Diversity is good for business, this much we know. Studies have shown that companies which embrace diversity have better performance, both human and financial. Seems like a no-brainer, right? In thinking about gender diversity, why is it then that we have yet to see an equal number of men and women in the boardroom, or the pay gap narrowing? There is no question that there’s work to be done to make this happen, and business schools are in a position to do so. My colleague Stephanie Thrane’s recent blog post Why we need more women in business schools sums up our role well: “As a top business school we are educating future global leaders. Leaders of large international organisations who will go on to shape the business of the future. The more women who go on to graduate from business schools the more women we are able to promote into leadership roles. The more women we have in leadership roles the more opportunities we have to change outdated c-suite norms, in-equality in pay, maternity leave policies and the list goes on.”
So, how as a business school can we help to build this pipeline? London Business School continues to take steps to ensure equal representation of women within the community, with initiatives including increasing the proportion of applications from female faculty shortlisted for interview for untenured positions, encouraging female applicants to apply through initiatives with the Women in Business Club and also enhanced scholarships, easier identification of classroom case studies with female protagonists, and through covering equality and diversity from day one in the classroom at Orientation.
It’s vital that professionals from all backgrounds and demographics engage in the conversation of gender equality, and this is a conversation in which both men and women need to be involved – they each make-up half of the world’s population, so makes sense that each is at the table. We need to discuss how gender, and the stereotyping and bias which may come along with it, affects the way in which we work, and how our perceptions of gender may positively and negatively affect our organisations.
And it’s not just professionals who should be taking into account these considerations. In thinking about the pipeline it’s vital that students are also engaged in this discussion. In this post, MiM2017 Lola Wajskop shares her experience in looking at the issue of gender equality in the classroom:
Diversity matters. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: building and nurturing diverse teams – both in universities and in the workplace – is not only the right thing to do, it also makes business sense. I’ve been passionate about gender diversity specifically ever since I read Lean In, the first book of Sheryl Sandberg (if you haven’t read it: I strongly recommend it!). The book opened my eyes to many issues related to gender equality. Over the past few years I’ve focused on the issue of women in engineering and tech and decided to take action: before joining LBS, I launched “Yes She Can” with my friend Lola, an initiative aimed at attracting more female students into STEM education.
When I decided to pursue a second masters, I carefully studied the “MiM landscape”, considering which business school should I apply to? London Business School was my absolute first choice: the school had a stellar academic reputation, but I was even more attracted by its effort to build a community as diverse as possible. The school really understands that the quality of our experience is proportional to the level of diversity in the classroom – whether nationalities, backgrounds, aspirations or gender.
I strongly believe that business schools, and especially LBS, are major players in the fight for gender equality. The reason is simple: if we joined the MiM programme, it is because at some point in the near future we would like to manage – manage organisations, manage people, manage countries (who knows?!). This makes it very likely that a significant part of the class will aim for leadership positions during their careers. If business schools foster a culture and a community where gender equality is a high priority, where people understand and talk about why diversity matters in the workplace, it is likely that these same people – my friends – will actively seek to recreate a similar culture in the organisations that they join or create. Basically, we’ll leave the world in a better place than we found it. And LBS definitely aims to do just that.
Gender parity is a top priority at the faculty level (where I know it is a topic that is researched thoroughly), and on the student side, too. As an example, I was attending last week the annual “Multiple:X” conference of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club. When I got there, I was shocked by the small number of women attending – the room was largely dominated by men, perhaps not surprising knowing that finance is one of those fields that is dominated by men. But then I realised that the students organising the event actively tried to promote equality and get women engaged in the event:
(1) the speakers and panellists included women – and I was very pleased to hear from most of my friends attending that their one favourite speaker was a woman, Zeina Bain, Managing Director at the Carlyle Group;
(2) there was a panel dedicated entirely to gender diversity in the workplace,
(3) there was a good mix of male and female presenters represented, including my friends Stefan and Rachel, and they both did an incredible job at keeping the day going. This is just one example, but it truly represents what the school and its community stands for: we actively look to make a difference, as often as we can.
Another example would be the ManBassador programme. Born within the Women in Business Club, ManBassadors are a group of male students who actively pledge to support the gender equality cause. It is one of my favourite initiatives at LBS – how can a conversation about gender be useful if only women are taking part in it? My friend Jake organised a ManBassador lunch a few weeks ago, during which about 15 MiM students – men and women – discussed gender parity issues and shared experiences about. I loved it. My male friends were listening carefully, sometimes surprised by what we were telling them, sometimes angry to realise that women had to face such adversity. They shared their experiences and how gender roles are viewed in their home countries. It was an eye-opening conversation for many, and definitely a valuable experience for everyone who was there.
