Academic data has long supported the theory that diversity amongst senior-level workforces promotes a healthy gender balance and ethnic variety which impacts on success and productivity. McKinsey & Co compiled statistics illustrating that average earnings are 5.6% higher in companies with a greater gender and racial mix on senior management teams and in the board room.
London is forging ahead in diversity in the technology sector compared to other leading tech hubs. Marcel Kooter, who is originally from the Netherlands and a long-time resident in London, cites the incredible diversity of this city as one of the foremost benefits of living and working there.
London – Far Ahead of Silicon Valley
London has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to gender diversity. In 2015, research demonstrated that 29% of women working in tech start-ups held senior positions compared to only 24% in New York.
Other data revealed that UK start-ups were ten times more likely to employ people from a non-white and non-Asian ethnicity. Diversity is celebrated, and 78.9% of participants in the survey believed that this was one of the major factors in sustaining competitiveness and leading edge in their industry.
Governmental and Private Initiatives
Not content to rest on its laurels, London is home to several initiatives to promote cultural diversity for the greater economic good.
The UK government introduced coding into the National Curriculum in schools. This brings tech to the masses irrespective of socio-economic background. A good example of a private scheme is the BBC Micro Bit programme which started in 2015 and aims to equip one million students with their own computer.
Tech Start-Up Hub
London is one of the leading cities in terms of tech start-ups, based on data compiled in 2017. This brought in investment of roughly £3 billion, of which around three-quarters went to London companies. The capital offers a unique fusion of cultural diversity and innovative excellence. Interestingly, it is the artificial intelligence sector which demonstrates the greatest ethnic mix with around one-third of all company founders originating from an ethnic minority.
Diversity in Age
Age is not as prominent a topic as gender and ethnicity, but entrepreneurship is not the sole domain of youth. The average age for tech founders in the UK was 47, showing that you are never too old to make it in technology.