Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Guided by our values, we are committed to becoming better allies, better sponsors and better leaders – helping to empower the people and communities we serve.
We are committed to actively fostering an inclusive environment, where diversity is embraced as an advantage. This is a cultural climate that spans the entire McDonald’s System. It builds on the work we’ve done around the world, recognizes where we can continue to make strides and takes every opportunity to emphasize that inclusion is central to who we are.
No matter their role or contribution to McDonald’s, we believe inclusion is everyone’s responsibility.
Living our values means delivering on them every day, in ways that everyone can see. It means building trust by showing the millions of people who visit us daily – as well as each McFamily member working in a McDonald’s restaurant or our corporate offices – that we care about what they care about.
We closed the small pay gaps identified in our 2021 pay gap analysis. The 2021 analysis showed we had already substantially attained equal pay for women globally in Company-owned and operated markets, who were paid on average $0.9985 for every $1 to men for comparable work, and that there was not a pay gap disfavoring underrepresented groups1 in the U.S.
We incorporated quantitative human capital metrics into our executives’ annual incentive compensation to hold leadership accountable.
We launched a Franchisee recruitment initiative to help increase the number of new Franchisees from all backgrounds, including underrepresented groups, with a five-year, $250 million commitment in the U.S.
We are progressing against our goals to increase representation of women globally and underrepresented groups in the U.S. in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) by 2025.
We reached our goal of increasing U.S. systemwide spend with diverse-owned suppliers to 25%, reaching 25.4% as of the end of 2021. We invited U.S.-based suppliers to sign a Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).
At McDonald’s, our strategy for the future is built on a simple idea: when we live our values, we succeed. Our approach focuses on three areas:
- How we can best represent the diverse communities in which we operate.
- How we can accelerate cultures of inclusion and belonging in our operations globally.
- How we can use our scale to help dismantle barriers to economic opportunity.
Our values are the backbone of our brand. They’re the driving force behind every decision we make, and part of every experience we create. But there’s one value – inclusion – so foundational that it inherently enhances how we show up in every space. After all, to really serve, it is important that we serve everyone. Leading with integrity means treating everyone with respect and dignity. These are expectations from the brand that everyone, everywhere, should be able to count on – in our restaurants and in the communities we serve.
We promote a bias-aware and inclusive workplace that enhances and supports a diverse talent pipeline, by combining cutting-edge technology with the latest strategic thinking and best recruitment practices to attract, retain and promote.
We seek to represent the diverse communities in which we operate by increasing the diversity of our leadership and have set two goals to help us achieve this.
We’re driving inclusive, bias-aware workplaces, in part, by blending technology and new recruiting techniques, including:
- Using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to create gender-neutral, inclusive job descriptions.
- Driving our University Talent Attraction strategy, with a focus on attracting talent from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) through job postings, messaging campaigns, career fairs and career development workshops.
- Further embedding and encouraging diverse candidate slates and interviewer panels.
- Harnessing technology platforms to broaden the number of candidates we screen.
- Strategically structuring interviews and interview guides to help support equity and fairness throughout the selection, interview and offer process.
We’re serious about holding ourselves and our leaders accountable to these foundational commitments and reporting on our progress transparently.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
At McDonald’s, we recognize the critical importance of transparency around pay practices and how that influences the battle against inequity in the workforce. We believe that greater transparency is important to building trust with our people, living our values and holding ourselves accountable, which is why we set an equal pay goal in 2021.
Our annual equal pay analysis compares employees in similar roles, while considering the many factors that legitimately drive differences in pay between employees, such as experience (general, McDonald’s-specific, job-specific), job level/grade, performance and location. We address any discrepancies we find and report on our progress.
We set a goal to run pay gap analyses and close identified gaps annually, and we will report on our progress as we continue to advance our strategy.
See our Talent & Benefits page for more details on our compensation philosophy, including the Global Pay Principles in place across our owned markets to ensure that good pay practices are understood, consistently implemented and executed across McDonald’s.
Employee Business Networks
Our employee business networks (EBNs) are employee-led, volunteer business-focused forums. EBNs support an inclusive work environment, foster relationships, support career development opportunities and help grow our business. They provide members with the opportunity to network, learn from one another and grow their careers together. EBNs also provide a source of mentors, role models and sponsors, and give members access to senior leadership, information on career strategies and opportunities for advancement.
Our EBNs bring our Company values to life every day and share important and timely cultural insights when situations arise within and outside of McDonald’s. We remain proud to have leveraged their perspectives in real time to create meaningful and overdue change by standing in solidarity with partnering organizations that challenged anti-hate movements and advocated for social justice – in support of members of impacted business networks – to promote inclusion and belonging.
