2020 year in review: Highlights from our publishing

The year 2020 saw tremendous change and suffering—not only because of the pandemic but also due to heightened concerns over racial justice and climate change. From the start of what turned out to be a year filled with crises and heroic responses, McKinsey produced a record stream of articles, reports, and new features to help the world come to grips with what was happening and begin to define the next normal that we’re all now living through. Here we present some of the most popular and innovative insights that the McKinsey Global Publishing team brought to you this year.

Top 10 Lists of Most Popular Insights

A tale of 2020 in 20 McKinsey charts

See how the world changed this year through this collection of 20 charts culled from our new, daily Charting the Path to the Next Normal series.

Twenty images that offer a lens on 2020

McKinsey designers highlight the photos and illustrations that helped us tell the visual story of a remarkable year.

Top reports this year

Our top reports of the year took a deep dive into the management issues that resonated most with organizations during the pandemic, from gender parity and managing through the crisis to private equity. To explore our robust library of downloadable signature reports and special collections, visit the McKinsey Download Hub.

Women in the Workplace 2021

– A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, women in corporate America are even more burned out than they were last year—and increasingly more so than men. Despite this, women leaders are stepping up to support employee well-being and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, but that work is not getting recognized. That’s according to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.Org.

The State of Fashion 2021: In search of promise in perilous times

– In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate industry trends, with shopping shifting to digital channels and consumers continuing to champion fairness and social justice.

McKinsey’s Global Banking Annual Review

– Updated annually, our Global Banking Annual Review offers the best of our research and insights into the global banking industry. Explore the findings from our most recent report and scroll for past years’ reports.

Diversity wins: How inclusion matters

– The business case for inclusion and diversity (I&D) is stronger than ever. Taking a closer look at diversity winners reveals what can drive real progress.

How executives can help sustain value creation for the long term

– Joint research from FCLTGlobal and McKinsey highlights the behaviors that can help corporate leaders and board directors sidestep pressures and stay focused on the long term.

McKinsey’s Private Markets Annual Review

– Updated annually, our Private Markets Review offers the best of our research and insight into private equity, private real estate, and other private markets. Explore the findings from our most recent report and scroll for past years’ reports.

New Features This Year


We asked a diverse range of our Gen Z consultants (born after 1996) from around the globe to tell us which of the more than 1,000 articles we published in 2020 struck a chord with them.

New Experiences this year

Popular Special Collections This Year

Explore a few of our most visited special collections from 2020, which draw together articles, multimedia, and more to deeply engage on many facets of a single topic.

The Next Normal: Emerging stronger from the coronavirus pandemic

Explore McKinsey’s curated collection on the business outlook for 2021 and beyond—plus insights about how companies can emerge stronger from the coronavirus crisis.

COVID Response Center

The Center, which focuses on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, aspires to help safeguard lives, livelihoods, and communities on the path to the next normal.

McKinsey and the World Economic Forum

As a strategic partner, McKinsey supports the World Economic Forum’s mission of improving the state of the world.

The McKinsey Download Hub

Download PDFs of McKinsey’s latest research, perspectives, and insights on the management issues that matter most, from leading through the COVID-19 crisis to managing risk, digitizing operations, and more.

McKinsey on Books

Explore this month’s best-selling business books, prepared exclusively for McKinsey Publishing by NPD, and a collection of books by McKinsey authors on the management issues that matter.

The graduate’s guide to a new world of work

The 2021 graduate heading into a job or internship faces an unprecedented work environment. From McKinsey’s extensive collection of insights over the years, we have curated a multimedia guide to help you hit the ground running.

Popular Podcasts this year

In this year of lockdowns, listeners tuned in to reflect and learn—how to be more productive, more inclusive, and more resilient in the face of adversity. Here are some of our most streamed podcasts of 2020.

Listen to more McKinsey Podcasts

Uncovering the state of fashion

– With the global economy cooling and concerns about sustainability rising, the mood among fashion-industry executives is far from exuberant.

The future of air travel

– Airlines and passengers alike are flying into a world of flygskam and flying taxis.

The mass personalization of change: Large-scale impact, one individual at a time

– Here’s how technology, data, and human insight are transforming the way we enact change. Fast.

