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Delivering on our purpose

A letter from our Global Managing Partner

On issues from COVID-19 to racial equity to climate change, our 34,000-plus colleagues came together through acts big and small to deliver on our purpose.

Kevin Sneader Global Managing Partner

When the pandemic took hold across the globe, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) articulated a dual imperative for all leaders: to save lives and safeguard livelihoods. As I look back on 2020, I am immensely proud of the way that McKinsey colleagues rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic while confronting the many other issues that emerged during a year like no other.

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On issues from COVID-19 to racial equity to climate change, our 34,000-plus colleagues came together through acts big and small to deliver on our purpose of helping to create positive, enduring change in the world. The cover of our report, for example, shows one of the hundreds of colleagues with medical training who, with the support of the firm, voluntarily took leave  to join others on the front lines to combat the virus.

As the pandemic evolved into a devastating, once‑in‑a‑century health crisis, we launched our COVID Response Center to support efforts to safeguard lives and livelihoods. With 34 million views, our more than 600 COVID-related publications helped inform leaders and others as they looked for answers to questions they never expected to face. Throughout, we were there for our clients, supporting them as they navigated a uniquely perilous and uncertain period. In almost all cases, this meant helping them reimagine themselves for the next normal, whether their challenges related to their very survival or new pathways to growth in a post-pandemic world.

When the health crisis was joined by a moment of reckoning in racial inequity, we moved quickly. In June 2020, we released our 10 Actions focused on advancing racial equity within our firm, with our clients, and in our wider communities. We created the Black Leadership Academy, a dedicated McKinsey Academy virtual leadership program, and made it available at no cost to our clients. Since launching in September 2020, we have trained more than 7,000 participants from 350 organizations and have confirmed more than 10,000 additional attendees.

We redoubled our environmental efforts, launching McKinsey Sustainability with the goal of helping all industry sectors halve carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero climate impact by 2050. As a firm, we have made our own commitment to reach net-zero climate impact by 2030.

We are proud of the progress we have made and, drawing on the values on which our firm was founded almost 100 years ago, we are committed to raising our ambitions. We have evaluated and updated our governance processes, including the policy that determines the clients we will and will not serve, and on what topics. We have set a goal of providing $2 billion in cash and in-kind support to social responsibility efforts by 2030. We will continue to reflect on the work we do, to find new opportunities to support our people, and to build a more inclusive and sustainable firm.

The stories in this report remind me of the way our colleagues brought McKinsey’s purpose to life in the past year, renewing my optimism for what’s possible when we are confronted by unprecedented challenges and respond with the best of our skills—and spirit. I hope they are similarly inspiring for you.

Kevin Sneader
Global Managing Partner
McKinsey & Company