Earlier this year McDonald’s won the WM People Top Employer Award for “Best for Career Progression For Women”. Gender equality is a vital part of their focus on diversity and the business has put a lot of effort into achieving gender balance throughout its UK operation.
In April 2020 McDonald’s achieved a zero percent gender pay gap across restaurants and head office, with 2021 figures being disclosed in April 2022. Of its 140K+ employees, 49.5% were male at the end of last year and 50.5% were female.
McDonald’s has also achieved gender balance in its senior leadership roles and firmly believes that gender balance brings valuable new perspectives and makes for a stronger business. Behind the statistics lies a lot of committed hard work, something which has earned McDonald’s not only WM People’s Best for Career Progression for Women Award this year but also its Overall Top Employer Award.
The move towards gender balance is part of a major push by McDonald’s on women’s career development since 2005 when just 5% of senior leaders were female. That has included active membership of Inclusive Employers and the BITC Gender Campaign. By 2018 a third of the senior leadership team were women and the company set a 45% target in late 2020 which it exceeded by September 2021. Its goal now is to maintain its 50/50 gender balance by ensuring gender parity at all levels of the talent pipeline.
McDonald’s is also focusing on gender balance among the business managers in its restaurants where it is currently 60/40 in favour of men. To do this, it is currently piloting its Empowering Female Leaders programme in company-owned restaurants over a six-month period. Most of its restaurants are franchised so if the pilot, which is for female assistant managers, is successful it will be rolled out to the entire business.
The programme is based on research with assistant managers which showed the need for the company to change how it was building its talent pipeline and address barriers to career progression for women such as confidence and feeling like an imposter in an environment perceived as male.
Other steps to improve gender balance across the organisation include its Women’s Leadership Network which offers tools, resources and events to inspire women’s personal and professional development.
In addition, the company has been working in partnership with Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure (WiHTL) since 2019 on intersectional issues relating to underrepresentation. Together they co-created and sponsored the first ever Ethnic Future Leaders Programme, the first of its kind across the industry.
Zoey Rimmer, Culture & Inclusion Consultant at McDonald’s, is a member of WiHTL’s Race and Ethnicity Committee and took part in the programme herself. She says that it forged a significant appetite for change. “It brought about a profound change in me,” she says, adding that it opened her eyes to the barriers people from ethnic backgrounds face and led to her current role.
To read more about the initiatives McDonald’s have in place, read the full article here.