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The McDonald's diversity story

Patricia Harris
Pat Harris is Global Chief Diversity Officer at McDonald's Corporation and author of the new book, "None of Us Is As Good As All of Us: How McDonald's Prospers By Embracing Inclusion and Diversity."

One of the enduring myths about diversity in the corporate world is that it's the right thing to do and the nice thing to do, but only if you can afford it. Having taken part in the evolution of diversity at McDonald's over the past three decades, I can attest that diversity is a strategy that's been the smart thing to do in driving our business forward.

Like a majority of companies in the 1950s, McDonald's started out as a predominantly white male organization. In fact, women were not allowed to work in a McDonald's restaurant as a matter of policy until the 1960s. We began to diversify our operations when it became clear to us it was the best way to sell more hamburgers in minority communities. This wasn't in response to a government mandate for "Affirmative Action," as it was called at the time, but a strategic business decision.

We originally recruited African-American franchisees to serve African-American neighborhoods, and we did the same with Hispanic, Asian, and female franchisees as well. We also brought minority employees into the company and developed minority supplier partners for our restaurants. We felt it was important to mirror the communities we wished to serve, and that strategy has proven itself many times over.

But it was not a simple or easy process. In the early days, we found ourselves losing minority employees almost as fast as we were hiring them. It became clear that we had to do things differently to learn how to manage our business to accommodate diversity, and that involved three key elements that can help any business aiming to diversify and improve the bottom line:

The first requirement is a commitment from senior leadership to diversity as a core value of the organization. Top management must be determined that diversity is a cornerstone of how you do business.

Next is training and education, not only for minorities who are learning how to be successful in a corporate setting, but also for managers who need to understand how to lead a diverse team of people.

And the third key element is creating networks, bringing together people with common goals and challenges so they can learn from each other and support their development within the organization. At McDonald's, we have strong networks for employees, franchisees, and suppliers.

The secret sauce that holds these three elements together is persistence, not treating them as temporary programs, but sticking with them throughout every business cycle. Indeed, every McDonald's business unit includes diversity and inclusion as part of its annual planning process.

Today at McDonald's we tap our diverse internal resources in designing products, marketing and promotional programs, restaurant designs, and every other aspect of our business. We have learned through the years that the more voices we hear in developing our strategies, the more sound our decisions are.

The true strength of a diverse organization becomes clear when the leadership pipeline is filled with more and more strong candidates,and my own career path at McDonald's is a good illustration of this. I grew up the youngest of eleven children on a small farm in McBee, South Carolina, and my career goal was to be a secretary. I held that position when I joined McDonald's in 1976. Over the more than three decades I've worked at McDonald's, my bosses presented me with opportunities I had never dreamed of and gave me the resources to take advantage of them. My goals grew from "making a living" to "building a life."

No single race or gender has a monopoly on managerial ability. That's why the wider you open your doors, and the more support you give your people as they advance in the organization, the more talent you have to choose from. This is a clear competitive advantage to those companies who have provided opportunities to a broad array of people through the years.

These are all tangible benefits that accrue to organizations that embrace inclusion and diversity as a way of doing business. Giving people opportunities to achieve their potential is the right thing to do, and it has the added benefit of contributing to the bottom line.

To me, the question is not "How can you afford to become a diverse organization?" but how can you afford not to?

By Patricia Harris

 |  November 25, 2009; 10:27 AM ET |  Category:  Leadership advice Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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1. As an African-American and Military Professional, I applaud the efforts of McDonalds, however, I believe Cultural Diversity and Affirmative Action are old-world programs that have robbed tuition assistance and tuition-reimbursement benefits to drive the New Generation Global Economy (NGGE). Education is the life-blood of this nation, yet, not enough is spent on educating our people.
2. Education breeds culture, and education injects diversity into our corporations. Corporations are losing money designing a picture of social correction which cements the projections of slavery. Only through a total commitment to educate and train a workforce conditioned by slavery shall there be change to the human existence. The past is not changed by social pictures but by the compressionary forces of capitalism infused the corporate setting. Money is a moment that affects change in behavior, thus with education, people have access money. Money breeds cultural diversity and equal opportunity for all men. Word....

Note: I love this country!