Read on for examples of how our employee business networks recently supported our DEI strategy:
- Asian Pacific Middle East Network (APMEN) – The network is committed to inspiring and supporting development of Asian Pacific and Middle Eastern employees so they can reach their fullest potential. In 2021, APMEN led emotional wellness and leadership onboarding programs to ensure employees with cultural ties to the 36 countries APMEN represents know they are appreciated, valued and empowered by McDonald’s. The network also launched a summit to celebrate 2021 achievements in areas such as leadership and talent development, and created an opportunity to acknowledge cultural heritage.
- Disability Inclusion Group (DIG) – The group’s mission is to create spaces of representation and belonging within the McDonald’s community for people with disabilities and their allies. In 2021, the group amplified representation, accelerated inclusion and helped remove barriers to equity by hosting various virtual gatherings that strengthened awareness, understanding and respect for people with disabilities.
- Hispanic Employee Business Network (HEBN) – The network vision is to drive business momentum, elevate talent and build a pipeline of Hispanic leaders at McDonald’s. Throughout 2021, the network connected with the Hispanic/Latino/a/x community through the UnidosUS Conference. Internally, several members were recognized with Global Shining Light Values Awards, while others participated in mentorships, officer panels, surveys and other crucial conversations.
- Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) – As McDonald’s largest and only truly global enterprise EBN, its mission is to support a culture where women at all levels have equal opportunities to develop, advance and succeed. It acts as a catalyst for change and a valuable thought partner for McDonald’s DEI initiatives, advocating for equal pay and contributing guidance in areas such as gender diversity and women’s retention. During 2021, GWLN doubled the number of chapters globally.
- McDonald’s African American Council (MA2C) – MA2C aims to be a world-class employee network that supports diversity and fosters the inclusion and advancement of employees who identify as Black or of Africa descent. It drives business results by elevating talent and the contributions of McDonald’s employees. Throughout 2021, MA2C focused on communication, education and development, providing local chapter and national programming, including philanthropic efforts. For nationwide events, like Juneteenth and Black History Month, MA2C programming is extended beyond members to all corporate employees.
- PRIDE – PRIDE strives to build awareness, equity, inclusion and opportunity for employees and customers from the LGBTQ+ community. Reflecting its continued investment in LGBTQ+ awareness, rights and equity, in 2021, McDonald’s signed the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition for the Equality Act. In 2022, McDonald’s scored 100% on the Equality Index for the seventh year in a row. The PRIDE network acted as a driving force in achieving these results.
- Working Parents Business Network (WPBN) – WPBN fosters an environment of inclusion for McDonald’s employees who are moms, dads and grandparents. It focuses on bringing the biggest benefit to the most people through thought partnership, community and business development. WPBN hosts an annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” drives for continuous improvement in understanding and supporting the needs of caregivers and parents, and connects employees with resources for balancing work and family duties.
- Veteran Employee Business Network (VEBN) – VEBN seeks to recognize, cultivate and elevate McDonald’s veterans. Programming builds community, awareness and pride, and opens doors to opportunities for developing and investing in veteran career advancement. Members serve as “think tanks,” providing input and addressing gaps in understanding about the needs of veteran employees and customers.
- Young Professionals Network (YPN) – YPN strives to develop future leaders, while providing a fresh perspective that drives the business and energizes the brand. In 2021, YPN hosted eight career conversations, one financial health and benefits workshop, two back-to-office activities following COVID-19 isolation and various social and networking sessions.
Training and Mentorship
We worked with the Center for Creative Leadership to design an Inclusive Leadership course for our employees in Director-level positions and above. The course, launched in 2022, focuses on ways to identify Relevant Opportunities, Elevate Equity, Activate Diversity and Lead Inclusively (REAL). Specifically, leaders reflect on their own understanding of DEI and have the opportunity to develop plans relevant to their teams that activate the three drivers of inclusion – Connection, Vulnerability & Courage and Investment & Resources. The program also encourages leaders to examine policies, practices, actions, circles of influence and connections that contribute to strengthening a culture of inclusion at McDonald’s. The intent is for leaders at Director level and above (or market equivalent) to complete the Inclusive Leadership Experience in 2022.
We choose to work with a diverse range of suppliers who share our values, and we are constantly welcoming new businesses into our supplier network because we understand a chance to work with McDonald’s is one that can change the trajectory of a business. Our success is thanks to a network of the world’s best small business owners – our Franchisees. We offer resources to current owner/operators to support them in making their own spaces more welcoming for everyone and to continue their businesses into the next generation.
