The Gender Equality Interview Series: Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey

In light of the Gender Equality Forum 2017, we interviewed Dominic Barton, global managing partner of McKinsey, for an interview and asked the following questions on Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment, and more. 

Why is gender equality important to you / McKinsey?

For us it’s quite simple — we have a dual mission to create lasting impact for our clients and to be an unrivaled environment for exceptional people. We simply cannot do that if we don’t have the absolute best talent in the world, which to me means having equal representation of women and men in the Firm.

Are you optimistic that we will get to Gender Equality 2030?

I think that there has been some progress, but it has been slow given the ambitious goal we are all trying to achieve. However, I am optimistic that we can all achieve gender equality by 2030 because the dialogue has changed — nobody questions whether or not this is a valuable goal. Instead, Executives all around the world are focused on implementing changes that promote gender equality in their organizations.

What will it take to achieve Gender Equality 2030? Why is it so difficult to achieve Gender Equality? 

True gender equality in the workforce requires huge culture change given the many issues at play, ranging from unconscious bias to women’s rights and protection under the law. At the company level, we see that structural changes such as flexibility programmes and diversity policies are only half the battle — real change comes when you equip individual managers to be inclusive leaders and actively support diversity on their teams.

What actions and achievements related to achieving Gender Equality are you most proud of?

I am very proud when I see individual leaders in our Firm taking a stand for diversity. For example, our Italian office managing partner insisted that his office get to 50% female hires in the most recent recruiting cycle.

Do you have any advice to other business leaders that don’t know where and how to start?

It takes a lot of effort from the top to push forward gender equality in the workplace. This includes constant communication from the CEO and his or her top team that this is a priority for the organisation and a relentless focus on tracking progress.


Dominic Barton, of McKinsey