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the incredible support of my female friends here at LBS. We know that women are stronger when they support each other, and I truly learned the importance of this support during this year. My friend Sara, for example, who is doing the Masters in Financial Analysis, is my #1 fan. When I have interviews, she jumps for joy. When I had my first job offers, she kept on telling me how proud she was and how much I deserved it. Having a strong group of strong women supporting each other is one of these things that I got from LBS and that will (hopefully) follow me during the rest of my life, and it’s a pretty invaluable gift.
My last point would be that LBS is an excellent platform for you to experiment and train yourself for your future career. Try, practice and jump on every occasion to build your self-confidence. Not a big fan of public speaking? Stretch yourself and share your point of view in class. Never liked taking the lead in a group? Go and take ownership of as many projects as you can in your study group. You’re here to learn, fail (sometimes) and progress (always). This is your chance to build the best version of yourself: when you leave LBS, it will be with confidence and with a crowd of incredible women cheering on you.
See more about Women at LBS
At most business schools you will find similarities in the course content, the academics and the case studies used. What differs and sets them apart is the environment you study and develop in.
At London Business School it is easy to point to the key characteristics that help to define this environment; the city of London, the diversity of the classroom, the practical nature of the academics. However a key characteristic that is vitally important for Early Career students in particular is the cross-generational learning opportunities. The LBS campus is diverse, not just by nationalities but by the range of experience levels of its students. Our MBA/MIF students have on average five years of experience and our leadership (EMBA portfolio) students have on average twelve. For a small community like LBS these individuals are easily accessible and quickly become part of your network. To learn and socialise amongst them can broaden your horizons and expose you to insights and learnings that would not be easily accessible in a standard workplace.
Within the Early Career Programmes there are three key opportunities to maximise the impact of cross-generational learning:
Students have access to a range of elective courses whilst studying on the Early Career Programmes. Not only does this allow you to begin to specialise your knowledge but you are in the classroom with students from across our Degree Education portfolio. With a vast range of diverse experience in an elective class this presents the opportunity to gain insights and thinking for tackling problems or solving issues.
However much experience or insight an individual has, everyone is treated equal allowing for Early Careers students to have an impact and opinion on assignments and tasks. It is a mutually beneficial relationship for all involved.
There are a multitude of mentorship opportunities for Early Career Students through the MBA/MiF mentoring scheme or seeking out one of the alumni mentors. Equally within the community it is common place to find mentors in clubs/societies that can guide and advise on your next career steps.
Ben Jeffery (MiM2016) met his mentor, Mark Hosking (MBA2016) through the peer leader sessions run by the Career Centre. As Ben was preparing for a career in consultancy they staged mock interviews and went through the types of questions that he would face. “I had strong analytical and quantitative skills, but wasn’t familiar with how to present ideas to interviewers at a consulting firm” says Ben. Both Ben and his mentor now work together at BCG and Ben highlights “Having a friendly face around the office is great, if I’m not sure about something, Mark’s my first port of call.”
The clubs at LBS represent the heart of the community and provide the opportunity to engage with individuals over mutual interests and passions. They are made up of students from across the degree portfolio and cover a wide range of professional, personal and cultural interests. Being a member of a professional club and gaining industry insight from experienced students is an invaluable experience. We often hear stories of students finding their future business partners in the clubs as this is a key way to network across the full community of students.
London Business School actively seeks to bring in a diverse group of students to create a melting pot of ideas and views. Whilst we can influence who studies at the school, the community evolves in an organic way and provides opportunities for students to grow professionally, academically and personally. For Early Career students this community represents the first step into the business world and we actively look for those who will make a positive impact towards London Business School.
Find out more about the London Business School community
The Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy is unique in European top business school offerings in focusing on the experienced executive in a full time degree. As the class of 2017 move into their second term, here are a select few of the many highlights of the term just finished beyond the engaging, informative and educational core programme.
The year started at full pace with a jam-packed Orientation week, as study combined with invaluable team-building and networking to ensure the Sloan journey started on a strong footing. Find out more about this exciting kick-off in our earlier blog post.