Antonio the Sun

Posted by: sterlinggo1 | December 1, 2009 7:53 PM

KMM88 - it makes me woder how hard you have looked.

Both of the McDonald's in my nieghborhood (SW) usually have black (born in the US and can speak English) employees at the front actually taking orders.

Posted by: EAR0614 | December 1, 2009 2:17 PM

Drive by any fast food establishment and you will see over weight Hispanic Woman with several children in tow.
____________________________________

Biologically speaking, would a woman like to back me up on this, but don't women usually gain weight with every child they have, even if they were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at home?

It's not just the fast food. It's having babies, too. (Maybe no one notices a few extra pounds on the abdomen when the womb is so big, so maybe pregnancy is an opportunity to gain weight, too? Although gestational diabetes might cause some weight gain,, right? I'm not a doctor.)

Sure, the answer is the same too, less calories more exercise. Kind of hard though when you're tied down with all those kids. You could take a baby in a stroller and go jogging (it might not like the bumpy ride, waaah waaaahh). Or force the whole troop to go for a walk.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | December 1, 2009 12:53 PM

I think from reading this opinion piece that Pat Harris is part of the problem and not a solution. While McD's claims it has done well by promoting diversity in the workplace it sometimes has to look at the situation from the most important part of the equation: the Customer. Even in many non-minority communities McD's staffs it's restaurants with people who cannot speak or understand the English language (and that includes employees who are not immigrants but were born and raised in the USA). It is frustrating to precisely speak an order and have to repeat it several times or, when you open the bag, the order is wrong. In highly-trafficked urban areas, it is sometimes frightening to watch the chaos behind the counter as managers try to cope with their 'diverse' workforce which has split into various ehtnic groups working against each other. It is a poor situation when the highest paid position in a McDonald's restaurant is the in-house Interpreter. Having to learn to speak Spanish and at least one other Middle Eastern or Asian language in addition to speaking English is a daunting task. In Japan, they do rather well and companies don't have Diversity Officers.

Posted by: rmg4369 | December 1, 2009 12:52 PM

I know about the gripes regarding usage of the English language. I have worked with Web developers from Vietnam, India, and China. Depending on the staff member, the skills have ranged over the years from poor-average to very good to excellent. There are no problems today.

Our writing tasks have been as high as a 12th grade level or college level (a woman with a Master's put out a weekly newsletter). Fortunately, speaking for myself I am a Master's in a liberal arts major (sociology) which required numerous writing assignments, including one final large writing assignment (not called a thesis but ending up to be over 130 pages), in graduate school. I have had to learn American Psychological Association publication style (III). I just happen to have been born in the United States to parents born in the United States who, incidentally, are also strongly skilled in the English language: Dad was an editor for the Social Security Bulletin and Mom nearly committed herself to teaching high school English. (Being a very petite woman at the height of racial tensions in the Sputnik era changed her mind: how would she stop a race fight between young men each twice her size or more?)

All Web content should be proofread by the end client. Also, when we are finished checking its 508 accessibility and HTML and CSS validity, it has to be spell- and grammar-checked, first with the automatic tools you can use by copying the text and pasting it into Word, and then manually, because no automatic tool is perfect.

And yes, at the drive-in window, please speak clearly. In northern Alexandria, that would be the ability to hear and speak English clearly, with Spanish skills strongly recommended. I don't know if I understand a Midwestern accent best of all, because newscasters often speak with a Midwestern accent. I am told I have a Midwestern accent. If so, it would make sense because Dad came from northern Wisconsin and Mom came from northern Michigan (Upper Peninsula). I am glad many McDonalds use the text board to list your purchases as verification.

English is still the most commonly understood language in America, whether English is officially the language or not. Spanish is the second most understood language (I took Spanish every year of high school, and both semesters of my second year of college. The only thing I never did was travel abroad to need to use it.). The mission objective is to communicate customer desires so money can be transacted: some of which will be profit.

On the Web, language may have a secondary function, to make the organization look good with the right words, usually dictionary words people have to look up. Typos or substandard usage make an agency's credibility disappear.

Either way, language skills are important.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | December 1, 2009 12:37 PM

Yeah? An Indian hired my brother to his first of three computer programming jobs (The Library Corporation being the only computer programming-related company of consequence in Berkeley County WV), and my brother is a white Anglo Saxon.

