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 — Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) 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

Our goal is to ensure at every interaction, all are welcome, comfortable and safe,
because we commit to delivering equitable treatment  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 serve 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: from 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. This means striving to:

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


Supplier Diversity + Our Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

With an annual spend of $14 billion1 with suppliers in the U.S., we have a responsibility to drive change both in our business and in industries beyond it. Collaborating with our suppliers is a critical catalyst in achieving the more equitable and inclusive future we want to see.

McDonald’s and our U.S. Franchisees spent approximately $14 billion throughout our U.S. supply chain in 2020,2 an industry-leading 23% of which is with diverse-owned suppliers – meaning businesses that are 51% owned and controlled by women and/or Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous, Veteran, LGBTQ+, and disabled persons.

We recognize that through our scale and influence, McDonald’s has the opportunity to accelerate change – not just in our own business but also in those which we work with – by inviting our suppliers to commit to building within their own organizations the talent pipelines, infrastructure and culture that support increased representation and inclusion, and close equity gaps.

Starting in July 2021, US-based suppliers of goods and services to McDonald’s are invited to sign a Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.  

When our suppliers sign onto this joint pledge, they commit to taking actions such as:


  • Implementing an overall DEI strategy, including annual training or education for employees to be better DEI practitioners and leaders.

  • Increasing representation and underrepresented talent in leadership and in staffing McDonald’s business overall, and increasing their use of diverse suppliers.

  • Investing in innovation with new partnerships and programs designed to make a measurable difference.

  • Creating infrastructure accountability to track progress, share regular updates and best practices on effective programs and measurement.


As our suppliers continue on their journey, McDonald’s will offer access to resources and tools, including sharing of best practices.

Because collaboration is rooted in our DNA, we’re proud to join forces with the following organizations as early adopters to the Mutual Commitment pledge:

Accenture, Admerasia, Advertising Production Resources, Inc., Alma, Analytic Partners, Inc., Canvas Worldwide, Cargill, Capgemini, Creata, Baker McKenzie, Burrell Communications, CPH Inc., Ecolab, Elkay Interior Systems (EIS), Everbrite LLC, Euromonitor International, Fair Oak Foods LLC, Flavor Reddy Foods LLC, FordHarrison LLP, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Halverson Group, HAVI/The Marketing Store, IW Group Inc., Kantar, Lopez Negrete Communications, Medallia, Narrative Media Group, New Horizons Baking Company, Omnicom Group, Perrino & Associates, Schreiber Foods, TSMGI, Tyson Foods, Voxpopme, and Wieden+Kennedy.

We will also continue to act in tangible ways beyond the Mutual Commitment.


  • McDonald’s and its U.S. Franchisees expect to increase purchases of goods and services from diverse-owned suppliers by nearly 10% by 2025 from a 2020 base year. With this increase, approximately a quarter of U.S. spend – about $3.5 billion – would be with diverse-owned suppliers.

  • Additionally, McDonald’s USA expects to increase national investments in diverse-owned media companies from 4% to 10% by 2024.

a. McDonald’s USA expects to increase spend with Black-owned media and production properties from 2% to 5% by 2024, in addition to increased investments with other diverse segments, including Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Women and LGBTQ-owned properties.


Change takes focused effort alongside a commitment to keep doing more. Part of our journey to becoming a world-class supplier diversity hub is empowering our suppliers to grow their businesses beyond the McDonald’s System.


  • Until 2018, McDonald’s USA allowed suppliers to self-certify as diverse. We have started the process of notifying our suppliers that we will require third-party certification through nationally recognized certification organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council, Disability: IN, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The long-term benefits of third-party certification allow for increased confidence in our reporting numbers, integrate our suppliers into a national network of organizations and provide visibility of certification to other businesses looking to procure their services.
  • Starting in 2021, U.S. Marketing will forge multi-year partnerships with diverse-owned media and production companies and diverse content creators and influencers; strengthen the marketing supply chain; enable deeper, more inclusive storytelling; and foster conduits for cultural connectivity.
  • McDonald’s USA is forming an advisory board of external marketing and advertising subject matter experts dedicated to identifying the biggest barriers to economic opportunity facing diverse-owned media and production companies and putting collective efforts behind new programs and initiatives to eliminate them. The Group’s focus will be to drive change and impact across the industry.


