Witad Awards 2021: Best company for diversity and inclusion (vendor)—First Derivatives

Women in Technology and Data Awards 2021

This year’s vendor award for best company for diversity and inclusion goes to First Derivatives, a UK-based capital markets software and consulting company.

WatersTechnology spoke with the company’s human resources director, Catherine Harrison, about the award. Having spent more than 12 years with the company, Harrison says she has witnessed a period of significant growth for diversity and inclusion, both within First Derivatives, and in the wider financial industry. When she arrived, First Derivatives had 210 employees. Now there are 2,400.

First Derivatives recently created a program providing female university students with mentorship opportunities. The FD Impact program was established with the aim of empowering young women in the science, technology, engineering, and math (Stem) fields through a six-month mentorship program, offering insights into the professional workplace and skill-building.

The mentorship program offers mentees support, guidance, and insight into life as a woman in business, particularly within the technology sector. For the 2020 intake, 20 female Stem applicants were selected from a variety of universities across the UK and Ireland.

“What I want, and what the management team wants, is that everybody coming into the business feels that they can thrive, that they can be themselves, and that they belong—because that is how you get the best out of people,” Harrison says.

In 2019, the company achieved a graduate hiring ratio of 55% males and 45% females. The current ratio for the business as a whole is now at 72.2% male and 27.8% female. The aim is to improve this over the course of the next three years to 60% males and 40% females.

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