July 30, 2020 / 12:26 PM / 10 days ago

McDonald's to boost diversity as part of values revamp

(Reuters) - McDonald’s Corp laid out new diversity initiatives for corporate leadership, franchisees and suppliers at its global convention on Wednesday.

A worker delivers food inside a McDonald's after over 700 restaurants of the fast-food chain reopened with a dine-in service as business restrictions imposed to combat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic eased, in London, Britain July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The announcement was part of Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski’s effort to reinject some of early owner Ray Kroc’s collaborative spirit with a modern twist and to reset the narrative after a tumultuous nine months since he took over in November.

The Chicago-based burger chain’s biennial worldwide meeting was held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The revised values - which pertain to serving, inclusion, integrity, community and family - come after former Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook was ousted over an improper relationship. McDonald’s values were last reworked in 2008, when James Skinner was chief executive.

A few months after Easterbrook’s departure, the coronavirus pandemic broke out and McDonald’s restaurants scrambled to secure supply chains and protective gear and shift operations to drive-thru and delivery.

McDonald’s U.S. franchisees felt they were not getting enough financial support, and the feud broke out publicly.

Employees walked off the job over what they said was a lack of proper protection and adequate pay. Black franchisees were leaving because of a growing financial disparity between their stores and those of white owners, Business Insider reported.

Organizations large and small have been addressing racism internally after nationwide protests over the May killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by Minneapolis police.

McDonald’s new diversity initiative deals with bias in hiring, increasing diversity among leadership, franchisees and advertising and reducing barriers to diverse suppliers.

Metrics will be developed in coming weeks. McDonald’s said the meaning of diversity varies in the 120 countries where it operates.

In a video shown to attendees, Heidi Capozzi, global chief people officer, who joined McDonald’s in April, said progress would be tracked annually.

“Thanks to the scale of the McDonald’s system, the impact we can have is unlike any other company,” she said.

Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Leslie Adler

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