Finding joy in supporting Black colleagues

What does Black History Month mean to you?

It is an acknowledgement of the contributions Black Americans have given to this country. It is a reflection, a celebration, and an opportunity to share our history broadly. It’s important because many people aren’t aware of the contributions Black Americans have made.

Who would you consider to be an iconic, pivotal or inspirational figure in Black history?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, and I could name many historical figures. However, right now, I will say Michelle Obama. She carried herself with so much grace, elegance and dignity as First Lady and as she helped President Obama lead the country. I appreciate her focus on children’s health and education, and even now she is doing great things. She is a role model for all women, and especially Black women.

What is your favorite McKinsey Black Network moment?

It has to be creating a Tampa-based chapter of McKinsey Black Network. The McKinsey Black Network was established in 1991 and Black History Month had been recognized firmwide for many years, but in 2020, a few colleagues and I decided to organize special events in the Tampa office to educate, promote diversity, and celebrate. The events were met with such excitement and enthusiasm we knew we had to extend the celebration beyond one month. And that’s how the idea to create our own chapter of McKinsey Black Network was born.

We host a variety of training, development, and networking activities. We highlight historical and current figures, and the impact they’ve had on America. We invite Black business owners, entrepreneurs, and partners to speak and share their experiences. It’s powerful for people to connect with leaders who look like them.

Our Black colleagues have embraced the network, and it was rewarding for me to be able to develop it alongside a team of great colleagues. Giving our Black colleagues a safe space to network, learn, grow, and receive support has not only given me so much pride but it has also been fun.

Tell us about your role at McKinsey.

I am the Tampa Practice Hub manager. I manage approximately 80 colleagues, and I am responsible for practice management strategy, coaching, and development. My group is part of the global Practice Management Function, which shapes strategy, runs operations, and manages the group’s capabilities. As a leader, I take pride in being able to coach and mentor colleagues to grow in their roles.

Lori Williams
Lori Williams

What do you enjoy outside of work?

One thing I love is riding motorcycles. Last year, I took a road trip from Phoenix to Florida, and it was incredible. In general, I love to travel. Recently, I was looking at my passport and realized I had visited nine countries in five years. McKinsey certainly made some of that travel possible, and I am grateful for the opportunities to see the world. COVID has me grounded right now, but as soon as I can, I want to start traveling again.

Family and friends are most important to me. COVID has changed so much, so it was a blessing both my sons moved to Florida. I can see them and my three grandkids regularly. I have a small COVID pod of friends who I get to see. We can safely have dinner at one another’s houses and spend time together.

Every July, I take two weeks off to entertain my grandchildren, nieces and nephews during summer break. I care for eight kids, ages two to 16, on my own. I make it a big deal and we do tons of water activities. Outside of traveling, it’s the thing I am looking most forward to this summer.

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