2016 Best Companies for Diversity: McDonald’s Corporation

CEO: Steve Easterbrook


The 50 companies on this year’s Best Companies for Diversity list represents brands that recognize the value of cultivating an inclusive environment, driven by company leadership through senior management and the board of directors, as shown in the BE Registry of Corporate Directors. Some are taking a step further to engage employees during turbulent and confusing sociopolitical times.

Here, we’d like to highlight McDonald’s Corporation, the Illinois-based hamburger fast food chain, and what it’s doing to push forward and nurture diversity and inclusion.

McDonald’s diversity and inclusion efforts stretch across many aspects of its business. Seventy percent of its U.S. employees are comprised of women/minorities, 45% of its franchises are women or minority-owned, and it spends over $5 billion with diverse vendor suppliers.

The company is often recognized as a leader in D&I by African American organizations, as well as Hispanic and women’s organizations. McDonald’s has strong and active African American networks for both employees, such as McDonald’s African American Council, and franchisees, such as the Black McDonald’s Operator Association (BMOA), as additional programs, such as 365 Black, continue to resonate throughout communities and restaurants. The company also has committed relationships with the organizations PUSH/Excel, The National Urban League, and NAACP. It also offers scholarship programs that benefit African American students pursuing their college education.

McDonald’s Global Women’s Initiative, developed in 2006, helps women working at various locations around the world, through empowered, localized groups, with a focus on continuous improvement. This initiative has helped to increase the representation of women as restaurant managers, thus allowing for McDonald’s to receive recognition as a top company for women by the Catalyst organization.

Pat Harris, global chief diversity officer and VP, community engagement, described McDonald’s diversity and inclusion strategy as, “Seeing differences as strengths, being engaged in our communities, and respecting and valuing everyone on both sides of the counter around the globe.