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INSPIRE 20 Podcast: Rod Flavell, FDM Group

Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor

Rod Flavell, founder and CEO of the London-based FDM Group, believes that diversity is the key to innovation, with new ideas and perspectives driving success.

FDM, a leader in the recruitment, training, and deployment industry, launches thousands of technology and business careers every year across the globe. Part of the company's philosophy is a commitment to all forms of diversity, including an Ex-Forces program designed for veterans from all ranks and services, a Women in Tech initiative, and a Returners program for experienced technologists who have had a break in their careers.

The INSPIRE 20 podcast series

Flavell, who has more than 35 years of experience in the tech sector, is one of the executives taking part in INSPIRE 20, a new podcast series that is showcasing 20 executives from around the world who are making a difference in terms of inclusion and diversity in their organizations, communities, and/or industries.

Listen to the podcast with Rod Flavell on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, or Spotify. Plus: Listen to all of the INSPIRE 20 podcasts here.

Working to make a difference

FDM has won bronze, silver, and gold awards for successful deployment of its Ex-Forces program, Flavell said in the podcast. In the UK alone, "we've trained 700 military Scrum masters," Flavell said. "There isn't a single one of the UK 200 blue chip client base of FDM that hasn't used at least one of those Scrum masters." In fact, one of FDM's military Scrum masters is part of the National Health Service's COVID response team.

In 2019, Flavell was featured in Management Today's Agents of Change Power List for the second consecutive year and in Yahoo's HERoes Top 40 Advocate Executives for his work promoting gender equality in the workplace. 

Flavell ensures that inclusivity is engrained in FDM's corporate values and that the organization instills a culture of acceptance. He regularly advocates for women's inclusion, making public statements in the Telegraph, City AM, Management Today, and European CEO, among other media outlets. FDM is also heavily involved in the Wounded Warrior Program in the UK.

Others can, and should, get started

In the podcast, Flavell advises other leaders or hiring managers looking to improve inclusion and diversity in their businesses to start similar initiatives.

All companies should not only be thinking about doing this, "but they should start in Q1 2021 and act on it," he said in the podcast. "It is the responsibility of the chief exec of the business to own this."

Building something such as the Ex-Forces program would be invaluable for other organizations, he said.

"And of course the lessons are, Go in with your eyes open, and understand that you get huge benefit. But you've got management processes that you've got to be aware of when you start these things off—and don't give up when at first the program doesn't work."
Rod Flavell

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