All my brother had was seven years of computer programming as a hobby, plus more years of electronics as a hobby. He had just resigned his Air Force ROTC scholarship at Virginia Tech and quit college: it is round-the-clock, in-your-face, and more than he could stand, and had no other way to attend college. (Dad blamed my stay on campus for draining all the available funding when we were commuting distance, even though Mom very strongly insisted I learn lessons not found in textbooks.) (The irony was he got a great job in 60 days after quitting college and it took me close to two years with a Master's, but I digress.)

His mother of course had my brother for a chemistry student, and my brother was more courteous than the usual West Virginian high school student to a teacher from India. (Mom taught us not to draw racial or gender distinctions from whom was in authority, or shall I say, never taught us to make those distinctions in the first place.) The things the students probably said behind her back and even to her are not worth repeating here.

My brother got one heck of an unsolicited reference.

Funny how things turn out.

Don't be prejudiced.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | December 1, 2009 11:47 AM

in many companies in the washington area, many i.t. departments are staffed with a majority of indians/asians...
it's no secret that they prefer to hire their own and yet they continue to violate eeoc guidelines...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 1, 2009 6:49 AM

"It is a shame that educated and intelligent people of any race are reluctant to have children. We know the financial consequences. People who don't know the consequences or care tend to make the kids.
And then people say we need more white people. Why??? Just a color preference, or worse, bigotry, hatred?
I've seen laments from the anti-contraception crowd that are unintentionally racist. A lot of us are using contraceptives (and abortion) when we could be having accidental babies when we have immigrants (especially from Mexico, Central, and South America) who generally believe contraception is close to a sin and children are more of a blessing.
Are we sure the anti-contraception crowd, along with the Minutemen along the border, and the deport-them-all crowd, don't really have ethnic cleansing in mind? Not merely enforcement of law, which says those who follow rules are welcome, but ethnic dilution or ethnic cleansing through deportation? Or even violence?
Why else insist that we need more natural increase in America when immigration provides a lot of increase to America, and the planet as a whole is naturally increasing all the time?
The atmosphere of hate has to stop. It is infectious like a disease. It even has the potential to spread and make people on the sidelines, or people trying not to get personally involved, infected too.
Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | November 30, 2009 4:15 PM "

before the immigration act of 65 passed, most people coming to America were from europe...
after it passed the third world starting coming to send back part of America to their home countries...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 30, 2009 4:47 PM

It is a shame that educated and intelligent people of any race are reluctant to have children. We know the financial consequences. People who don't know the consequences or care tend to make the kids.

And then people say we need more white people. Why??? Just a color preference, or worse, bigotry, hatred?

I've seen laments from the anti-contraception crowd that are unintentionally racist. A lot of us are using contraceptives (and abortion) when we could be having accidental babies when we have immigrants (especially from Mexico, Central, and South America) who generally believe contraception is close to a sin and children are more of a blessing.

Are we sure the anti-contraception crowd, along with the Minutemen along the border, and the deport-them-all crowd, don't really have ethnic cleansing in mind? Not merely enforcement of law, which says those who follow rules are welcome, but ethnic dilution or ethnic cleansing through deportation? Or even violence?

Why else insist that we need more natural increase in America when immigration provides a lot of increase to America, and the planet as a whole is naturally increasing all the time?

The atmosphere of hate has to stop. It is infectious like a disease. It even has the potential to spread and make people on the sidelines, or people trying not to get personally involved, infected too.

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | November 30, 2009 4:15 PM

We are in big trouble in the US. We need more white immigrants who are educated and skilled. How many more diswashers and gardners can the US sustain?
*********

ive been saying for a while that the only responsible way to do health care reform is to follow it up by finishing the wall on the boarder with mexico and NOT providing a path to citizenship to the illegal immigrants in the USA.

if you expand the social "safety net" while constantly bringing millions of poor people from other countries into the fold, the american tax payer simply will NOT be able, let alone willing, to fit the bill.

our social insurance mecahnisms cannot be a form of aid to the third world. not without our leaders lying through their teeth. and inspiring a grass roots revolt.

Posted by: dummypants | November 30, 2009 3:48 PM

Who works at McDonalds depends on who lives in the area is my point. Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting with Jesus would make clear that in West Virginia and Winchester it is pretty much a cracker barrel (almost fully white, 9 or more to 1, and there are Cracker Barrels up there too).

