With the aim of enhancing diversity at the workplace, the fats food chain McDonald’s has set a target of achieving equality in terms of number of men and women in leadership roles at the company.
Additionally, over the next four years, minority representation in the company’s senior ranks in the United States will also be increased by the fast food chain to 35 per cent from 29 per cent.
Pay of executives would be linked to achievement if these targets, the company said.
These measures were announced by the company after allegations of racial discrimination were placed against the company by black franchisees and executives in the US. Accusations that the company is fostering “systemic sexual harassment” at its restaurants have also been labelled by the employees of the company.
Those allegations have however been denied by McDonald’s.
But a new diversity, equity and inclusion initiative was announced by the company back in July last year when the widespread Black Lives Matter protests in the US was at its peak.
To lead the implementation of those equality plans a new person was appointed by the company in November.
“We recognise these issues weigh heavily on our people and have heard – loud and clear – that diversity, equity and inclusion are priorities for our entire team, from our crews to our senior leaders,” McDonald’s chief executive Chris Kempczinski wrote in a letter to staff.
“We’re serious about holding ourselves and our leaders accountable to these foundational commitments.”
This is the first time that McDonald’s has released demographic data of its workforce in the US as a part of the equality measures.
There was presence of more black, Hispanic and Asian senior managers in the company compared to the overall industry figures, showed the diversity data from 2018. The industry average on women and minorities in service roles was also beaten by the company.
The company however lagged in the number of black and Hispanic first- and mid-level managers.
Along with considering sales and profit growth meeting diversity goals, weighted at 15 per cent of the total evaluation criteria, would be used to determine executive bonuses, the company also said.
The company had long been “complacent” on these issues, said Jamelia Fairley, a McDonald’s worker at a corporate-owned store in the Orlando, Florida area.
“While workers have rung the alarm, from filing complaints and lawsuits to going on strike, McDonald’s has largely ignored its racial discrimination problem from the C-suite to the frontlines,” said Ms Fairley, a leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union, an activist campaign that has pressured McDonald’s over racial discrimination and sexual harassment, among other issues.
“This isn’t a problem that can be solved by paying wealthy executives even more to hire a handful of new senior staff,” she added.
“If McDonald’s really wants to address racial and gender inequality, it needs to start by listening to the black and brown cooks and cashiers who have been speaking out about workplace discrimination and pay for years.”
(Adapted from BBC.com)