Collaborating With Stakeholders

Change is a two-way street. It is 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 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 DE&I as evident and familiar as the Arches themselves.

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


Accountability as the Next Step on our DEI Journey

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


  • Holding our leaders accountable. Beginning in 2021, the Company has 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 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.
  • Representing the diverse communities in which we operate by increasing the diversity of our leadership through the following goals:
    1. By the end of 2025, McDonald’s expects to increase representation of historically underrepresented groups3 in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) located in the U.S. to 35%.4
    2. By the end of 2025, McDonald’s expects to increase representation of women in leadership roles globally (Senior Director and above) to 45%.5
    3. McDonald’s has an overall goal to reach gender parity globally in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) by the end of 2030.6


In setting 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 over the next 10 years. These insights made it clear that we need to strengthen our representation to better reflect the communities and customers we serve.

Equal Pay

As we continue to emphasize action, accountability, and integrity as we make progress against our DEI strategy, we have prioritized our work around equal pay, a critical issue that sits at the nexus of all five of our Values. Through an annual analysis of our compensation data, followed by appropriate remediation action, we are committed to help ensure equal pay for equal work.

Our 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, McDonalds-specific, job-specific), job level/grade, performance and location.

We introduced our Global Pay Principles to our owned markets in 2019, to ensure that good pay practices are understood, consistently implemented and executed across McDonald’s.

  • Pay opportunities are aligned with the external value of a job to optimally attract, engage and motivate talent.
  • The competitiveness of our pay rates are reviewed regularly relative to peer companies that reflect our size, scale, performance and talent needs.
  • Employees are compensated at a level commensurate with their role, responsibility, impact, location, experience, knowledge, skills and performance, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or any other similar protected personal characteristics.
  • Pay is focused on motivating high performance, recognizing achievement and reinforcing behaviors that align with our culture.
  • Pay programs are communicated regularly and transparently with compeling clarity.
  • We strive for simplicity and focus in the design of our programs to ensure employees understand what determines their pay.
  • We comply with all apllicable legal and regulatory requirements and standards.

Our annual pay gap assessment will help ensure we are following our pay principles globally in our operated or owned markets, and identify any gaps based on gender (globally) and race/ethnicity (US) for review.

Our 2021 analysis showed women globally are paid on average 99.85% of what men are paid for comparable work, and we are on track to close that gap in 2022. For historically underrepresented groups in the US, we have substantially attained equal pay.

In the tables below, the term “None” indicates there is no statistically significant pay gap disfavoring Historically Underrepresented Groups or Women for the job category or the aggregated total of job categories by market.

U.S. Market Non-White (Historically Underrepresented) Groups9 Total # of Employees included in analysis % Pay Gap for Historically Underrepresented Group (2021)
U.S.   47,116 None
By Job Category:    
- Staff 3,592 None
- Restaurants 43,524 None


2021 Gender Pay Gap Analysis Total # of Employees % Pay Gap for Women (2021)
U.S. 47,594 None
By Job Category    
- Staff 3,593 -0.84%
- Restaurants 44,001 None
Global10 182,010 -0.15%
By Job Category:    
- Staff 8,083 -1.72%
- Restaurants 173,927 -0.07%

While 2021 will be the first time we have communicated our equal pay commitment publicly, we believe that greater transparency is important to building trust with our people, living our values, and holding ourselves accountable.

As such, working toward equal pay is not a one-time project; it requires ongoing focus and effort. We are committed to run pay gap analyses annually and report on progress as we continue to advance our strategy.

Our Inclusive Approach to Recruitmen

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 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority serving institutions (MSIs) through job postings, messaging campaigns, career fairs and career development workshops.


Increasing Representation Across the Business

On International Women’s Day 2019, we signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, which will continue to act as a guiding force as we increase our global efforts to improve representation of women at all levels of the company.  

We have also joined Catalyst’s Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance (GDKA)11 and pledge to adopt Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure and improve diversity in our organization.

