The first step to solving a problem is to understand it. That’s one of the keys to getting at least some unvaccinated Americans to take action. This week, McKinsey examined vaccine hesitancy and identified some of the reasons for resistance, which, once removed, could help build a bridge to herd immunity. McKinsey experts used this same problem-defining approach to examine how to improve women’s work lives, reduce methane emissions, make organizational transformations more effective, and drive revenue in meal delivery.
More than 63 percent of the US population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 54 percent have been fully vaccinated, as of September 16, 2021. A minimum of roughly 80 million additional individuals would still need to be vaccinated in the next few months for the country to have a chance at reaching herd immunity. Among the unvaccinated, 14 percent are “Unlikely adopters,” who may never take the shot, while 7 percent are “Interested,” meaning that they plan on getting the vaccine. The most dynamic unvaccinated group is the “Cautious” category, people who may get vaccinated if their concerns can be addressed (exhibit). Aiding in scheduling appointments, as well as addressing worries about long-term side effects, could help move this group into the vaccinated category.
McKinsey and LeanIn.Org’s Women in the Workplace study reflects experiences from 423 participating organizations and more than 65,000 survey respondents. In spite of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the workplace, women’s representation has improved across the corporate pipeline since 2016, but there are also persistent gaps. Women of color continue to lose ground at every step: between the entry level and the C-suite, their representation drops off by more than 75 percent. In the past year, one in three women has considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their career—a significant increase from one in four in the first few months of the pandemic. Companies need to take bold steps to address burnout and to recognize and reward the women leaders who are driving progress.
Curbing emissions of methane from agriculture, oil and gas, coal mining, solid-waste management, and wastewater management will be critical to solving the net-zero equation. New McKinsey research shows that these five industries could achieve a 20 percent reduction in global annual methane emissions by 2030 and a 46 percent reduction by 2050—enough for a significant shift toward a 1.5°C warming pathway. McKinsey proposes three “no regrets” actions to begin reducing methane emissions now.
As leaders steer organizations out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are recognizing the need for transformation. The question is, how many people must be involved in a transformation for it to be effective? McKinsey analyzed data from 60 organizations that are at least two years into their transformations and discovered the bare minimum: at least 7 percent of employees should own some part of the change project. That may seem low, but the average company involves only 2 percent of its employees.
Food delivery has become a global market worth more than $150 billion, having more than tripled since 2017. McKinsey identifies the most promising revenue models, which include “dark kitchens,” customer-specific menu engineering, and brand spin-offs.
Here are some of this week’s other key findings from our sector research:
Even the most seasoned professional was a neophyte at some point, a fact celebrated in our My Rookie Moment video series, in which McKinsey colleagues discuss the first time they had to deal with a particular challenge. This edition features stories about the nerve-racking process of giving a colleague tough feedback for the first time, and the humbling experience of receiving it.
This briefing note was edited by Katy McLaughlin, a senior editor in the Southern California office.