McKinsey helps advance racial equity through black leadership development and more

In June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd and the momentum it sparked in the United States, McKinsey announced our 10 Actions, our public commitment to racial equity and justice.

Over the past two years, more than 400 company colleagues have dedicated countless hours and tremendous efforts to help transform our commitments into fully functioning operations, programs and partnerships, with measurable results. Here we look at the progress of three of these 10 actions. Although there is still much to do and we are not yet where we want to be, these examples highlight the progress we have made in the communities where we work and live.

Train over 10,000 black leaders

In the fall of 2020, we launched the Black Leadership Academy, based on our decades of experience developing leaders within our firm and for our clients. We have designed two flagship programs to accelerate the careers of black professionals – one for early-career managers and another to prepare senior executives for the C-suite,” recalls Sacha Yabili, Chief of Staff. We didn’t know what kind of demand there would be.

In three months, 10,000 participants from 300 organizations across North America signed up.

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A conference on black leadership

Through topics such as the power of storytelling, crisis leadership, business fundamentals, and effective sponsorship and mentoring, participants can gain the necessary skills, mindset, and networks to achieve their aspirations.

“The program is pure gold – this is the first time in my 25 year career that I’ve been in the same room or Zoomed with people who look like me, think like me,” said one participant. “I don’t need to leave my identity at the door.”

Building on this initial success, our firm launched the Connected Leaders Academy in 2021 for Asian, Hispanic and Latino leaders, and for black leaders based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. To date, over 40,000 participants from over 900 organizations and 15 industries have registered.

Develop actionable research

“After the murder of George Floyd, a number of companies asked McKinsey for our perspective on the subject of racial equity and inclusive growth,” recalls Duwain Pinder, a partner. “We had written an initial report on the racial wealth gap, but it was clear there was a need for more insight and support for organizations to act, so we created the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility. .”

Our team of 50 experts and analysts has developed research on more than 20 topics to date, helping to shape perceptions, quantify opportunities and inform initiatives. “For example, we published a series of articles on how businesses can serve black consumers. In particular, we estimated that the bottom line impact could be $300 billion and found that black consumers seek a holistic set of actions from a company, not just a product line. or two ; they want to know how a company diversifies its operations, its supply chain, its recruitment, its philanthropy. »

The team recently released a report on the state of racial equity in higher education, 2013 to present. “It showed that despite the narrative that things are looking up, in fact, they are not and there is still a lot to do,” Duwain shares. Additionally, the information is translated into practical tools, such as CityX, which assesses racial equity in terms of neighborhood resources.

Accelerating Nonprofit Impact

In 2020, McKinsey committed $200 million in pro bono work over the next ten years with organizations that advance racial equity. We have worked with over 20 partner organizations and launched over 25 projects, engaging over 230 colleagues to date. Here are some examples.


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Connect to a Juntos conference

Brazil has one of the largest black populations in the world: 56% identify as black, but only 5% hold leadership positions. “We wanted to help young black students transition from college to the world of work,” says Vijay Gosula, a partner. “We have created an annual conference called ‘Juntos’, which means ‘together’ in Portuguese.” Some 4,000 people have participated in the four events so far, both live and virtual. A participant said: “Juntos was a defining moment… for the first time, I saw a large group of young black talents and leaders to inspire me. I contacted several companies and I am happy to work for one of them today. Juntos was my starting point.

Homeboy Industries

Founded 30 years ago in the heart of Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the world. It serves more than 8,000 people each year with clinical treatment, education and workforce development programs.

But Homeboy is more than its programs. “Our model here is family…it’s kinship,” explained one participant. “That’s what we wanted to help Homeboy reflect in its communications, programming, and talent development model, which was designed to encompass everyone from senior executives to clients who walked through the door yesterday,” says Rebecca de Sa, associate partner, who along with Kyle Nelson, an engagement manager, Bonnie Dowling, an associate partner, and Bryan Hancock, a partner, have worked with the organization.

Over the past two years, we have also worked with Homeboy to create roadmaps for their social enterprises and strengthen their labor pool.

Greater Washington Partnership

With 45 of the largest companies in the Capital Region, the Partnership’s supply chain network is vast and has the potential to help local Black, Hispanic and Latino SMEs grow.

A small team, led by Partner Danielle Hinton, Partner Fiyinfolu Oladiran and Senior Partners, Nora Gardner and Scott Rutherford, assessed the SME landscape, surveyed companies to understand how they might fit into supply chains. sourcing, and spoke to large companies about their challenges in diversifying their supplier base.

As a result, the Greater Washington Partnership secured miscellaneous procurement commitments of $2.6 billion from member organizations on its board of directors, as part of a larger $4.7 billion commitment. dollars over five years. Next, they created a marketplace to share data and best practices; and conceptualized a technical assistance approach for small suppliers.

“A powerful motivator was when we made a ‘case for change’ in the local economy, challenging CEOs to ask themselves, ‘Hey, how can we do more?’ “recalls Fiyinfolu.

Margie D. Carlisle