McDonald’s says it has largely achieved pay equality

The burger giant says it has achieved pay equality for company employees in underrepresented groups. Women are on track to achieve equal pay for equal work next year.
McDonald's pay equity
Photo by Jonathan Maze

McDonald’s says that its company staff are paid based on their actual work rather than their gender or race.

The Chicago-based burger giant said on Tuesday that its employees that are part of historically underrepresented groups are now paid the same as their White counterparts for equal work.

McDonald’s also said it has achieved equal pay by gender at its U.S. company restaurants and is on track to do the same with its corporate workforce by next year. Currently, women are paid 99.16% of the pay men receive for comparable work and the company will erase the remaining gap during its 2022 pay cycle.

The company said the move has impacted 180,000 employees, though a relatively small number of people received raises to get to equality because of progress made on the pay equality gap over the years.

“We recognize that to realize our aspiration, we must also keep actively attacking the systemic biases that negatively impact women and people with marginalized identities,” Chief People Officer Heidi Capozzi said in a system message viewed by Restaurant Business.

She said McDonald’s has joined the Catalyst Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance, a group of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI ) advocates, corporations, academics and trade groups that support the adoption of performance indicators to measure gender and diversity in their organizations.

The move is the latest in a long string of diversity efforts on McDonald’s part in recent years as it has faced pressure for the treatment of women in its restaurants and accusations of bias against Black employees and franchisees.

McDonald’s has been working for a decade to achieve pay equity among company restaurant and corporate employees. The company in 2019, for instance, began to push for more gender balance at all levels of the company.

McDonald’s also said earlier this year that it would tie executive bonuses to specified diversity goals and would report regularly on efforts to reach them. It has also vowed to increase marketing spending with diverse-owned media by the end of 2024 and to increase spending with diverse-owned suppliers 10% by 2025.

In the U.S., women receive about 82% of the hourly pay rates as men for the same work and 74% of their monthly earnings, according to the Global Wage Report from the International Labour Organization. Globally, women earn 83% of the hourly pay of their male counterparts and 78% of the monthly pay.

Capozzi in her system message said that its 2021 analysis showed that it has substantially achieved equal pay by gender and race. But she also said that the company needs to keep monitoring the situation given regular pay changes and new employees.

“This is an accomplishment to be proud of,” she said, “but with new employees starting and pay changes being made regularly, we are committed to continue an annual analysis followed by action, to help maintain equal pay for equal work in the U.S. market.”

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