The Women in Tech Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate talented women across the technology industry. Now in their seventh year, these prestigious awards provide inspiration for the next generation of women in tech.
This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Thursday 23rd November in London.
GFT is a finalist in two categories: Diversity Employer of the Year and Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year. We talked to chief people officer Judy Pitrakou about GFT's work in the industry.
Bringing over 20 years of experience working in fast-paced, client-focused businesses, Judy has a track record of successful delivery across roles managing 10,000+ employees. She is proud to showcase technology as a rewarding career path open to all and enjoys working for agile companies that push the boundaries and put people at the heart.
Computing: Tell us more about GFT
Judy Pitrakou: GFT is driving the digital transformation of the world's leading companies. With access to strong consulting and development skills across all aspects of pioneering technologies, GFT's clients gain faster access to new IT applications and business models. Founded in 1987, GFT employs over 10,000 people in more than 15 countries.
GFT recognises that there is a lower proportion of females in the IT industry generally and is taking proactive steps to enhance its Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to attract, retain and develop women. One of the initiatives we are proud of is Women@GFT, which unites our women to a common purpose and creates an open, engaging and collaborative network of colleagues to share learning, knowledge and experiences both in the UK and across our global business.
What makes you different from other companies?
What makes GFT different is that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) is integral to our people strategy. It forms the bedrock of what we do and how we do it. It is not just an isolated agenda. We embed DEIB into everything so it has become part of our DNA and fabric. Potential candidates are very interested in DEIB, and having such a strong focus on this helps set us apart from our competitors and strengthens our overall EVP and branding, internally and externally.
What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?
Our key goal this year has been to increase the number of women at GFT, under our Women@GFT programme, designed to maximise the benefits of having a more diverse workforce and I am very proud of the results. With our focus on diversity, we have ensured women are on 99% of our shortlists, and that we have more diverse recruitment panels. We have had a 10% increase in our female workforce (April 2022-April 2023), an unprecedented level of growth, exceeding our target, including hiring or making offers to seven women for senior positions. This led to our female cohort of employees rising from 23% to 24% over the period. This approach aligns with our strategy, focusing on: attraction, recruitment and development of women to drive targeted outcomes. These activities have helped us raise awareness in the market and also gained the buy-in and engagement from our senior stakeholders.
What are you working on this year?
We believe greater diversity boosts company reputation, strengthens employee morale, enhances creativity and collaboration, whilst also improving financial performance. These matters are important to us and our clients, and we strive to take sustainable steps to help move the dial in a positive direction. We have developed an action plan following our Great Place to Work Survey in 2023. We are proud of our results as we have made significant strides under several dimensions promoting fairness, parity, equity, etc. We have set clear DEIB ambitions for the coming year, geared at increasing the ratio of women across all levels of our business. This will not only help address our employee gender ratios, but will also help close our current gender pay gap, demonstrating our ongoing commitment in this space.
Why are events like the Women in Tech Excellence important to the IT industry?
It is important to recognise, reward and actively encourage high performing women in the IT industry and it is tremendous to have a body which does exactly that. We have many outstanding women in GFT, and this provides a platform for us to have our incredible talent recognised in the industry. There is much research which attests to the fact that more diverse teams drive innovation and lead to better decisions thus driving better business and company performance. Events like Women in Tech Excellence help to provide inspiration to our current and future prospective employees who wish to build and continue their personal and professional careers in the IT industry.