Case study with Lord John Bird
Lord Bird, founder of The Big Issue, joined the Sloan
Fellows for a singular case study in February. Lord Bird is both a talented and inspirational businessman and speaker, facing early hardship to become a well-known entrepreneur and member of the House of Lords.
His enthusiastically received session with our Sloan 2017 cohort was a fantastic opportunity to explore entrepreneurship and social responsibility whilst engaging with this unique individual. Such was the reception that we have made the full presentation
As a full time programme, more often than not the Sloan MSc requires participants to step away from their current job roles and careers. At London Business School, we have a well-developed Career Management offering tailored to the needs of the experienced executives and entrepreneurs who become Sloan Fellows.
The first term has included a variety of workshops, covering career development, networking, getting investment ready for entrepreneurs and exploring and developing resilience.
The Career Centre also played host to ‘The Challenge of Change’ presentation with Mohan Mohan, (LBS Executive in Residence), a retired Procter & Gamble senior executive, having had a memorable career spread over three continents. Mohan delivered a motivational presentation covering topics such as how to approach time at London Business School, how to pursue the definition of career goals and how to approach your career development, as well as coaching sessions with our Sloan Fellows.
End of term celebration
To mark the end of a memorable but exhausting term, celebratory drinks and a dinner was hosted by the School here at our central London Campus.
Find out more
If this has whetted your appetites for the Sloan experience, why not come to an information evening to find out more, as well as meet some current and/or former students? Details of future events can be found on our website.
For a taste of the Sloan experience first-hand, we also offer the opportunity for applicants to the Sloan 2018 cohort to visit a class. You can join the current Sloan MSc cohort and gain an insight into our world-class faculty, ground-breaking research and network with existing students to discover if the Sloan journey is the right path for you.
We have two modules open for visitors over a number of days to maximise the opportunities available; you can sign up here or find out more by contacting sloan@London.edu.
There are plenty of reasons to choose a Masters in Finance (MiF) at LBS. Here are half a dozen
Research shows that you should spend your money on experiences, not things. You might say, “What do people have to show after six-course dinners and long-haul holidays?” You might say that buying a better car is the smarter option. But we adapt to things (like shiny new cars) quickly. Experiences last.
At LBS, we believe the best investment you can make is in yourself and your education. What’s more, our programmes are experiences, not things.
Why a Masters in Finance at LBS? Here are six reasons
1. One size doesn’t fit all
You can choose a format that fits your needs. The School draws strength from people’s differences so we understand the importance of a learning experience that works for you. Spend 10–16 months immersing yourself in our full-time programme or continue working as you learn with our flexible two-year part-time programme.
2. Find your hashtag
MiF students have plenty of professional experience so they might already have a hashtag – a specialism or an area of expertise. To help you find and hone yours, you can tailor each of our programmes to suit your goals through an extensive range of electives, practitioner courses, industry-focused events and international experiences.
3. Achieve your career goals
We know the MiF is a big investment. Meeting your career goals is key to your return on investment. Are you an experienced finance professional seeking to advance your career? Do you want to switch to another area, function or region, or deepen your knowledge? Whatever your motivation, you’ll benefit from the support and advice of our dedicated careers team who can help you achieve your goals.
4. Renowned thought leaders
LBS faculty provide commentary on the finance industry’s burning topics – from Bitcoin to Brexit. Their research helps shape policy, their insights strengthen the finance sector and their academic theory is amplified by real-world experience, giving them a powerful voice inside and outside the classroom.
5. London: the financial capital of the world
“When it comes to attracting talented workers, London is the city to beat,” wrote LBS blogger Rob Morris. There’s no better place for you to study finance than London. Our strong links with financial institutions, recruiters and practitioners make us proud – and they make us unique.
6. Learn, apply, do it again
You’ll not only learn with some of the best financial and business minds in the world, but you’ll benefit from experiential learning: the process of learning by doing. After all, we’re talking about an experience. If you could get this from a textbook you’d just buy it, right?
Broaden your international outlook, build your skills and do it in a format suited to you: that’s a long list of benefits. What about the drawbacks? We’re trying to find one.
There’s still time to join this year’s programme
If you have 3+ years experience in a finance role then don’t miss out on this exceptional opportunity. Visit our website for further information.
Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit
Do you have ambitions of developing your own business venture? If you have between seven and 22 years of experience and a strong professional track record why not consider our Executive MBA (EMBA) programme. By choosing to study your EMBA at London Business School, you will benefit from a range of services and facilities specially designed to develop and expand your entrepreneurial perspective.
