At the end of 2020, the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility first analyzed the monetary commitments from Fortune 1000 companies and institutions that pledged to fight racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd. In response to a movement that began in America, some of the world’s largest companies dedicated more than $66 billion in funds to the cause. When we analyzed the landscape up to May 2021, companies upped their commitments and made new ones to reach a cumulative amount of approximately $200 billion in earmarked funding.
We’ve taken another look at the racial equity commitments from 1,369 Fortune 1000 companies (including new and recently removed Fortune 1000 companies) from May 13, 2021, to October 10, 2022. Our most recent analysis finds that companies pledged about $340 billion to driving racial equity between May 2020 and October 2022, $141 billion of which has come in the last year, between May 2021 and October 2022.
Based on this most recent analysis, there are three considerations for private business and public institutions looking to contribute to racial equity in the United States:
- Specificity and transparency. There is an opportunity to provide more details, ideally on a regular basis, about the breakdown of financial commitments and the timeline of a business’s commitments. In doing so, a business can measure the success of their efforts, encourage similar behavior from industry competitors, and ultimately, help combat racial injustice in a meaningful, sustainable way.
- Involvement of the entire economy. Retail, hospitality, healthcare, and food service, among other industries, could consider increasing their commitments to fighting racial injustice in light of both the makeup of their workforce and their share of the US economy. Doing so may be particularly difficult—yet have an even greater impact—as businesses consider resiliency measures during uncertain economic times.
- Importance of internal commitments. In addition to making external commitments to racial equity, businesses can also create more equitable workplaces for their employees, particularly for entry-level and frontline workers. At a time when many businesses may be scrutinizing labor costs, they can enrich the lives of their current employees by reexamining internal processes and implementing inclusion and antibias training programs, for example. These investments can lower costly attrition rates.
While the global economy is challenging the resilience of businesses across industries, there are also opportunities to create lasting impact in achieving racial equity, one commitment at a time.