Yep, we lived in a bunch of places. Waldorf, about a 50-50 mix. Cracker barrel Martinsburg and Hedgesville in the countryside. Chocolate Greenbelt-College Park. Now it's just me in northern Alexandria all its own (increasingly Hispanic). If you see me putting a Club on my steering wheel it's not personal. I've done it in WV, MD, and VA alike.

And up there the job market is saturated with low skill labor (high school dropout rate may approach one in three, or did once in my lifetime, 20 years ago). If you are a refugee left behind by the DC area job market (can't interview) they will be happy to have you until they learn you finished high school. (Finally the state of Maryland put my first career out its misery by making me a computer programmer).

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | November 30, 2009 3:00 PM

First, I wonder how much $$ Ms. Harris was paid by McDonalds to publish this garbage.
Secondly, how many white people WANT to work at McDonalds? The service industry is largely Hispanic.
Last, I'd like to add that I am SICK of the McDonalds commercials that pander to the black community. They are not limited to TV, but also the "i'm luvin it" radio spots featuring all black people. I don't think I've seen a white person in a Mcy'd's
commercial in years.

Posted by: anaislynne | November 30, 2009 2:55 PM

diversity is fine as long as everyone is treated the same and merit and hard work is what gets you ahead...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 30, 2009 2:10 PM

I don't see much diversity on my trips up to Hagerstown, Shepherdstown, Martinsburg (the Maryland/West Virginia area in the northwest).

During my trip to Dayton to work at Wright Patterson AFB last June, I found none, but they were home town friendly and "sweetie".

Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | November 30, 2009 2:00 PM

This wasn't in response to a government mandate for "Affirmative Action," as it was called at the time, but a strategic business decision.
*********

Mrs. Harris doesnt know what she is talking about--unsurprisingly. the government has never mandated affirmative action (isnt it funny when the diversity troop starts putting their own euphemism in qoutes?) in the private sector.

maybe she is dreaming of busing white kids to mcdonalds in black neighborhoods, so as to open up a new an lucrative market.

Posted by: dummypants | November 30, 2009 1:53 PM

First, life would be pretty boring in an all white work environment.
***********

HAHA, i GUESS. I imagine it depends who the white people are, wouldnt you say? I bet the Seinfeld set was a pretty great place.

i work at the most diverse workplace imaginable and it would be hard to imagine a more boring place.

its funny how people feel such insecurity about their arguments for "diversity for diversity's sake" that they resort to claimaing things like "diversity makes things more interesting".

oh yes, please discriminate against me to make the world more "interesting"

Posted by: dummypants | November 30, 2009 1:48 PM

Well, joy to the world. Many people read this article and thought that it somehow translated into "McDonalds feels that it is best to hire immigrants to work at their restaurants"

And then the complaints begin.

Reread the damn thing, and tell me where it says anything about who should be hired as front line employees at McDonalds, beyond the comment about the shop was run as an all male operation until the 1970's.

What the author is talking about is big picture business plans, and it makes all the sense in the world.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 30, 2009 1:45 PM

Anyway, not hiring an all white male staff is hardly and example of discriminating against DummyPants
*******
errr, so clearly i never said anything about wanting all white work staffs.

im more worried about things like throwing away the results of a promotion examination because not "enough" minorities scored high enough to earn promotion?

the New Haven fire department, unfortunately, only mirrors discrimination that is done out in the open and without any hint of shame all around the country, especially in big cities.

Posted by: dummypants | November 30, 2009 1:44 PM

I quit eating at fast food resteraunts some 10 years ago. It has only gotten worse. In the Washington Metro Area, I would say that 80% of the workers at McDonalds are Hispanic. Trouble is that they feed their children that food almost daily. Drive by any fast food establishment and you will see over weight Hispanic Woman with several children in tow. And if you really have some extra time, go by the Prince William County Free Health Clinic on any given day. Almost 100% of those seeking free health care are of Hispanic orgin. We are in big trouble in the US. We need more white immigrants who are educated and skilled. How many more diswashers and gardners can the US sustain?