The Entrepreneurship Summer School gives you the chance to assess and shape your business opportunity in a robust and practical way. This programme aims to help you to succeed as an entrepreneur by providing you with the skills you need to choose which business opportunities to pursue and how to develop those ideas into workable businesses.
The LBS Incubator programme supports a selected number of graduating students and recent graduates to use the School’s facilities to launch your business. Zipporah Gatiti, Founder of Taste of Kenya credits the Incubator for offering almost everything a new business needs, as well as a mentorship programme that goes above and beyond: “If having a mentor was the only thing I’d received, it would have been worth it. Mentors are like co-founders. They study your company, help keep you on track and hold you accountable.”
There are many opportunities to learn from the professionals, the Entrepreneurship Mentor in Residence Programme provides the chance for students to learn from expert entrepreneur mentors from a range of sectors and disciplines. The famous TELL Series also showcases successful entrepreneurs’ personal stories.
Navin Valrani studied the EMBA Dubai programme and the two years changed his life and career forever. “It was wonderful in so many aspects,” he says. “First of all, the knowledge that you pick up on the EMBA gives you a fantastic toolkit to work with. You’re exposed to the most outstanding faculty you could possibly come across, and you can socialise with them after class and have some really good informal discussions. I am where I am today in my life, and with the growth rates of the businesses that I lead, because of LBS.”
Lidia Chmel decided it was time for a change of company, function and industry and founded her own company, Mama’s Dream Club. She says “I would never have had the courage to start my own company without the EMBA programme. Exploring case studies and hearing from guest speakers who had founded their own companies showed me that it was eminently possible to change direction and still be successful.”
The LBS Entrepreneurship Club provides a forum for students to network and share ideas and an environment which fosters innovation and entrepreneurship and helps students to cultivate and develop their own ideas.
Heather Baker, Founder & CEO, Top Line Comms says of her EMBA experience “The EMBA has been an exceptional experience, both personally and professionally. I am far more confident and analytical in the way I approach business development now, so much so that the company has doubled in size over the last 18 months. I’m not originally from London, so for me, making new contacts with the local business community has been just as vital as linking to the huge global network the School offers.”
If you are thinking about how you’ll finance your venture, we have relationships with Sussex Place Ventures and Enterprise 100, who have been fundamental in helping new start-ups. Students also have the opportunity to pitch their ideas before investors and benchmark their plans against those from other schools. Competitions include, European Business Plan of the Year Competition, Venture Capital Investment Competitions and Global Social Venture Competition. See further information about Competitions.
Start your entrepreneurial journey at LBS. The next deadline for the class starting this autumn is Tuesday 2 May. See further information on applying to the programme.
I once read that one of the reasons women should undertake an MBA programme was because the alleged “bro-ski” or fraternity culture of business school prepares you for the male executive suite. On one hand I understand the argument. If you are surrounded by this type of culture for a couple of years you may very well grow a thick skin, handle critique better, become less emotional. All the stereotypes we associate men with and assume women don’t have or can’t handle (I don’t necessarily think this is true, but for the sake of this argument I am going to make general assumptions). On the other hand the statement implies that executive suites are always going to be dominated by men, and in order for women, to be successful they should conform to the male-like norms of the C-suite.
The assumption that all business schools have a cut-throat, ruthless environment is wrong. In fact, I would argue it is the exact opposite at London Business School. Our global community with nationalities from over 130 different countries creates an environment where different perspectives are a crucial part of the learning. In order to be successful at London Business School you will need to respect the collaborative nature of the school by building bridges rather than competing with your peers. I can say with confidence that the entire school community is collaborative, open-minded and inclusive. When you meet alumni or current students of the school they would be able to confirm this statement. We don’t believe that women should go to business school so they can “do business like a man… with men” I doubt that would go down well with most women. Instead women, just like men should pursue an MBA programme because they want to invest in themselves, their personal development, their career and lifelong network. However, women who are pursuing MBA programmes also have certain opportunities to change the c-suite and make a positive impact on gender equality.
It’s been said many times that business schools play an important role in creating the pipeline of women leaders. I couldn’t agree more. As a top business school we are educating future global leaders. Leaders of large international organisations who will go on to shape the business of the future. The more women who go on to graduate from business schools the more women we are able to promote into leadership roles. The more women we have in leadership roles the more opportunities we have to change outdated c-suite norms, in-equality in pay, maternity leave policies and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I am not implying that business schools are a single solution, but it can act as a very powerful and important catalyst.
