Closing the Equity Gap in the Startup Community


When it comes to high-tech growth, not everyone has the same opportunities. Black and Latino people, as well as women, are underrepresented in the tech industry in the United States. And while these disparities are systemic, they can be addressed with the right support.

McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, is working to close these gaps. Our aim is to help underrepresented founders unlock sustainable growth in the New York City area. To this end, we recently launched InNYC, an accelerator designed to support tech startup founders who are women, people of color, and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community.

In addition to providing dedicated consulting support, we offer unique opportunities for exposure and sponsorship and connections to our global network. We are also helping three incredible organizations with our expertise and resources. Tanya Van Court’s Goalsetter seeks to empower families and children and strengthen financial literacy and health. Lisa Skeete Tatum and Sheila Marcelo’s Landit provides personalized coaching and a career path platform for women and diverse groups. And Isabel Rafferty’s Canela Media is an entertainment platform for Hispanic people around the world.

McKinsey isn’t the only organization working to improvequity in the startup community. Other leaders in government and industry are joining us in this effort, including venture capitalists at Harlem Capital and the Minority Business Development Agency, an arm of the Department of Commerce. These organizations are helping to create cultural and economic value for women and minority founders and provide them with access to capital.

Not only is this work important for promoting equity, but it is also likely to be profitable for investors. According to research by McKinsey, companies with gender-diverse leadership teams are 21 percent more likely to be profitable than companies with less diversity. Companies with culturally or ethnically diverse leadership teams are 33 percent more likely to outperform those with less diversity.

Ultimately, it is up to all of us to help great underrepresented founders gain visibility, expand their networks, and tackle their biggest challenges. We can do this by providing counsel, capabilities, connections, and capital. Together, we can help create a more equitable startup community — and ultimately, a more prosperous society.