Patricia Sowell Harris
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Integrating diversity into all aspects of the company is high on the menu at McDonald’s. “We realize that diversity is everybody’s business, from both sides of the counter,” says global chief diversity officer Patricia Harris.
Under Harris’ guidance, ongoing diversity dialogue takes place among leaders of McDonald’s regional employee business networks. “These are no longer just social groups that were started 30 years ago. All of our employee networks have separate business plans which support our business vision,” explains Harris.
The fast-food giant, one of Black Enterprise’s 2010 Best Companies for Diversity, continually offers inclusion and diversity education courses and training seminars. Its Leadership At McDonald’s Program (LAMP) identifies high potential employees of diverse backgrounds and moves them through the pipeline into senior management. McDonald’s has been lauded for its supplier diversity accomplishments. “We are very proud knowing that over 55% of our procurement spend, more than $5 billion annually, is with women and minority-owned businesses in our supply chain arena,” says Harris. The company also values diversity in its workforce, which is made up of 62% women, 35% Hispanics, 20% African Americans, 5% Asians, and 2% Native Americans. Nearly 24% of the restaurant franchise’s officers are minorities.
Harris’s book, None of Us Is As Good As All of Us (John, Wiley & Sons, 2009), offers a firsthand look into McDonals’s philosophy of inclusion and diversity through personal accounts from franchisees, suppliers, and employees. The Pat Harris Diversity Award is presented annually to a company officer with high diversity results.
Continued on the next page: Global workforce diversity