The Mayor of London has called for closer collaboration between growing cities, such as London and San Francisco to boost diversity in the technology sector.
Sadiq Khan’s push aims to urge growing cities to build stronger relationships between one another, based on shared values of openness, to help promote better gender diversity and inclusivity.
Addressing attendees at the SXSW tech conference the Mayor talked about the growing role for US cities, such as San Francisco and London, to work together to focus on these areas, particularly in the tech sector.
The latest move from Khan has been driven by an initiative the Mayor has just launched, named #BehindEveryGreatCity. The campaign marks the UK centenary of women winning the right to vote, by celebrating the achievements of women, encourage better levels of inclusivity and promoting the ethos of an open and diverse economy.
“My message to tech leaders in San Francisco and cities across America – is that, collectively, we must do more to champion greater inclusivity within in the tech community,” Khan said. “London and San Francisco’s tech hubs have thrived on the values of openness and fairness. By working closer together, I am confident that our two great cities can lead the way in promoting greater diversity for the global tech community.”
By urging growing cities to come together to better inclusivity and diversity, the Mayor is reaching out to US tech leaders to join him in supporting his campaign.
Demonstrating work has already begun between the two cities; the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency has announced that it will expand its San Francisco office. This aims to strengthen trade and investment links between London and San Francisco, London & Partners, providing further help for West Coast businesses looking to set up or expand their operations in London.
A recent survey found that three quarters of West Coast tech executives agreed that London and San Francisco tech companies share the same values in tackling the issue of diversity and inclusion. The survey found that holding the same perspectives on the issues is of high importance when urging two cities to come together.
The survey also found that looking overseas for talent and investment was important for businesses. Major West Coast US tech businesses, including the likes of Google, Snap Inc and Apple, have announced additional jobs and investment into the UK capital.
“London and San Francisco are two of the world’s leading tech hubs and we see lots of opportunities for collaboration. With our shared values of innovation, inclusivity and creative energy, London is an ideal place for West Coast businesses looking to internationalise as it offers a home away from home. The expansion of our presence in the Bay Area will only strengthen our special working relationship and help to improve the flow of talent and businesses between our two great cities,” Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners said.
Khan’s campaign hopes to bring together more cities to better not only diversity and inclusivity, but the growth of the technology sector inside and outside of London.
“Working alongside the Mayor, my ambition is to harness how use data to continue to transform London into the world’s leading smart city,” Theo Blackwell, London’s Chief Digital Service Officer said. “We won’t do this in isolation, increasingly great tech cities like San Francisco and London will be collaborating together. Scaling the best ideas will come from shared approaches, a respect for inclusive design principles and common standards.”