but with the right relationships and support, we can accomplish incredible things.

If you’d like to find out more or would be interested in attending future events, do get in touch!

A day for celebrating the achievements of women

Whilst there’s many years of hard work ahead to achieve true gender parity, yesterday was also cause for celebration – and our great Fujitsu team went over and above to get involved.

We encouraged everybody to wear red in recognition of the day, and were delighted to see so many people supporting – not just in the UK, but around the world too.

International Women's Day event at Fujitsu office in London

Our International Women’s Day event at the Fujitsu London office.

We also ran a number of events around the UK and Ireland to recognise our achievements and to discuss how we can accelerate our progress even further.

Working together, we believe we can make Fujitsu the technology company where women come to succeed.  It’s not just for women though – everybody will benefit from a more diverse organisation that truly reflects the society in which we operate.

Let’s all #PressForProgress on gender parity in the tech sector!

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