Posted by: Cobra2 | November 30, 2009 1:42 PM

Agreed. White males are an extremely limited market for unhealthy, fattening food, when women and minorities make such a more fertile ground. Then, women and minority voters convince the government to create a health care system on Marxist lines: benefits in proportion to need, premiums in proportion to ability to pay. Then, white males even pay the COST of your gastronomic diversity.

Posted by: WmarkW | November 30, 2009 1:12 PM

The problem with all this diversity balogna is obvious in Global Diversity Expert Pat Harris' own words:

"We originally recruited African-American franchisees to serve African-American neighborhoods, and we did the same with Hispanic, Asian, and female franchisees as well. We also brought minority employees into the company and developed minority supplier partners for our restaurants. We felt it was important to mirror the communities we wished to serve, and that strategy has proven itself many times over."

Really? If a compnay recruited whites or white males (Anglo Saxon or Celtic, or Italian or French or German) to serve in Celtic, Anglo Saxon, French, or German neighborhoods, the public outcry would justifiably be enormous.

When will these so called proponents of "diversity" ever get it? We will NEVER be a color blind society if we as a society continue to put any kind of emphasis (regardless of motive) on color.

These diversity proponents are the biggest racists and bigots ever!

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | November 30, 2009 1:10 PM

This diversity has made it almost impossible to order at a drive-through, the accents make a terrible quality sound-system even more difficult to understand. I honestly do not mind that someone working at McDonalds is an immigrant, I just can't seem to understand them when they speak, nor can they understand me.

Posted by: joelhar1 | November 30, 2009 12:53 PM

First, life would be pretty boring in an all white work environment.

Second, having a diverse work force is a smart business proposition. Just look at your customers.

Third, if you only recruit white guys, you are missing out on an incredible talent pool. Better yet, I'd like my competition to keep doing that so I have a better talent pool to pull from.

Mark (a white guy)

Posted by: mmilleker | November 30, 2009 12:39 PM

DummyPants doesn't know anything about Black people or he would know that the NAACP has become largely irrelevant in many Blacks' lives while Black elected leaders, Black professional groups and even bloggers have increasingly filled a leadership gap.

Anyway, not hiring an all white male staff is hardly and example of discriminating against DummyPants.

The American Journal of Color Arousal (AMJCA)
http://amjca.blogspot.com

Posted by: francislholland | November 30, 2009 12:35 PM

The decline in any enterprise in society is inversely proportional to its increase in diversity.

Posted by: slim2 | November 30, 2009 12:30 PM

This is a great article about diversity and has the advantage of coming from the largest and most successful restaurant corporation in the world. Smart managers copy or emulate what works best in the market. Since diversity is part of the McDonald's success model, other organizations ignore diversity only their own peril.

I appreciate that the author recounts the history of anti-female discrimination at McDonald's but reports that McDonald's overcame strict rules against women's participation. The article would be more convincing if it included statistics about McDonald's diversity in its restaurants, franchises and management.

Although I appreciate this article from the global chief diversity officer, it's often been said that Blacks are ghettoized into the diversity program, with less opportunities to contribute more clearly and with greater obvious responsibility for the bottom line in restaurants, franchises and corporate offices around the world. Typically, diversity officers are among the first fired when economically difficult times hit, unless the business is conscious of the bottom line contribution resulting from diversity.

Here in Brazil, the McDonald's Corporation has, for some reason, insisted on owning all of the McDonald's restaurants disappropriating the franchisees. Without knowing why this was done, it's hard to judge the fairness of it.

A law school visiting professor guest once told our class "diversity" class that businesses would never discriminate against minorities because it hurts the bottom line.

I pointed out that for decades businesses in the US South did not allow Black people to eat in restaurants or sleep in hotels. One only need look at McDonald's to see how much smaller their operations would be if they didn't have restaurants in Black,d Latino and other minority neighborhoods, and if the didn't allow Blacks in stores where neighborhoods were predominantly white. That would not be a business strategy; it would be an attempted corporate suicide.

Posted by: francislholland | November 30, 2009 12:29 PM

Why is there so little diversity in the selection of diversity executives?
**********

good question.

im as middle of the road in my views as can be, but I've been getting increasingly steamed at this "diversity" racket where people get paid to propogate an ideology which at the end of the day discriminates against me.

i wonder how long it will be before rational white people form a NAAWP, instead of continuing to bring a knife when NAACP and La Raza are bent on a gun fight.

and i wonder how alarmist the MSM would be about it, as if a La Raza for white people is the equivalent of the second coming of the KKK.

the hypocrisy of people like Ms. Harris is breathtaking, and, at some point, almost impressive.

