Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and inclusion as evident and familiar as the Golden Arches. 

Our 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.
Our goal is to ensure at every interaction, all are welcome, comfortable and safe.


Why It Matters

It matters because we commit to delivering equitable opportunity for all. This means the full expression of diversity: the representation and inclusion of different genders, races, cultures, identities, sexual orientations, ages, religions, abilities, languages, experiences and expressions. We aim to identify and eliminate barriers to fair treatment for underrepresented groups.
When we talk about equity in the workplace, we mean fair treatment in access, opportunity and advancement for all.

We Welcome This Work

We know there’s a lot of work ahead, but it is work we welcome. Few companies on the planet are better positioned to make a difference than McDonald’s. We feed more people, reach more markets, and operate in more communities than any other restaurant company in the world.

When we harness our scale to change the system, there’s no telling how much of an impact we can make.

Our Strategy 


Our Values Have Actions

Living our values means extending them to everyone: to the tens of millions of people who visit us daily, work in our restaurants and our corporate offices, to the communities we feed and foster. Rather than hear we care about diversity, equity and inclusion, our communities need to experience it. We will pursue this aspiration by using McDonald's influence and scale to accelerate meaningful and overdue societal change for our employees, franchisees, suppliers, customers and communities. In accordance with our values, this means global actions on a local level designed to:

  • Represent the diverse communities in which we operate
  • Accelerate cultures of inclusion and belonging
  • Dismantle barriers to economic opportunity

Read more about this work here


Allyship With Accountability

We are driving change by giving leaders direct responsibility and accountability for making tangible progress on our DEI goals:

1. A clear mandate for progress: Beginning in 2021, the Company has incorporated quantitative metrics related to human capital management into annual incentive compensation awards for its executive vice presidents. In addition to financial performance, executives will be measured on their ability to champion our core values, improve representation within leadership roles for women and historically underrepresented groups and create a strong culture of inclusion within the Company.

2. Representing the diverse communities in which we operate by increasing the diversity of our Leadership:

a. By end of 2025 McDonald’s expects to increase representation of historically underrepresented groups[1] in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) located in the U.S. to 35%.[2]

b. By end of 2025 McDonald’s expects to increase representation of women in leadership roles globally (Senior Director and above) to 45%.[3]

c. McDonald’s has an overall goal to reach gender parity globally in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) by the end of 2030.[4]

To set these goals we leveraged data to understand where we are currently, and where we want 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 demographic changes in the next 10 years. These insights made it clear we need to strengthen our representation to better reflect the communities and customers we serve.


Gender Diversity Representation: Staff Employees5


% Women 2018 2019
All Staff % Women 54 54
Director+ % Women 38 39
Officers % Women 26 28




Gender Diversity Representation: Company-Owned Restaurant Employees6


% Women 2018 2019
All Crew % Women 56 56
Shift Manager % Women 61 67
Manager % Women 64 68


Increasing Representation of Women Across the Business

On International Women’s Day 2019, we launched our Better Together: Gender Balance & Diversity strategy, with the aim of  improving the representation of women at all levels of the Company by 2023. We signed up for the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, which will continue to act as a guiding force as we increase our global efforts to address this critical issue.


Collaborating With Stakeholders

Change is a two-way street—made of the actions we take, and the expectations and expertise of people around the world who devote their lives to diversity, inclusion, gender equality and women’s empowerment. As we refine our strategy, we’ll keep the street open in both directions as we continue to seek feedback and guidance from these experts to ensure our approach has the greatest reach and impact. That’s how we can make inclusion and equity as evident and familiar as the Arches themselves.

For a list of our key partners over the years, click here.


Putting Standards Into Practice

McDonald’s is committed to diversity, equal opportunity and an inclusive workplace culture. This commitment is fundamental to the way we do business and we embed it in our policies and practices, including our Human Rights Policy (PDF – 91 KB), our Standards of Business Conduct (PDF – 9.1 KB), our Supplier Code of Conduct (PDF – 1.4 KB) and our inclusive contractual practices.


Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

Our DEI strategy supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a global agenda to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, in particular:

Our Actions


Employee Actions

Representation: Creating Diverse Talent Pipelines in Corporate Roles


Building Diverse Teams Around the World

Below are some examples of how we are continuing to support and grow the diversity of our teams globally:

  • In 2020, for the fifth 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.
  • In the U.S., 70% of staff hires in 2019 were female and/or persons of color (54% female, 33% persons of color).
  • We welcomed 123 people into full-time or internship positions via our University program in 2019–2020: 81% are female and/or persons of color (52% female, 54% persons of color).
  • Language barriers stifle progress towards more inclusive communities. In markets around the world, Company-owned restaurant and participating Franchisee employees can access online training to help improve their language skills and build a sense of belonging at their restaurant. 

