SXSW 2021

2020: A Pivotal Moment for Women in the Workplace


The events of 2020 completely turned corporate America upside down—from a global pandemic to social unrest, the workforce is experiencing unprecedented disruption. The impact from these events is alarming: McKinsey & Company and Lean In’s annual Women in the Workplace report found 1 in 4 women are considering downshifting their careers or stepping out entirely. Corporate America is at a crossroads that could undo years of progress. If masses of women leave, it will have lasting negative effects for decades. However, if companies make significant investments and build a more flexible and empathetic workplace, they could not only maintain but advance gender diversity in the long term. This session will explore how we achieve this goal and best practices for advancing women in the workplace.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. To enable employees to achieve professional & personal goals, companies need to focus on outcomes and engagement and give employees time to disconnect
  2. Companies should adapt their cultures, norms and processes to help employees thrive in virtual settings
  3. Companies need to rewrite the playbook and provide managers new resources for remote teams, ie. new forms of communication, job structures and reviews



Margaret Swink, Global External Relations Lead, DEI, McKinsey & Company

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Workplace
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: A New Urgency
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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