McDonalds announces allyship through accountability strategy

McDonald's announces allyship through accountability strategy

 February 21, 2021

McDonald’s strategy for the future is built on a simple idea: When the Company lives its values, it succeeds.

McDonald’s values are the backbone of its brand and the driving force behind every decision it makes. They’re reflected in every feel-good moment it creates. But there’s one value – inclusion – that is so foundational, so central to who McDonald’s is and what it aspires to be, that it makes all its other values possible.

McDonald's as a place of opportunity 

Early leaders envisioned McDonald’s as a place of opportunity – where Owner/Operators could build successful businesses, employees could launch rewarding careers, and anyone, anywhere, could get a delicious meal and a reliably great experience. No matter where you are in the world, when you interact with McDonald’s – through the app, in a restaurant, by watching a commercial, working in an office setting or as a crew member – inclusion and equity should be as evident and familiar as the Arches themselves.

While McDonald’s is proud of the steps it has taken to ensure this so far, it knows it still have a lot of work to do. With a corporation as complex as McDonald’s, the organization knows that change won’t happen overnight. But McDonald’s is not using its size or its structure as an excuse.

Holding leaders accountable 

That’s why, for the first time in McDonald’s history, the company is implementing policies that hold its leaders directly accountable for making tangible progress on its DEI goals:

  • Allyship through accountability: 
    Beginning in 2021, the Company is incorporating quantitative human capital management-related metrics to annual incentive compensation for its Executive Vice Presidents. In addition to the Company’s financial performance, executives will be measured on their ability to champion McDonald’s core values, improve representation within leadership roles for both women and historically underrepresented groups, and create a strong culture of inclusion within the Company.
  • Represent the diverse communities in which McDonald’s operates by increasing the diversity of its Leadership: 
    By end of 2025, McDonald’s expects to increase    representation of historically underrepresented groups in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) located in the U.S. to 35%. The 2020 baseline data shows underrepresented groups make up 29% of leadership roles. Additionally, by end of  2025, McDonald’s expects to increase representation of women in leadership roles globally (Senior Director and above) to 45%. The 2020 baseline data shows women make up 37% of leadership roles.

Improving female representation 

Women McDonalds

This effort in support of women in leadership builds on McDonald’s publicly stated 2019 Gender Strategy to improve the representation of women at all levels of the Company by 2023, while also achieving gender equality in career advancement and championing the impact of women on the business. 

McDonald’s has an overall goal to reach gender parity in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) by the end of 2030. McDonald’s defines gender parity using the UN Women Training Centre definition as another term for equal representation of women and men in a given area. To set these goals, McDonald’s leveraged data to understand where we are currently, and where McDonald’s wants to be in the future. This included a review of internal and external data, including labor and census talent availability statistics, industry EEO-1 data, consumer insights, customer trends, and expected demographics changes in the next 10 years.  

Working with McDonald’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Each member of the senior leadership team – Executive Vice Presidents and Senior Vice Presidents – will also work collaboratively with McDonald’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Reggie Miller and his team to build an action plan to move the needle on these commitments within their respective function that includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Active engagement with internal and external diversity groups,
  • Internal sentiment measurement via McDonald’s "Inclusion Index" – which has been designed to measure the critical components of building an inclusive culture – including whether McDonald’s employees feel that they can bring their “whole” selves to work and have equal opportunities. This survey measure is provided to all of McDonald’s Global Staff employees from its Corporate Office, U.S. and International markets. McDonald’s aims to measure inclusion every six months to monitor its progress and identify areas of opportunity.
  • Mentorship and sponsorship relationships with more junior women or underrepresented groups, and
  • Creating diverse candidate slates for all open Officer roles.

Read President and CEO Chris Kempczinski’s message to the company on these accountability measures here. More information about the Company’s diversity, equity and inclusion actions and progress can be found here.

Creating innovative action plans

Because accountability to move the needle on inclusion and equity sits across not just the Company, but throughout McDonald’s supply chain and franchisee relationships, the Company assembled working teams to go deep within its business and create innovative action plans. Since July of last year, these teams have been tasked with developing and supporting specific roadmaps to bring its DEI strategy to life and accelerate change. You’ll hear more regarding these plans throughout 2021.

McDonald’s know there’s a lot of work ahead, but it is work it welcomes. Few companies on the planet are better positioned to make a difference than McDonald’s. McDonald’s feeds more people, reaches more markets, and operates in more communities than any other restaurant company in the world.

When McDonald’s harnesses its scale to change the system, there’s simply no telling how much of an impact it can make – and this is just the beginning.

Work under inclusive leadership at McDonald's

McDonald's global aspiration is that no matter where you are in the world, when you interact with McDonald’s—through the app, in a restaurant, by watching a commercial, working in an office setting or as a crew member—inclusion and equity are as evident and familiar as the Arches themselves.

If you want to work for a company that lives by inclusive values, kick-start your career at McDonald's.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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