- McDonald's has reached gender pay equity for employees at U.S. corporate stores, the company said in an emailed statement Tuesday. Corporate employee pay is just shy of equal — women are currently paid 99.16% as much as men for comparable work. McDonald's analyzed pay across more than 180,000 employees.
- The burger giant estimates it will close the pay gap at its corporate offices and international markets in 2022. Currently, McDonald's pays women globally 99.85 cents on the dollar for similar work completed by men, Debbie Ballard, McDonald's VP of global business services, wrote in a blog post.
- McDonald's forecast only applies to store-level employees at 7% of its total restaurants, since 93% of its system is franchised.
McDonald's efforts could help the chain attract employees amid the labor shortage, though the company is behind competitors when it comes to pay equity. Rival Starbucks achieved gender and racial pay equity in its U.S. stores in 2018.
McDonald's plans to run an annual global pay analysis, and will adjust compensation to maintain equal pay beyond 2022, the company said. The company has also joined the Catalyst Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance, a group made up of DEI advocates, corporations, trade organizations and academics that use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure diversity.
"While inclusion is a value of ours, and equity an aspiration, we recognize they haven't always been a reality," Heidi Capozzi, McDonald's EVP and global chief people officer, said in a message viewed by Restaurant Dive. "We're committed to lead change for the women and underrepresented groups that work for this Brand."
Equal pay and representation has become a major goal for legacy restaurant brands as both diners and workers seek out businesses that present themselves as equitable. McDonald's began tying executive compensation to DEI metrics in February, and disclosed its representation metrics the same month. It's not alone. Starbucks announced in October 2020 that it would link pay for senior vice presidents to diversity metrics, and Yum Brands committed $100 million last summer to improve racial and gender diversity in the next three years.
Despite McDonald's public statements about diversity and compensation, the chain faces slew of lawsuits accusing it of permitting — and intentionally perpetuating — racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
McDonald's reputation may still be an obstacle to prospective employees, as chains big and small are raising pay in a bid to attract new workers, giving workers more choices. In May, average pay in the restaurant industry was above $15 an hour for the first time. Black Box Intelligence and Snagajob data also finds that wages spiked by 10% year-over-year in Q2, marking the biggest increase in years.