The lord mayor of London has warned that London risks falling behind competitors if it fails to embrace diversity in its business culture.
The Power of Diversity programme, which will launch on January 7, will compromise of a series of lectures and conferences to promote diversity. Over the course of the year, events designed to share best practice and experiences will take place.
The initiative aims to create a collaborative effort between City of London organisations to widen the UK business talent pool.
Fiona Woolf, who is only the second female lord mayor since 1189, said she is determined to focus on practical steps that London can take to improve diversity. Doing so could improve sustainability and success she added.
“There has always been a moral case for inclusion, but now, there is a clear business case. London will lose out if it does not capture the benefits of diversity – fresh perspectives, originality and innovation – by enabling talented individuals to get to the top”, Woolf said.
“This change will not happen overnight but we need to ensure that businesses employ a true meritocracy, so that the best succeed, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or nationality.”
Amongst the 34 major companies taking part in the initiative are Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, PwC and Thomson Reuters.
Peter Dawson, president of Bechtel’s civil infrastructure business, spoke about the importance of diversity in the workplaces.
He said, “We should all feel a personal responsibility to help foster a working environment that helps people of all different backgrounds to flourish. And the good news is that inclusivity makes good business sense, as there is strong evidence that diverse teams get better results.”