Building a business within a business: How to power continual organic growth

– Business building is vital to a company’s longevity. To do it successfully, an organization needs the strengths of an incumbent and the agility of a start-up.

Getting the measure of corporate Asia

– Over the past decade, Asia received half of all new investment in the global economy. Despite pockets of excellence, Asian companies have struggled to deliver strong returns on this influx of capital.

Meet Generation Z: Shaping the future of shopping

– The newest consumer generations—Gen Z and millennials—are upturning retailers’ expectations. Here’s how—and what to do about it.


The editors of our four most-read email newsletters and multimedia series chose their favorite issues of the year to share with you. Whether daily, weekly, or monthly, our newsletter offerings span functional, industry, and news-based topics—and we’re adding more in 2021.

Subscribe to our newsletters


The COVID-19 pandemic has created and exacerbated countless challenges for leaders, organizations, and communities. In our most popular McKinsey Live webinars, McKinsey experts brought these issues to the forefront and offered perspectives on navigating beyond the crisis to shape the next normal.

Learn more about McKinsey Live

New at McKinsey blog: 2020 year in review

As 2020 comes to a close, New at McKinsey blog editors share a look at some of the milestones that defined the year—and what inspires them for the future ahead.

McKinsey Global Institute: Twelve highlights from our 2020 research

These 12 charts distill some of the best research from the McKinsey Global Institute over the course of a year of shocks.

COVID Response Center’s year in review

A look back at 2020 and how we responded to the COVID-19 crisis.

Building a stronger, more inclusive US workforce

The COVID-19 crisis continues to disproportionally affect the most vulnerable segments of the US workforce. Explore the experiences of today’s workforce with our latest collection.

Leading voices on the pandemic

Ten leaders offer insights about navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

The emotional toll of COVID-19

Behavioral health issues associated with anxiety, depression, and substance use are on the rise. Explore our collection of resources and insights on well-being.


McKinsey Global Publishing would like to thank, first and foremost, the many authors of these articles and other insights for their contributions and analysis.

And we want to acknowledge the many direct contributors who offered vital energy and expertise—under extraordinary personal and professional circumstances—to the development, editing, risk review, copyediting, fact checking, data visualization, design, production, and dissemination of all of McKinsey’s content over the past year.

McKinsey Global Publishing


Raju Narisetti

Global Editorial Director

Lucia Rahilly


Julia Arnous, Diane Brady, Richard Bucci, Lang Davison, Tom Fleming, Roberta Fusaro, Eileen Hannigan, Heather Hanselman, Justine Jablonska, Bill Javetski, Jason Li, Cait Murphy, Josh Rosenfield, Astrid Sandoval, David Schwartz, Daniella Seiler, Mark Staples, Rick Tetzeli, Barbara Tierney, and Monica Toriello

Digital innovation and audience development

Nicole Adams, Heather Andrews, Mike Borruso, Sherri Capers, Torea Frey, Mary Halpin, Eleni Kostopoulos, and Philip Mathew

Copy desk

Vanessa Burke, Heather Byer, Nancy Cohn, Roger Draper, Drew Holzfeind, Julie Macias, LaShon Malone, Pamela Norton, Kanika Punwani, and Sarah Thuerk

Visual storytelling

Victor Cuevas, Nicole Esquerre, Richard Johnson, Maya Kaplun, Stephen Landau, Janet Michaud, Matthew Perry, Dan Redding, Jonathon Rivait, Dan Spector, and Nathan Wilson

Editorial and digital production

Michael Allen, Matt Baumer, Elana Brown, Andrew Cha, Paromita Ghosh, Gwyn Herbein, Chris Konnari, Milva Mantilla, Katrina Parker, Charmaine Rice, Dana Sand, Katie Shearer, Venetia Simcock, Chandan Srivastava, Sean Stebner, Sneha Vats, Pooja Yadav, and Belinda Yu

Social media/video

Devin Brown, Chelsea Bryan, Mona Hamouly, Lauren Holmes, Simon London, Puneet Mishra, Kathleen O’Leary, Elizabeth Schaub, and Rita Zonius