We’re blending technology and new recruiting techniques to achieve a more bias-aware and inclusive System: 

  • Using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to create gender-neutral, inclusive job descriptions.
  • Harnessing technology platforms to broaden the number of candidates we screen.
  • Strategically structuring interviews and interview guides to ensure equity and fairness throughout the selection, interview and offer process.
  • Further embedding and encouraging diverse candidate slates and interviewer panels.
  • Driving our University Talent Attraction strategy, with a focus on supporting job placement from HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and other MSIs (minority serving institutions) through job postings, messaging campaigns, career fairs and career development workshops.

Moving Beyond Bias

Accelerating Cultures of Inclusion & Belonging

We aim to offer an experience where everyone is aware of their unique ability and is able to develop the meaningful relationships with colleagues that inspire and drive business growth. Read more on our efforts here.


Fostering and measuring more inclusive environments to create a stronger sense of belonging

In September 2020, our bi-annual staff pulse survey introduced an “Inclusion Index”; questions designed to measure the critical components of building an inclusive culture – including whether our employees feel that they can bring their “whole” selves to work and have equal opportunities.

The index measures behaviors and actions the company is taking to ensure we have an inclusive environment for everyone that works for the Brand. The index measures attributes that are critical to being yourself at work, offering different opinions, and advancing through the company. Our plan is to measure inclusion every six months to not only monitor our progress, but identify areas of opportunity. In fact, all officers will receive reports every 6 months that provide results on the index and suggest key areas of action.

The Inclusion Index is made up of five pulse survey questions that measure the extent to which respondents agree with the following statements:

1. McDonald’s has a safe environment where I can bring my whole self to work

2. Differing view are openly accepted

3. I have a role model at work 

4. Everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed

5. I feel comfortable asking my manager for flexibility 

The questions above represent the Inclusion pillar of the Core Values, ensuring our employees feel that they can bring their “whole” selves to work and have equal opportunities at work. These questions tie directly to our DEI strategy.


Supporting Diverse Employee Business Networks

Our employee business networks (EBNs) promote an inclusive work environment, fostering relationships, supporting career development opportunities and helping grow businesses. EBNs also provide a source of mentors, role models and sponsors, as well as giving members access to senior leadership, information on career strategies and opportunities for advancement. 


Customers and Community

Dismantling Barriers to Economic Opportunity

A Proud Commitment to America’s Black Future Leaders

In 2020 McDonald’s USA launched a $500,000 Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Fund to help students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Many of these colleges, which support a large percentage of low-income students, have been severely hit by the impact of COVID-19, especially the unexpected costs of shifting to an online education infrastructure. This new fund is designed to help students continue their education, despite the extra stresses brought about by the pandemic.


Job Readiness Training and Education Benefits

To support career and personal advancement, we offer targeted education and development programs that enable people working in our restaurants to leverage opportunities that they may not otherwise have access to. This is a critical strategy to ensure that diverse talent, often from underserved communities, can reach their potential. 

Our Youth Opportunity program offers young people the pre-employment training and support they need to enter the workplace, and is a key part of our commitment to tackle youth unemployment. Piloted in Chicago in 2018, we expanded the program to Washington D.C. in July 2019. 

  • To date, 57% of those who enrolled in our pilot program were women.
  • 71% of all program graduates were in education or employment 60 days after completion.
  • Women represented 53% of those who were in education or employment after completing the program.


Strengthening Diversity and Inclusion with Our Franchisees and Suppliers


Representation: The diversity of our Franchisees is a source of pride—and importance. Through our global DEI efforts, we continue to attract more diverse Franchisees while also developing the next generation of Franchisees. Over 2,600 independent, local U.S. owners have access to five advocacy 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
  • The McDonald’s Owner Operator Pride Network


Representation: We are working toward enterprise-wide excellence with our suppliers, and we are committed to purchasing goods and services from business partners representing the diverse populations that we serve.

These actions – and others – will be underscored by a Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Beginning in 2021, suppliers of goods and services to McDonald’s will be asked to sign this commitment to progress diversity, equity and inclusion across their own organizations. We recognize that McDonald’s has the opportunity to accelerate change – not just in our own business but also in those which we work with – by encouraging partners to build the talent pipelines, infrastructure and culture that support increased representation and inclusion, and close equity gaps.

Statements contained in these web pages about future developments and past occurrences are based on information and assumptions available as of the date of publication. While we are committed to providing timely updates on our website, the Company holds no obligation to update information or statements.



1Underrepresented Groups is a term that refers to groups who have been denied access and/or suffered past institutional discrimination in the United States and, according to the Census and other federal measuring tools, includes African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Chicanos/Latinos, and Native Americans. This is revealed by an imbalance in the representation of different groups in common pursuits such as education, jobs, and housing, resulting in marginalization for some groups and individuals and not for others, relative to the number of individuals who are members of the population involved.

2 The December 2020 baseline data shows underrepresented groups make up 29% of leadership (Senior Director and above) roles.

3 The December 2020 baseline data shows women make up 37% of leadership (Senior Director and above) roles.

4 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.

5 2018 data includes aggregate numbers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. 2019 data includes aggregate numbers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. Employees located in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore offices are not included.

6 2018 data includes aggregate numbers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. 2019 data includes aggregate numbers from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.


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