Posted by: dummypants | November 30, 2009 11:36 AM

The food tasted better when the white guys ran it.

Posted by: speedo1 | November 30, 2009 11:23 AM

Why is MSNBC all white?

Posted by: eureka60 | November 30, 2009 10:59 AM

does everything have to be racial? For God's sake it is just a burger joint. They will hire whoever is willing to work there.

Posted by: djrhood | November 30, 2009 10:51 AM

Why is there so little diversity in the selection of diversity executives?

Posted by: 1911a1 | November 30, 2009 10:47 AM

Harris experiences and views on the importance of workplace diversity present one of the fundamental keys to long-term business success. Although business models starts and ends with the bottom line, to retain financial sustainability, opportunites for diverse perspectives must be actively sought and applied rather than mere lip service. Diversity is also about community and McDonalds has effectively opened its doors to account for localized preferences through advertising and design.

Posted by: rb10br | November 30, 2009 10:44 AM

I went to a McDonalds this weekend in an area that seemed pretty upper class. Nice neighborhood, expensive cars, huge homes. However, the person working the drive-thru spoke zero English and the person at the window when I came through must've been her sister just off the boat. Seriously, why do companies insist on putting people in positions where English is REQUIRED that can't speak the language.

When I got to the window, I was asked to do something by the person at the window. I had no clue what she was saying and neither did the three people in my car. Finally, the store manager came to the window and asked me to park and wait for my food. I asked her why she didn't have someone at the window that spoke English clearly. The manager refused to answer.

Diversity is a great thing, but if done correctly. And this extends to all businesses. Put someone on the phone that can clearly speak English so the majority of this country can communicate with your business. I stopped going to McDonald's because of this. This most recently experience means I'll pass McDonald's by and go to Chik-Fil-A or Burger King because there I can hold a conversation with the person taking my order.

Posted by: dj1123 | November 30, 2009 10:37 AM

Much like competitive sports, whether Micky D's is able to make a profit (i.e. win) in the coming years will determine its success as a Fortune 500 company.

In the end, race, creed, or color will do little to either save or advance a person's job in a competitive market place.

May the best individuals/companies/ideas win.

Posted by: pgould1 | November 30, 2009 10:34 AM

McDonalds prioritizes urban, less desirable areas to sell more and profit from uneducated poor folks who don't comprehend how unhealthy the food is as part of a regular diet. The bottom line is NOT Mickey D's desire to "diversify" or give a segment of the population more opportunity... it's about shifting from more educated areas (predominately white) that eat less of this fatty, overly processed food on a regular basis to areas that make this crap a staple of their diets.

That said, companies have no requirement to do the right thing... they only have to obey laws and make a profit. YO... YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND FINALLY TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOSELF, URBAN FOLKS!

Posted by: ANTGA | November 30, 2009 10:00 AM

What a pathetic, transparent joke. McDonald's commitment to 'diversity' boils down to the hiring of illegal or quasi-illegal latin, african and indian immigrants because they are docile and will accept low wages. Why? Because they are so afraid of either getting caught by the immigration authorities and/or because of their uncertain place in American society. Their poor command of English reinforces this fear (the lingua franca behind the 'window' at all McDonalds in Montgomery County, for example, is Spanish). Also, in their native lands, they are used to being treated like dirt. If they spoke up there, they would probably have been beaten up. No native-born Americans will put up with McD's low wages, hard-driving managers and slave-like working conditions. Please, let's get real. The bottom line here is the bottom line, pure and simple.

Posted by: lafayette89 | November 30, 2009 9:46 AM

I have noticed that when a McDonald's is located near a less than desirable neighborhood the soda dispenser, napkins and condiments are behind the counter. I know it's because the locals would cart those items out of the store otherwise. Now, let's see, there must be some way that McDonald's can held responsible for this inconvenience "offense."

Also, I too am tired of so many hard-to-understand foreigners working the counters. Sometimes the natural born are difficult to understand too. Can I get fries with that?