Our organization is committed to evaluating the following indicators:

  1. Percentage of representation on an organization’s board
  2. Percentage of representation by employee category
  3. Pay equality: the ratio of compensation by employee category (e.g., equal pay for equal work)

Our aspirational goals announced in 2021 complement these commitments and are designed to fully realize our ambition of increasing representation of historically underrepresented groups by 2025 and reaching gender parity by 2030.

Helping Support the Sustainable Development Goals

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


Representing the diverse communities in which we operate by increasing the diversity of our leadership:

a. By the end of 2025, McDonald’s expects to increase representation of historically underrepresented groups3 in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) located in the U.S. to 35%.4

b. By the end of 2025, McDonald’s expects to increase representation of women in leadership roles globally (Senior Director and above) to 45%.5

c. McDonald’s has an overall goal to reach gender parity globally in leadership roles (Senior Director and above) by the end of 2030.6


a. As of the end of 2020, 29.1% of leadership roles (Senior Director and above) located in the U.S. are held by individuals in historically underrepresented groups.

b. & c. As of the end of 2020, 37.4% of leadership roles (Senior Director and above) globally are held by women.


Additional Metrics

Gender Diversity Representation: Staff Employees7

% Women 2018 2019 2020
All Staff % Women 54 54 54
Director+ % Women 38 39 41
Officers % Women 26 28 30

Gender Diversity Representation: Company-Owned Restaurant Employees8

% Women 2018 2019 2020
All Crew % Women 56 56 56
Shift Manager % Women 61 67 64
Manager % Women 64 68 73

Our Actions


We are dedicated to improving on our commitment to being better allies, better sponsors and better leaders, through our continued action in this area. Globally, we are taking actions to accelerate cultures of inclusion and belonging, dismantle barriers to economic opportunity, and represent the diverse communities in which we operate.


Accelerating Cultures of Inclusion & Belonging

We aim to offer an experience where everyone is aware of their unique ability and can develop the meaningful relationships with colleagues that inspire and drive business growth.

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 addition, McDonald’s Corporation signed on to the Human Right’s Campaign Business Coalition for the Equality Act. The coalition brings together leading U.S. employers that support the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBTQ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.

  • In the U.S., 75% of corporate staff hires in 2020 were women and/or individuals in underrepresented groups (54% women, 44% individuals in underrepresented groups).

  • We welcomed 140 people into full-time or internship positions via our University program in 2020–2021: 85% are women and/or individuals in underrepresented groups (54% women, 54% individuals in underrepresented groups).

  • Language barriers stifle progress towards more inclusive communities. In markets around the world, Company-owned restaurants and participating Franchisee employees can access online training to help improve their language skills and build a sense of belonging at their restaurant. 


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

In September 2020, our biannual staff pulse survey introduced an “Inclusion Index.” The index asked 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 that 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 (Vice Presidents and above) will receive reports every six months that provide results on the index and suggest key areas of action.

The Inclusion Index is made up of five 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 views 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, tying 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. 

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 were proud to leverage their perspectives in real time to create meaningful and overdue change by working together to stand in solidarity with partnering organizations that challenged anti-hate movements and advocated for social justice – all to create a unified company position in support of impacted business networks to promote and ensure inclusion and belonging throughout our System.


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 burdens brought about by the pandemic.

Additionally, in June of 2020, McDonald’s made a $500,000 donation to the NAACP and a $500,000 donation to the National Urban League.


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.  We have programs in Chicago and Washington D.C. and in 2020:


  • 58% of those who enrolled in our program were women.
  • 72% of all program graduates were in education or employment 60 days after completion.
  • 54% of those who were in education or employment after completing the program were women.

Learn more on our Skills and Education page.


Strengthening Diversity and Inclusion With Our Franchisees

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


1 This figure is inclusive of U.S. McOpCo 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).  

2 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.  

3 Underrepresented 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.

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

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

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 The analysis is conducted on U.S. employees who disclosed race/ethnicity information.

10 Markets included in the analysis: US, Canada, Russia, Germany, Australia, UK, 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.   

11 GDKA - www.gdka.org - is a group of corporations, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advocates, academics, and trade organizations that have come together to promote and advance the adoption of these KPIs. The GDKA steering committee includes Catalyst and Working Mother Media (co-chairs), along with Ascend, The B Team, ELC, Equilar, Frost Included, Gender Fair, HACR, LEAP, and the WBC.

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