With an annual systemwide spend of approximately $14 billion2 across McDonald’s and our U.S. Franchisees with suppliers in the U.S., we believe we have a responsibility and a unique opportunity to help drive change in our business and beyond. Collaborating with these suppliers gives us incredible scope to achieve the more equitable and inclusive future we want to see.
Of the approximately $14 billion that McDonald’s and our U.S. Franchisees spent throughout our U.S. supply chain in 2020, an industry-leading 24%3 was with diverse-owned suppliers – businesses 51% owned and controlled by women and/or Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, Veteran, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities. We aim to boost this to 25% by the end of 2025.
Additionally, since 2021, our U.S. Marketing Department has been working to advance investments in, and partnerships with, diverse-owned production and media companies and content creators to enable deeper, more inclusive storytelling. We have established an advisory board of external marketing and advertising subject-matter experts to help identify the biggest barriers to economic opportunity for these suppliers.
To advance efforts at every point of our supply chain, we encourage suppliers to share our commitment to supporting representation, inclusion and equity. Starting in July 2021, U.S.-based suppliers of goods and services to McDonald’s are invited to sign a Mutual Commitment to DEI, through which they commit to taking action, such as:
- Implementing an overall DEI strategy, including annual training and/or education for employees to develop as better DEI practitioners and leaders.
- Increasing representation of underrepresented talent in leadership and in staffing of McDonald’s business, as well as increasing their use of diverse suppliers.
- Investing in innovation with new partnerships and programs designed to make a measurable difference.
- Implementing accountability systems to track and measure progress and share updates and best practices on effective programs and measurement.
We recognize McDonald’s has an opportunity to help accelerate positive impact, not just in our own business but also for our suppliers, by inviting them to commit to building their own inclusive talent pipelines. By the end of 2021, 275 suppliers had signed the commitment. To provide ongoing support to suppliers that sign onto the Mutual Commitment, we offer access to resources and tools, including sharing of best practices.
The diversity of our Franchisees is a source of pride and a point of importance. Through our global DEI efforts, we continue to attract more diverse Franchisees while also developing the next generation.
In 2021, we announced a Franchisee recruitment initiative to help increase the number of Franchisees from all backgrounds, including underrepresented groups in McDonald’s U.S. and all McDonald’s International Operated Markets. Worldwide, the effort – tailored for each market – seeks to increase ownership opportunities for new talent from all backgrounds, both in terms of the number of individual restaurants owned as well as the number of qualified Franchisees overall.
As of 2021, individuals from underrepresented groups, including those that identify as Asian, Black or Hispanic, accounted for nearly 30%4 of all U.S. Franchisees. Women accounted for nearly 30% of all U.S. Franchisees. We have committed $250 million in the U.S. over five years to provide alternatives to traditional financing, helping candidates who may face socio-economic barriers join the McDonald’s System.
We seek to reduce upfront equity requirements for eligible Franchisee candidates and plan to also leverage our network of banking partners to increase access to financing solutions that will reduce the barrier to entry for candidates. Additionally, over 2,600 independent, local U.S. owners have access to five Franchisee Association Groups: The National Black McDonald’s Operator Association, The McDonald’s Hispanic Operator Association, The Women’s Operator Network, The Asian McDonald’s Operator Association and The McDonald’s Owner Operator Pride Network.
We are holding our leaders directly accountable for making tangible progress on our DEI goals. Beginning in 2021, as part of our Allyship through Accountability program, the Company incorporated quantitative metrics related to human capital management into annual incentive compensation awards for its CEO and Executive Vice Presidents. In addition to financial performance, executives are measured on the following four human capital metrics:
- Meeting or exceeding a specified McDonald’s Values Index score across all global staff employees.
- Increasing representation of women globally at the Senior Director level and above.
- Increasing representation of underrepresented minorities5 in the U.S. at the Senior Director level and above.
- Meeting or exceeding a specified McDonald’s Inclusion Index score across all global staff employees.
Each aspirational representation goal is measured against annual increases, beginning in 2021, to track positive and incremental progress to our 2025 goals.
The Values Index is distributed to employees globally. It contains questions on four of our core values – Community, Family, Integrity and Serve – and was informed by a larger Values Baseline survey administered in 2020. Our Inclusion Index – which covers our fifth core value of Inclusion – is also distributed globally and explores how we foster an inclusive environment for everyone at McDonald’s. It measures employee feelings around their workplace experiences, including being yourself at work, offering differing opinions and career advancement opportunities. Employees are asked to state the extent to which they agree with five statements. We plan to conduct the Inclusion Index approximately every six months.
