Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Jessie Bakens
Chapter 11: All in the mix? Top team demographics and business performance in English firms, 2008–9
Like many other countries covered in this volume, the UK has become substantially more ethnically and culturally diverse in recent decades, with net migration a main driver. Between 2001 and 2011, for example, the foreign-born population of England and Wales rose from 4.6 to 7.5 million (from nine to 13 per cent of the population). At the same time, the share of ‘white’ and ‘white British’ ethnic groups decreased, from 91.3 per cent to 86 per cent, and from 87.5 per cent to 80 per cent, respectively. Notably, the fastest-growing ethnic group was ‘other white’, with Polish-born the fastest-growing migrant group (Office for National Statistics, 2012b, Office for National Statistics, 2012a). These demographic changes have been most striking in urban areas: notably, London is now a ‘majority–minority’ city for the first time in its history. Given the long-term nature of these shifts, researchers and policymakers are turning their attention to the dynamic effects of immigrant communities on host country economies – both via the cultural diversity that migration brings, and through a range of production and consumption-side channels at firm and city level (see Kerr and Kerr (2011), Ottaviano and Peri (2013) and Nathan (2015) for recent reviews). This is not the only ‘diversity’ at stake: gender equality is a major issue for businesses and government (McKinsey, 2007). In the UK, particular public attention is paid to the presence and impact of women in senior positions, and to encouraging female entrepreneurship (Davies Review, 2011).
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