McDonald’s sets targets to diversify its leadership, seeks gender parity by 2030

The golden arches of McDonald’s at an outlet in Westbury, New York.

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McDonald’s said Thursday it is taking steps to increase the number of women and people from historically underrepresented groups in its senior leadership ranks.

By 2025, the company aims to have at least 35% of its senior-director and higher leadership roles be held by people from minorities. That would be a 6% increase from 2020, McDonald’s said.

The fast-food giant also said it will push to have women represent at least 45% of its top ranks by 2025, an 8% increase from 2020. McDonald’s is seeking total gender parity for leadership positions by the end of 2030.

According to the company’s 2018 data filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women accounted for 32% of its executive or senior-level managers. About a third of people in these roles identified as Black, Hispanic or Asian, the data showed.

Executive vice presidents will have their compensation tied to annual goals. McDonald’s’ board has endorsed the targets, which apply to the highest levels of the company.

Starting in 2021, 15% of executive bonuses will be based on human-capital metrics. Systemwide sales and operating income growth will account for 42.5% of the company’s incentive plans.

Senior leadership team members are also taking steps to create diverse candidate slates for all open roles by engaging with internal and external diversity groups. They are also moving to mentor and sponsor more women and minorities.

McDonald’s announced plans in July to make commitments to diversity and inclusion, following international protests against racism and police brutality. The company also hired Reginald J. Miller as its chief diversity officer in November.

McDonald’s has faced accusations of racism at all levels of the company in the past year. Two Black executives sued the fast-food chain in January 2020, claiming it shifted advertising away from Black customers. The suit also alleges McDonald’s graded Black franchisees’ stores more harshly than White operators’ locations.

The company is also facing three lawsuits from current and former Black franchisees, who allege they were steered toward inner-city locations that have lower sales and were then pushed out.

In the past four years, at least 50 of its restaurant workers have filed sexual harassment complaints with the EEOC or in state courts. 

Shares of McDonald’s have fallen about 1% in the last year, giving it a market value of about $159 billion.