Atlanta is a storied city. It’s the birthplace of Coca Cola, was an epicenter of the American Civil Rights Movement, and is a leading hub of music, television, and film creation. For McKinsey—building on our 44-year history here—it’s our fastest growing location in the US. By 2025, we will expand our workforce from 800 to 1500, creating a new Technology and Innovation Hub that will join our recently re-launched Digital Capability Center there.
This growth in technical expertise reflects the next wave of consulting innovation: using the latest in tech and analytics to better serve our clients. “Two years ago, we made a commitment to expand and create a modern and diverse tech workforce. We knew this would mean hiring hundreds of new colleagues,” says Steve Reis, a senior partner who led the Atlanta office for four years. “As we looked at cities across the globe, Atlanta had a magical mix of both diversity and a large pool of tech talent from nearby universities, including four historically Black colleges and universities.”
In choosing Atlanta to make these investments, our firm is following an approach to increasing diversity that was covered in a recent McKinsey Quarterly article. The authors point out that Black workers are underrepresented in corporate roles beyond entry level, dropping from near parity to seven percent at the first promotion. They suggest businesses move to locations with a strong Black workforce rather than hoping Black talent will move to them.
In Atlanta, 51 percent of the population is Black. The city is also home to other underrepresented groups that offer opportunities for companies to increase the diversity of their workforces. Spanish and Korean are the second and third most common languages, for example, and the city boasts a vibrant LGBTQ community. Tiffany Burns is the senior partner who leads the Atlanta office today. “You will see and hear this difference between Atlanta and other cities the moment you arrive at the airport,” she says.
The Tech and Innovation Hub brings together two McKinsey groups: the Client Capabilities Network and the Tech Ecosystem.
The Client Capabilities Network is made up of industry and functional experts who support clients, both in person and remotely, with solutions, frameworks and diagnostics. “Our people can come in at different points during a project to do targeted analyses and due diligence,” explains Robert Tesoriero, leader of the network. “These repeated, sophisticated analyses provide a fact base, accelerate results, and support our integrative consultants in strategizing and co-creation with clients.” The Tech Ecosystem, according to their chief operating officer Leslie Giordano brings together a range of technical experts who conceive, build, and run our firm’s digital capabilities. “They focus on cloud, security, and maximizing the effectiveness of the technologies we use as a firm and with our clients,” she explains.
Aligning tech and consulting in one location gives us the opportunity to deeply integrate and bring the best of our firm to our clients.
The newly expanded Digital Capability Center in Atlanta, formally re-launched this May, is a state-of-the-art facility that helps companies build expertise and capabilities they need to adopt next generation digital technologies. The Atlanta office also features a McKinsey Design-to-Value lab that helps clients improve the performance of products and services. “Aligning tech and consulting in one location," says Tiffany, “gives us the opportunity to deeply integrate and bring the best of our firm to our clients.”
So what can a new colleague expect if they join McKinsey Atlanta? Tremendous apprenticeship opportunities to help them develop quickly as professionals, and the support and friendship of welcoming communities through our affinity groups. “We have teams focused on sustainability, building businesses, working with organizations to upskill and reskill their people, and helping with transformations across a variety of industries and functions,” says Tiffany. “So, what we can offer colleagues is the chance to do exciting work on issues that people are passionate about.”