By Stephanie Horn
What gets measured matters. In the wake of recent protests against police killings and systemic racism in the United States, many American companies have issued statements declaring their commitment to diversity and inclusion. McKinsey has taken this even further by publishing “10 Action” items the firm has committed to in order to improve the culture at McKinsey and also provide tools for other companies to use.
McKinsey’s commitment to supporting racial justice and equity includes some profound firm-wide changes, including these:
• Double hiring of Black* leadership and Black colleagues in our firm over the next four years.
• Expand training programs to all 32,000 McKinsey employees around the globe to include anti-racism and inclusion, and to make those training materials available to other organizations.
• Double spending with diverse suppliers within three years.
• Commit $200 million in pro bono work over the next ten years to advance racial equity and economic empowerment in Black communities.
As a McKinsey alumna, I applaud these changes. When I was at the firm, I saw the commitment to attracting a diverse range of associates and the goal of retaining top performers. However, there is often a gap between goals and reality, and my colleagues and I observed instances where senior individuals failed to meet these ideals. McKinsey’s newly stated commitments – which include bringing in expertise to ensure that processes are free of bias and support the development, advancement and retention of Black and other minority colleagues – will continue to build the firm’s reputation as a premier employer and place to work.
Over the next few months, in a series of blog posts, I will be featuring Black colleagues and highlighting their experiences in consulting. They represent a variety of personal backgrounds, attended a wide range of educational institutions, and worked for, or continue to work for, the most well-known strategy consulting firms in the world. In addition to providing information that is valuable to anyone interested in a consulting career, my colleagues will share their experiences specifically as Black consultants and offer advice for those who identify with any underrepresented group. My goal is to share their stories in order to provide insights into their experiences, and to impart lessons from which we can all learn.
* Capitalization is used here per the AP Stylebook update on Juneteenth 2020, and McKinsey & Company source materials.