In addition to holding our CEO and Executive Vice Presidents accountable for progress against the above metrics, in 2022 we introduced expectations holding all Vice Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents and Managing Directors accountable for engaging in inclusive behaviors that support talent development and building a strong diverse succession pipeline, with their performance contributing to their annual performance ratings and incentive compensation. We also introduced an Owner/Operator Diversity Modifier into annual incentive compensation awards for key officers and Managing Directors, creating accountability for accelerating the recruitment and training of diverse Franchisee candidates in line with our global Franchisee recruitment initiative.
Underrepresented Groups in Leadership Goal (U.S.)
As of the end of 2021, 30% of leadership roles (Senior Director and above) located in the U.S. are held by individuals in underrepresented groups.7
Women in Leadership Goal
As of the end of 2021, 41% of leadership roles (Senior Director and above) globally are held by women.10
Equal Pay Goal
McDonald’s commits to close pay gaps identified in annual equal pay analyses for women globally in Company-owned and operated markets and for underrepresented groups in the U.S. at staff and Company-owned restaurant levels.
We took the necessary steps to close the gaps identified in our 2021 pay gap analysis, which included women at staff and Company-owned restaurant levels in Company-owned and operated markets.
Through our 2021 pay gap analysis, we identified the following for the aggregated total of job categories:
Business Diversity Goal (U.S.)
McDonald’s expects to increase U.S. systemwide spend with diverse-owned suppliers to 25% by the end of 2025.
As of the end of 2021, McDonald’s achieved13 its goal of increasing U.S. systemwide spend with diverse-owned suppliers to 25%, reaching 25.4%.
We will continue to focus on our engagement with diverse-owned suppliers in support of our goal to attain 25% U.S. systemwide spend with diverse-owned suppliers at the end of 2025. We plan to continue to measure our progress annually.
Among other efforts, we aim to increase national investments in diverse-owned media and production companies and content creators for McDonald’s USA and its U.S. Franchisees to 15% by the end of 2024. As of the end of 2021, McDonald’s USA and its U.S. Franchisees increased such investments to 7.7%.14
For a closer look at the percentage of U.S. systemwide spend and national investments across diversity categories, check out our 2021 Diversity Snapshot.
2021–2022 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report
As McDonald’s continues its decades-long DEI journey, we know that to create meaningful change we must be able to measure our improvements, hold ourselves accountable and continue to raise the bar. In our first global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report (PDF – 32 MB), we showcase our strategy, discuss our goals and transparently report our progress. In the report we share a variety of employee, Franchisee, supplier, customer and community stories that demonstrates our ongoing DEI work.
2021 Diversity Snapshot
Since 2020, we have made progress and continue to enhance our processes for collecting data and reporting. As the Company continues its journey of accountability and transparency, we’re publishing 2021 data on employee, Board and Franchisee representation and supplier-diversity spend through a Diversity Snapshot. We know our actions are even more powerful when they are underpinned by clearly measuring and transparently reporting our progress, which is why we plan to publish this data annually and continue to enhance our data collection processes.
Inclusion isn’t just something we talk about; it’s who we are. We foster inclusion through our business decisions, while taking action to advance it everywhere we operate, because improving ourselves and society more broadly are mutually reinforcing goals.
In 2022, Fortune recognized McDonald’s on its list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, ranking us fourth out of 10 companies within our category of Food Services. This roundup is peer-judged and determined from a poll of nearly 3,700 corporate executives, directors, analysts and business insiders within each industry.
The Company was also named to Fast Company's “Brands that Matter” index, which honors companies and nonprofits that have had an undeniable impact on business and culture.
For the seventh year running, we received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, demonstrating our commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion through our policies, practices and benefits.
McDonald’s is a supporting partner of Diversity Lab’s Move the Needle Fund – participating in innovative programs to create a more diverse and inclusive legal profession. Additionally, our legal department is on track to achieve certification under Mansfield Rule 2.0. To be Mansfield-certified, legal departments are asked to consider at least 50% underrepresented lawyers for the opportunities identified below and achieve at least 70% of activities identified below during the Mansfield qualifying period:
- External hiring and/or promotions for top role(s).
- External hiring, internal transitions and/or promotions for senior-tier management.
- External hiring, internal transitions and/or promotions for mid-tier management.
- External hiring, internal transitions and/or promotions for other lawyer positions.
- Hiring for interns or temporary lawyer positions.
- Discretionary high-visibility opportunities that provide skills building and exposure to internal and external business leaders.
- Written and transparent job responsibilities for all senior and mid-tier management roles.
- Written and transparent processes for advancement opportunities and promotions within the legal department.
