Americans and members of other ethnic minority groups
MCDONALD’S CORP. Location: Oak Brook, IL Type of Business: Food services Diversity Contact: Pat Harris, U.S. VP & Chief Diversity Officer
McDonald’s is the leading global quick-service restaurant with more than 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries. The creator of the Big Mac scored highly in all four diversity categories, but it was most impressive in employee diversity. More than half of the McDonald’s staff—from crew members to the COO—belong to an ethnic minority group.
“It was 1994 when I joined the McDonald’s family as a regional manager in our Sacramento region,” says Ralph Alvarez, who is now president of McDonald’s North America. “I believed then, and I now know, the culture of McDonald’s is unique and one where diversity is a part of the organizational fabric.”
McDonald’s is primarily an operations company, therefore the majority of employees are in restaurant operations. However, the company prides itself on having diversity throughout its senior management ranks. Don Thompson, executive vice president and chief operations officer of McDonald’s USA, and William Lamar Jr., chief marketing officer of McDonald’s USA, both made our “75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America” list.
“I have been a part of planning sessions that focus on understanding the dimensions of diversity in our customers and the importance of having a workforce that represents these very important values and beliefs,” says Harris, who began her career at the company 29 years ago as an administrative assistant in the legal department. “I personally experienced numerous promotions and increasing responsibilities. I have had the opportunity to view and participate in the demonstrated commitment to diversity.”
McDonald’s has been recognized as a top company for people with disabilities as well as the best employer for Asians, African American women, and Hispanics. Harris says she doesn’t take their record for granted. “We focus on doing the smart things for our employees like our efficacy-based diversity education classes, engaging our employees in volunteerism initiatives in diverse communities, and recognizing and celebrating accomplishments. It’s no secret that minorities are more likely to join an organization where they see themselves represented across the business and at all levels.” —Sakina P. Spruell
Strengths indicate diversity areas in which the company ranked among the top 20 respondents.
AFLAC Location: Columbus, GA Type of Business: Insurance Diversity Contact: Brenda J. Mullins, Second VP, Human Resources & Diversity Officer
Aflac is the country’s third largest insurance company, with a little more than $13.2 billion in revenues and a workforce of 3,971, of which 1,379 are African American. With such numbers, the company has an impressive showing for general workforce diversity. According to Mullins, Aflac has never had a problem with recruiting minority employees. Considering that it’s located about 100 miles south of