London is the “soft power capital of the world”

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Its ability to attract and develop leaders, also known as 'soft power', means its executive alumni are more internationally diverse

London is the “soft power capital of the world”, according to Deloitte's analysis of the city's educational and employment connections.

The research found that the city’s ability to attract and develop leaders, also known as 'soft power', means that its executive alumni are more internationally diverse than those of New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney.

London’s executive alumni work in 134 countries and are represented by 95 nationalities, while the alumni of New York and Paris work in 120 and 108 countries respectively, and are drawn from 87 and 71 nationalities. Sydney has the least internationally diverse executive alumni; with its leaders coming from 19 countries and now working in 57.

No city in the Deloitte report was found to perform well in terms of representation of female executives. The female proportion of each city's executive alumni ranged from 12.3% in Sydney to 2.2% in Tokyo.

Angus Knowles-Cutler, London office senior partner at Deloitte, said that part of London’s power lies in the quality of its educational institutions and the diversity of its businesses.

“Many of these people were educated or have worked in or around London, attracted by the strength of the city’s diverse businesses, the quality of its universities, and the vitality of its creative and digital scene,” he said. “This flow of skills and leadership talent and the connections and networks they form is the true lifeblood of a global city.”

David Sproul, chief executive and senior partner of Deloitte UK, described London’s executive alumni as “the most diverse in the world”, which is important, he said, because diversity drives economic prosperity.

“However, while all cities in our research have been successful in attracting executives from overseas, none has fully addressed the imbalance in gender diversity,” he warned. “All of the top global cities must step up efforts to promote greater diversity, specifically in relation to gender, to fill the growing high-skills gap and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

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