It’s all McChange at McDonald’s
McDonald’s is making changes to reflect modern tastes and working practices
but are these enough to stem criticisms of the firm as an agent of globalization?
Diversity: not in the bag, but in the boardroom
According to my on-line dictionary, diversity means variety and that’s not something usually
associated with McDonald’s. Double cheeseburger with relish (hold the onions), vanilla
shake and a large order of fries is what you expect and it’s what you can get any time you
walk or drive through a McDonald’s outlet. This consistency is what has made McDonald’s a
worldwide success and it is what many customers still value about the fast food firm.
Despite the ubiquitous perception of McDonald’s as the place to go for a Big Mac at any
time, or perhaps an Egg McMuffin early in the day, the fast food giant has made significant
changes in its product line, both to reflect today’s healthy eating concerns, and the more
sophisticated tastes of twenty-first century customers. However, real diversity at McDonald’s
is found behind the scenes. USA Vice President of McDonald’s, Pat Harris, is an impressive
African-American woman who has helped to change the face of McDonald’s over a
thirty-year career with the company. Harris joined McDonald’s as a mature student looking
for a part time job to help pay for her education. Like many other students, she assumed a
job at McDonald’s was just a McJob and not a lifetime career. She couldn’t have been more
A ladder out of the secretarial pool
Harris moved up the corporate ladder from a secretarial role to HR and then into the (then)
emerging field of affirmative action, graduating with a degree in business administration
along the way. What she considered a risk in 1985 turned out to be the best career move she
could have made as it is clear that Harris discovered her niche in diversity management.
One of Harris’s key concepts has been the establishment of employee...