I am very proud to work at a world-leading institution where promoting women in business is high on the agenda. Our faculty are producing great research on the topic of gender in-equality, we have a prominent student-led Women in Business club, the School is a long-time member of the Forte Foundation and we have recently launched our own “Manbassador scheme” asking men to pledge their support to gender parity. Just last weekend our team hosted the annual Women in Business Weekend for future women on the MBA programme. We welcomed a group of MBA candidates to join us in London for a weekend of faculty lectures, sightseeing in London, afternoon tea (we are in London after all) and to participate in our 17th annual Women in Business Conference.
These are just some examples of the many activities we do every year as a school to promote women inbusiness. We are making good progress as a school by educating more and more women and bringing them into senior positions once they graduate, but we still have a way to go. Being part of the MBA recruitment & admissions team, I and the rest of our team are responsible for bringing in talented and ambitious women who are going to shape the future of leadership. It’s one of my favourite parts of the job. It creates an enormous sense of purpose knowing that we are part of helping someone achieve their goals in life, but also helping to foster positive change in gender in-equality. I have a very special interest in bringing more women to business school as I sit on the School Advisory Council for the Forte Foundation and also chair its European School Advisory group. Through the School’s work with the Forte Foundation we collaborate with major corporations, other top business schools and influential non-profit organisations to direct talented women towards leadership roles in business.
I care deeply about this cultural shift and I look forward to continuing our work as change agents not only at London Business School, but across other schools and organisations.
We realise that a programme like the Executive MBA is a big investment for candidates, therefore we always like to ensure that we provide you with as much information as possible when taking such a big step.
Below are some examples of opportunities we have in place – in order to help you make that decision:
Why not attend an Executive MBA lecture, alongside other students who are currently in the programme? This will give you the chance to first-handily experience the quality of the lectures as well as the excellent interaction between students within a classroom environment.
“Through the class visit I was able to gauge the mind-set/frequency of the EMBA classroom. It enabled me to understand the importance of class participation and witness each student’s role to enrich overall class’ learning experience”. Suyash Shrivastav (EMBALJ2018)
A personal consultation gives you a chance to meet someone from the recruitment team on campus. We can guide you and answer any questions that you may have regarding the programme or the application process itself. We also regularly travel around Europe to meet candidates in a city near them.
A conversation with a member of alumni or a current student:
Although we try to give you as much information as we can when answering queries, sometimes getting those answers from current students or alumni can prove to be far more helpful and reassuring. Whilst a current student can answer any questions you may have about their EMBA journey so far, an alumnus can tell you more about their life after the programme.
We encourage all prospects before taking any step in their application process to have a CV review done by one of the team members in the EMBA recruitment team. This ensures that you have the right skillset and experience needed for the programme.
Our monthly information sessions are delivered by the Recruitment and Admissions teams and give prospects further information on our programmes. These sessions also provide an opportunity for you to meet current students and alumni, as well as other candidates planning to apply to the School.
“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of attending the Information Sessions held at the school. One is able to get first hand insight into exactly what is offered on the course and also speak to other potential candidates on the night. More importantly, you get to hear first-hand experiences from a selected alumni panel which was priceless in my view” Dietrich Stadllman EMBALS2018
If you would like to find out more about any of these options, please contact the Recruitment team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
G M A T – four letters that often strike fear in to the hearts of busy executives looking to apply to Business School. The GMAT exam provides a detailed and specific assessment of an individual’s business academics, but the lengthy preparation and examination time can be prohibitive to executive candidates.
Since March 2016, London Business School has been accepting a new way of assessing candidates for our Leadership Programmes. Working with the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and five other top-tier Executive MBA Schools across the globe, the Executive Assessment (EA) has been designed with executive candidates in mind.
What makes the Executive Assessment an excellent tool for both Business Schools and Executive MBA candidates is its relevance.
It is relevant to executives in terms of its content as it has much more focus on critical thinking, analysis and problem solving than the GMAT and much less on pure mathematics and grammatical structures.
It is relevant in the amount of time needed for the test. There is minimal preparation required, and the test is over in 90 minutes.
And it is relevant in its flexibility. There are no rescheduling fees, ideal for executive candidates whose schedules can often change at short notice.
