This time last year, we witnessed Black Lives Matter protests take place in London and across the world, in response to the murder of George Floyd.
They were a stark reminder of the discrimination within our society and how much still needs to be done to end it.
Mr Floyd’s death highlighted not only failures of criminal justice, but also raised significant questions of social justice, fairness and equality.
At London & Partners, we considered those questions as we reflected on what more we could usefully do to make a meaningful difference.
This led us to make some specific commitments, which we have been working towards throughout this last year. In this statement, we share an update on those commitments as well as other actions we have taken to ensure that we make London & Partners an organisation that reflects and champions the diversity of the city that we promote.
In the wake of the tragic events of last summer, we took our time to share our approach. This was a purposeful decision, so we could listen to our teams, both here in London and across the 13 other world cities that we operate in, and make sure that our response was authentic and action-oriented.
We were guided by three principles:
- Makes a genuine and sustained positive difference.
- Is about London and Londoners and is therefore true to our mission.
- Uses our channels and business networks as effectively as possible, focusing on how we can make the biggest difference.
Inclusivity at the core of London & Partners
We have built inclusivity into our new strategic mission and our values, so it becomes central to how we deliver economic growth for London as well as how we operate as a company.
London & Partners' mission is to create economic growth that is resilient, sustainable and inclusive.
- We have ensured that everyone in the organisation has undertaken equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training. This is mandatory for the whole organisation and will be refreshed annually.
- We have built on the success of our Origins network, which celebrates diversity and provides a safe space for Black and Mixed-ethnic individuals in the organisation, by establishing a wider range of network groups including the Generations (age diversity), Parents and Interfaith groups, among others such as Pride & Partners and the Women's Network.
Embedding better practices
- We have reviewed and updated our style and brand guides to ensure we are actively reflecting London’s diversity in our marketing activity.
- We have amended our planning processes to prompt active consideration of EDI in all our projects, in the commissioning and creation of all our marketing content e.g. photoshoots and in the delivery of all our events.
Improving inclusion and representation on our channels and programmes
- We have made significant strides in showing London’s diversity in our campaigns, for example our Because I’m a Londoner campaign, leading to positive feedback from Londoners such as “how it showed different aspects of life in the city from different kinds of people” and how it “showcases the diversity of the city that feels truthful”.
- We are building our network to include a more diverse range of content creators to reflect the diversity of London in our marketing.
- We have run a dedicated Founders Awareness campaign for our Business Growth Programme (for startups) and increased our recruitment of under-represented founders – 49% of founders from the latest cohort of 60+ companies on the programme were from under-represented backgrounds.
- We have built on the success of our female founder trade missions and delivered the first of a series of bespoke missions for Black and Mixed-ethnic founders and for LGBTQIA+ founders.
- We have created a new 12-month programme called BeyondHERizons to support a cohort of female founders to access funding to scale their businesses. More than 50% are Black or Mixed-ethnic founders.
As we said last year, these actions are not exhaustive by any means, but they are a step in our continuing journey to use our global voice for positive change. It is our job to promote London globally.
That is a privilege and a responsibility, and we remain committed to making London & Partners an organisation that reflects and champions the diversity of the city that we promote.