System Upgrade:
Rebooting Corporate Policies for Impact

System Upgrade is a practical and data-driven set of nine policies and practices that will help untapped talent enter, thrive, and stay in the workforce.

This new report features groundbreaking research from Reboot Representation, conducted by McKinsey & Company, and in partnership with Pivotal Ventures.

In the last five years, the tech industry has both soared and stumbled. We’ve seen an unprecedented wave of technical talent, including Black, Latina, and Native American women, graduate ready for the workforce. We’ve also seen companies struggle with talent retention, economic instability, and seismic shifts in how we think about work. Is your workplace primed to survive this moment and thrive beyond it?

Investing in talent may not be your top priority in uncertain times. But new research says it should be. System Upgrade: Rebooting Corporate Policies for Impact is a new report featuring groundbreaking research from Reboot Representation, conducted by McKinsey & Company, and in partnership with Pivotal Ventures. It shows that investing in talent during turmoil is the smartest decision a company can make, leading to resilience and success for years to come. 

This isn’t just a report—it’s a practical roadmap to navigating our evolving and often difficult reality. We’re excited to share a data-driven set of nine policies and practices that bridge the gap between the policies companies offer and the ones that keep talent thriving. We know every company is unique—and these policies provide a solid foundation for any company to build upon.

What do companies stand to gain? A workplace that endures, a workforce that excels, and an industry that relentlessly innovates.

It’s time for a system upgrade. Let’s get to work.

Technology jobs can give millions of people new opportunities and keep our economy healthy—but only if all technologists get the support they need at every step in their professional journeys. Reboot is working hard to make sure they do.

Melinda French Gates

Founder, Pivotal Ventures


After years of industry flux, investing in employee retention is just good business. Companies work hard to nurture top talent so they can innovate, disrupt, and lead the industry. But when it comes to retention, companies should work smarter, not harder. 

System Upgrade bridges the gap between what’s offered and what’s needed. 

Five years ago, the Rebooting Representation report set out to catalyze investments in and opportunities for Black, Latina and Native American (BLNA) women in computing. Catch up on the key findings here

Half a decade later, our members have collectively pledged over $26 million to BLNA women in computing. As of 2021, the number of computing degrees awarded to BLNA women nearly doubled

But the work isn’t done. Between 2018 and 2022, the representation of BLNA women in tech fell more than 10%. A key contributor? Retention issues. 

Retaining talent can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Even amid uncertainty, effective policies are within reach for those who want to maintain a robust, thriving workforce. Read on to learn about the nine key policies your company should adopt so you don’t leave great talent on the table.

There’s a new pipeline of technical talent ready to enter the workplace – and companies are leaving value on the table by failing to retain them.

More Black, Latina, and Native American women are earning computing degrees, but their share of the tech workforce is going down.

Representation of Black, Latina, and Native American (BLNA) women,1 %

Years with available data

Note: Data based on most recent available years.
1Change in representation of BLNA women occurs in small increments given the fraction of the overall population their representation starts at.

2Computing degrees defined as CIP 11, first and second majors.
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; Women in the Workplace
Employee Experience Survey, 2018 (n > 64,000) and 2022 (n > 40,000).

Policies for Impact

In a challenging economy, businesses can’t afford to lose talent. System Upgrade: Rebooting Corporate Policies for Impact introduces nine cornerstone policies and practices that companies can implement today to retain BLNA women and their colleagues. Those policies are:


Share salary ranges so people know what they can expect.


Have an accessible internal jobs board so people can understand opportunities across the organization.


Assign mentors to support candidates when they are going through interviews to help clarify the process, answer questions, and prepare for interviews.


Provide all employees paid sick leave.


Offer expanded mental health benefits (e.g. personal leave).


Give employees the option to work remotely, hybrid, or on-site.


Enable employees to flex their working hours (e.g., compressed workweeks, alternative work schedules, job-sharing).


Offer professional development programs to help employees expand their network and grow (e.g., career accelerators, job shadowing, rotation opportunities).


Provide actionable next steps for development and/or advancement right after a performance review.

Don’t forget: without a meaningful, sustained organizational commitment, these policies are just words on paper. Dig into our tools and resources to learn more about how you can set and achieve data-driven retention goals in your workplace.


Download the report to explore groundbreaking findings and access a suite of free tools and resources.

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Key learnings
Tools & Resources

Use these free resources to make your policies more than just words on paper.

The Business Case for Investing in BLNA Women

A fact sheet that outlines how investing in BLNA women is good for employees, retention, and business.

6 Design Questions to Guide Your Policies

A list of key questions that leaders and their teams should consider when implementing new policies in the workplace.

Intentional Policy Design in Practice

A case study on how to implement one of the nine cornerstone policies using key design questions.

Road Map to Action

A prioritized, three-part road map for companies ready to take action.

Take action today
1. Share the report

Share the report and introduce colleagues to the cornerstone policies and practices.

2. Connect with the team

If you’re ready to act, we want to partner with you! You can reach out directly to someone from the team for help or to share stories of success. Contact:

3. Join the Coalition

Join the coalition of 20+ leading companies who are transforming the industry. Contact