The test consists of three sections that are similar in broad themes to the GMAT – Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
Unlike the GMAT, all three sections count towards a final score of between 100 and 200.
So how should you prepare for the Executive Assessment?
Unlike the GMAT, there is minimal preparation required for the Executive Assessment. but you do need to spend a little time on it, and successful candidates have spent around 1-2 days preparing.
- Familiarise yourself with the sample questions available on GMAC’s website.
- Depending on your background, refresh yourself with high school mathematic principles.
- Find your local test centre from over 600 worldwide.
Is there a minimum score?
At LBS, we take a holistic approach to applications and, as such, look at all elements together. There is no minimum or recommended EA score (or, for that matter, GMAT) and this forms only one part of the application. We do strongly recommend you take the assessment seriously to best demonstrate your abilities and commitment to the programme. Candidates have found it a useful diagnostic to highlight areas to focus on to get ready for study.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us
Whichever assessment you choose to take – good luck!
A good thing to do before you fill in your application is to get a grasp of the different elements that make up an Executive MBA (EMBA) application and what the committee members are looking for whilst reading through the different parts.
The first thing that we see when initially reviewing your application, is your CV/resume. By reading through your CV we are able to take a quick glance into your background, your academics, and your work experience along with any hobbies that you may have. Therefore, this is the starting point of us assessing your eligibility for the programme.
All applications that are submitted for a London Business School programme contain three essay questions and these are specific to the programme for which you are applying. The essay questions give us a chance to get to know all our applicants on a personal level therefore we look for your personal outlook on the programme, your level of self-awareness, and your collaborative skills.
All applications contain two references and we always advise applicants to ensure that one of the two references is completed by your current line manager. This is because your line manager is someone you work with on a daily basis, so no one would know your way of working as well as they do. Furthermore it ensures the committee that your company is informed of your application to the programme.
Transcripts allow us to take note of any academic or professional qualifications that you hold, allowing us to assess your academic abilities in the past, up until any professional qualifications that may have received more recently. Furthermore seeing copies of your transcripts also confirms your achievement of the academics you have listed in your application.
The GMAT, EA and GRE allow us to assess your academic ability at the time of your submission. The tests are split into two key parts of Quants and Verbal. These skillsets are what you will need the most whilst completing the EMBA, therefore the score itself and the balance between all sections of the tests is what is key for us. There is a different score for the GMAT, GRE and EA that students are expected to achieve, you can discuss this further by getting in touch with someone from our recruitment team.
All of the above key components are attached to the actual application form itself. In the application form we are able to assess extensive details about you, that would not necessarily be visible in the documents you provide us with. Therefore, it is full of a wide range of questions from your current roles and responsibilities, to your hobbies, a reflection of your academic abilities and so on.
It is important to remember when submitting your application that the Admissions Committee takes a ‘holistic approach’ when processing all applications. Therefore we assess every individual’s assets as a whole, before inviting them in for an interview. Similarly, we review both the application and the interview feedback before making a final decision.
When it comes to attracting talented workers, London is the city to beat. A report carried out by professional services firm Deloitte describes England’s capital as being “in a league of its own”, having seen a 16% rise in highly-skilled people from 2013 to 2016.
In that time, the number of talented workers moving to London rose by 235,000 to 1.7 million – higher than the 1.1 million people who relocated to New York during the same period.
There is a caveat: the report was done in March 2016, three months before the British people voted to leave the EU. Will Brexit affect London’s ability to attract highly skilled workers? No one knows at this stage, but the UK government’s message is clear: Britain is open for business and skilled workers are, as always, welcome.
Whatever happens in the coming months and years, we should feel confident that London will retain its position as one of the world’s leading business and financial centres. The city has a history of handling adversity, be it the global financial crisis of 2008 or recessions in the 1980s and 1990s, and Brexit is just another challenge to overcome.
Looking to the future, industries such as digital – which grew 32% faster than the wider UK economy from 2011 to 2014 – professional services, finance, IT, engineering and medical will continue to rely on talented people.
If anything, demand for skilled people in some sectors has never been greater. Take manufacturing, where three quarters of companies struggled to find the right employees between 2013 and 2016. An industry report by business group EEF found that the industry was suffering a skills shortage. Similarly, engineering companies are struggling to find talented people for an industry that contributes about £280 billion to the British economy.
The figures highlight a trend: that London has always relied on skilled workers, be they British or otherwise – and that will never change.