- Hiring new outside counsel for new or existing matters.
On International Women’s Day 2019, we signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles; it will continue to act as a guiding force as we increase global efforts to improve representation of women at all our Company levels. We are a part of Catalyst’s Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance (GDKA) and pledge to adopt Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure and improve diversity in our organization. Many of our markets lead in their inclusion efforts, and have signed up to pledges such as:
- The BlackNorth Initiative to help remove anti-Black systemic barriers in corporate Canada.
- The Charta der Vielfalt to promote the recognition, appreciation and integration of diversity into Germany’s business culture.
- JamaisSansElles to nurture gender diversity; McDonald’s France pledges that there will not be any public or media events hosted without women present.
For our communities, deepening our commitment to DEI means finding more ways to be there for the people who live and work in the places we call home. Organizations leading the fight for equity and social justice have long been important partners who advise on our work and push us forward. We’re proud to collaborate with the following organizations:
- American Indian College Fund
- The Ascend Foundation
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
- Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
- Diversity Best Practices (DBP)
- Global Summit of Women
- Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)
- Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
- Human Rights Campaign
- IMPACT Leadership Development Program – Chicago Urban League
- Junior Achievement USA
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- National Urban League
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
- PUSH Excel
- Red Cross
- UN Women
- US Business Leadership Network (USBLN)
- Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF)
1 In the U.S., the term “underrepresented groups” generally means people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian or Pacific Islander, or otherwise as people of color, people of Hispanic or Latino/a/x descent, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQ+, people from religious minorities, or people having a combination of these identities or attributes. For purposes of McDonald’s reporting, including with respect to Human Capital Metrics and Equal Pay, “underrepresented groups” is defined as people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian or Pacific Islander, people of Hispanic or Latino/a/x descent, or people having a combination of these identities or attributes.
2 This figure includes supplier spending by all restaurants, whether operated by McDonald’s or by Franchisees. Further, this figure is inclusive of U.S. Company-owned restaurant spend, Supply Chain, Restaurant Development, Marketing, Legal, Global Technology, Workplace Solutions, Communication, Finance, Global People and other corporate functions. This figure also includes purchases made by Franchisees for advertising, restaurant development, technology, food, distribution, packaging, equipment and uniforms. This scope excludes non-controllables (Taxes, Utilities, Rent, Aircraft Fuel, Airport Fees, Facility Leases, Donations, Bank Fees and Subscriptions).
3 This figure includes supplier spending by all restaurants, whether operated by McDonald’s or by Franchisees. Further, this figure is inclusive of U.S. Company-owned restaurant spend, Supply Chain, Restaurant Development, Marketing, Legal, Global Technology, Workplace Solutions, Global Impact, Finance, Global People and other corporate functions. This figure also includes purchases made by Franchisees for advertising, restaurant development, technology, food, distribution, packaging, equipment and uniforms. This scope excludes non-controllables (Taxes, Utilities, Rent, Aircraft Fuel, Airport Fees, Facility Leases, Donations, Bank Fees and Subscriptions). FY2020 diversity spend in the U.S. includes both self-certified and formal industry recognized certification and Tier 1 and Tier 2 spend. Tier 1 suppliers are those from whom McDonald’s buys directly. Tier 2 suppliers are those with whom our suppliers do business. 2020 percent spend through the U.S. System with diverse-owned suppliers restated following update of diversity classification of two suppliers and evolved data practices around Tier 2 spend reporting and accounting for Supply Chain managed spend for equipment and operating supplies.
4 As of June 2020, McDonald’s Registered Applicant process for new Franchisees includes voluntary self-identification, which has strengthened our data collection efforts. 2021 data for existing Franchisees continues to reflect information obtained through affinity group membership, informal identification and voluntary self-disclosure outside of the Registered Applicant process. More information regarding the Registered Applicant process can be found in Franchising FAQs.
10 Data includes aggregate numbers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the U.K. and the U.S. Corporate employees who support our Development Licensees are also included. Data was obtained through various means, including informal identification and voluntary self-disclosure.
11 Markets included in the analysis: the U.S., Canada, Russia, Germany, Australia, the U.K., Ireland, Slovakia, Austria, Portugal, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine; and our corporate offices in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
13 Our goal continues to be to attain 25% U.S. systemwide spend with diverse-owned suppliers at the end of 2025. Variance of systemwide spend with diverse-owned suppliers may occur in 2022, 2023 or 2024.
14 Paid media investment represents contracted dollars with suppliers. The classification of media and production companies and content creators as diverse-owned suppliers is determined by both self-certification and third-party certification.