Corporate monetary pledges aimed at fighting racial injustice have become more difficult to track. Our weekly digest of McKinsey insights explores that topic and more.
Sustainable and inclusive growth: Briefing note #34, February 23, 2023
In recent years, many large companies have made monetary pledges to fight racial injustice. This week, the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility analyzes those pledges. New research reveals, among other insights, that these commitments have become more broadly targeted and more difficult to track. Elsewhere, an article looks at how supply chain snarls can impede renewable-energy projects.
Companies’ monetary commitments in support of racial equity have become less specifically targeted since 2021. Companies increasingly direct monetary pledges toward broad initiatives that don’t always disclose how funds are spent. McKinsey partner Duwain Pinder and coauthors offer suggestions for companies looking to make future pledges. Among them: be transparent and specific about the timelines and targets of pledges, and don’t forget—while making those external pledges—to also make internal commitments to employees.
Supply chain tangles have created difficulties for developers of renewable energy. Labor shortages and the geographic concentration of vital raw materials are among the most pressing obstacles to the construction of new (and in-demand) wind and solar capacity. Senior partner Alberto Bettoli and coauthors say vertical integration could be one solution: renewables companies that can acquire or partner with materials suppliers might be better able to keep projects on track.
Here are other recent notable findings from McKinsey research:
- For almost two decades, US labor productivity has grown at a lackluster pace. Boosting productivity represents a $10 trillion opportunity. Managing partner for North America Asutosh Padhi, McKinsey Global Institute directors Kweilin Ellingrud and Olivia White, and coauthors present a comprehensive and prescriptive report on efforts to rekindle the productivity of the American workforce.
- Data ethics is becoming top of mind for companies, amid increased consumer interest and regulatory scrutiny. Partner Henning Soller and coauthor offer a framework for putting data ethics into practice. Strong guiding principles and clear communication can help an organization create a healthy data culture.
- Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) comprise 44 percent of US GDP. Senior partner Mohsin Imtiaz and coauthors say that tech providers could benefit from considering the specific tech needs of SMBs instead of merely attempting to replicate enterprise commercial approaches.
- Outer space is getting crowded with both public and private actors. Associate partner Giacomo Gatto and coauthor suggest governance principles that could help limit conflicts as the space economy develops.
A recent edition of Author Talks features Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor Robert Waldinger speaking about his new book, The Good Life: Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness (Simon & Schuster, January 2023). Waldinger, who oversees the Harvard Study of Adult Development, says the 85-year-old longitudinal study reveals that the strongest source of happiness is good relationships, a successful career does not always result in contentment, and no one is happy all the time.
McKinsey is striving to create inclusive growth through collaborations with clients and local communities. By preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, propelling wealth creation for working families, and supporting racial equity, McKinsey is helping build an economy that works for everyone. Learn more about McKinsey’s efforts to create an inclusive economy, on McKinsey.com.
This briefing note, based on our latest published insights, was prepared by Seth Stevenson, a senior editor in McKinsey’s New York office.