Posted by: TooManyPeople | November 30, 2009 9:34 AM

McDonalds beef comes from animals raised on what was Amazon Rainforest. McDonald's continues to buy beef that is grown thus, making McDonald's burgers a direct cause of climate change. Bad. McDonald's shakes contain potato and their fries contain wood pulp.

McDonald's is not real food, it is some weird kind of entertainment that is unhealthy for the consumer and bad for the planet.

Posted by: mtnmanvt | November 30, 2009 9:33 AM

This article starts off wrong and stays wrong. Diversity has been thoroughly embraced by corporate America, regardless of whether or not a company can afford it, because corporations are terrified of EEOC, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and all the race pimps. A lawsuit or boycott will cost them more than a "diverse" workforce. There has been no attempt to bring quality minority employees to the forefront, as companies find minorities for window dressing. Everyone knows it's a sham, including minority employees who slack outrageously and know no one can do anything about it, and underneath it all feel shame at the charade.

Posted by: mediaskeptic | November 30, 2009 9:31 AM

Since Multiculturalism, Diversity, etc. are discredited "Politically Correct" agendas, methinks the reality behind this article is too good to be true.
It sounds like a 'Take-off' on "Bussing".
Somehow, I think McDonald's 'Leadership' rationale is in trouble!!

Posted by: realtimer | November 30, 2009 8:59 AM

KMM88 made an interesting point but that is the end result of diversity-driven immigration policy. Its one thing to embrace diversity and yet another to sweep all common sense to the side and let diversity set national policies. At that point it has taken on the property of a religion, where we defer to diversity for our decisions.

Posted by: hipshot | November 30, 2009 8:34 AM

So the business rationale for "diversity" is racism: blacks only want to buy from blacks, hispanics only want to buy from hispanics. Wonderful. And do you think catering to this racism is going to reduce it or reinforce it? Welcome to multicultural America, where every culture only interacts with itself.

Posted by: qaz1231 | November 30, 2009 8:32 AM

The COO of McDonald's is Hispanic, the CEO of McDonald's USA is an African-American and the COO is a woman. McDonald's has strong organizations supporting Hispanic, African-American and women franchisees. Health Magazine graded the menu choices at various restaurant chains and awarded McDonald's a B+ because of the many healthier alternative menu items. Chains such as Chilis, Ruby Tuesday, P.F. Chaings, Denny's and Macaroni Grill earned Ds and Fs. Here is a link to an article about the study.

http://cookingresources.suite101.com/article.cfm/health_magazine_grades_best_restaurant_chains

Posted by: jimd52 | November 30, 2009 8:29 AM

Diversity at McDonald's has turned into a nightmare at the retail level. These days, a native English speaking American can hardly go into a McDonald's restaurant and place an order without trouble being understood. No native English speakers work at the cash register in any McDonald's that I can find in the entire Washington, DC region- rarely am I able to simply call out my order, pay, and leave with my meal, assured that without thoroughly checking the bag my order is correct, in fact most times the order is not correct and I have to give back something and wait while it is done right. This is a sad state of affairs, and were it not for the sake of convenience and price concerns, I would not ever go into a McDonald's again.

Posted by: kmm88 | November 30, 2009 8:16 AM

I worked at a McDonald's in Massachusetts in the 1970's while in high school. The women in the store were treated like second class citizens. Except in the rar instance, we were only allowed to work on the window waiting on customers and not allowed to cook. (The men could work at any station.) A friend who did every duty a manager did was never given the title of manager (and probably the pay of a manager) because the owner had done that once before with another woman and she had not turned out to be a good manager. (The old "women are all alike" mentality.) It is great to hear that McDonald's has made an effort to change.

Posted by: KJS1956 | November 30, 2009 8:15 AM

Hopefully diversity will soon become the accepted background rather than a driving force. Emphasis on diversity will disappear and McDonalds will simply be "equal opportunity." At that point, Ms. Harris should be finding a new career.

Job well done but its soon time to move on.

Posted by: hipshot | November 30, 2009 6:58 AM

The food is cheap and fattening. The "diverse population" the writer claims the company supports disproportionately suffer from the obesity-related diseases McDonald's food promotes. Leadership indeed.

Posted by: ritaz30 | November 30, 2009 6:48 AM

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