McDonald's hires outside firm to conduct diversity, equity, inclusion assessment


Fox Business Flash top headlines for June 3

Check out what’s clicking on

McDonald's has tapped a third-party firm to conduct an assessment of its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MCDMCDONALD’S CORP.250.38+1.10+0.44%

The move comes after SOC Investment Group urged the fast food chain's board of directors to conduct an audit analyzing "the adverse impact of McDonald's policies and practices on the civil rights of company stakeholders" and provide recommendations for improving its civil rights impact.  

SOC emphasized that McDonald's should consider input from civil rights organizations, franchisees, corporate and franchise employees, suppliers and customers.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, over 273 million shares voted in favor of the proposal at McDonald's annual meeting May 26, compared to approximately 217 million shares that voted against it. 


McDonald's initially attempted to exclude the proposal from its 2022 proxy materials, telling the regulator in a Jan. 23 letter that an audit would require it to take action that would "harm its legal defense in multiple pending lawsuits" and interfere with its business operations. However, the request was denied by the regulator, which said the proposal "transcends ordinary business matters."

McDonald’s has tapped a third-party firm to conduct an audit on its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. (iStock / iStock)

The company is facing lawsuits from 238 current and former Black franchisees who allege "systematic and covert racial discrimination" and denial of "equal opportunity to success" from practices steering them to high-cost, low-volume operations in Black neighborhoods. 

McDonald's also faces litigation from two Black company executives who allege disparate treatment based on race and a pending lawsuit from media entrepreneur Byron Allen accusing the company of spending less with Black-owned media groups due to a "tiered advertising budget based on racial stereotypes." 

In addition, more than 50 complaints and lawsuits alleging sexual harassment at company-owned and franchised McDonald's locations have been filed since 2016. McDonald's has moved to dismiss or settle many of them. 


A McDonald's spokesperson told FOX Business that diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of its core values.

“We are committed to providing equitable opportunities for our employees, franchisees and suppliers. While we are proud of our progress, our efforts are ongoing, and we will continue to focus on actions that have meaningful impact.”

"We are committed to providing equitable opportunities for our employees, franchisees and suppliers," the company added. "While we are proud of our progress, our efforts are ongoing, and we will continue to focus on actions that have meaningful impact."

Previous actions the company has taken include a global recruitment initiative to increase the number of franchisees from all backgrounds, which includes a five-year, $250 million investment in the United States to provide alternatives to traditional financing to help candidates facing socioeconomic barriers join McDonald's.  


The company has also committed to a 10% increase in spending with diverse-owned suppliers between 2020 and 2025, bringing total annual spending to $3.5 billion, and pledged to increase its marketing spending with diverse-owned media from 4% to 10% and Black-owned media from 2% to 5% between 2021 and 2024.  

In addition, McDonald's has set goals to increase its representation of historically underrepresented groups in leadership roles, linked accountability for the achievement of those goals to executive compensation and implemented anti-harrassment training at its locations worldwide.  

Source: Read Full Article