14 October 2020. McDonald's, a leading company in the catering sector in Spain, has been awarded the GEMS seal (Gender Equality Management System) from AENOR, which recognises its work relating to integration and equal treatment and opportunities between women and men in its corporate culture. This recognition has was given to the McDonald's Restaurants division for the establishments it manages directly, as well as for its corporate offices. The company plans to extend it to the whole organisation in 2021, and it will work hand in hand with its franchisees to achieve this goal.
Alberto Unzurrunzaga, Chief People Officer at McDonald's España, said that "for McDonald's, obtaining this recognition from AENOR is a great achievement, and we only consider organizational, professional and human success on the basis of absolute respect for diversity in all its forms. For McDonald's, total fulfilment of the Principle of Equality and Non-discrimination between women and men is a fundamental commitment. In fact, it constitutes one of our pillars as an employer, and gives meaning to the message we constantly convey to our staff, which is as simple and straightforward as 'McDonald's is with you'".
The McDonald's Equality Plan guarantees that all people within the company have the same opportunities, both in their selection and hiring processes, as well as in training and promotion. The company also has different plans aimed at striking a balance between personal, family and work life, without this impacting training or promotion opportunities. At the same time, it ensures the use of non-sexist language, and guarantees an environment that is respectful and free from harassment.
This is an all-encompassing and dynamic plan that evolves according to the circumstances, preventing discrimination and reaffirming the commitment McDonald's has made to guaranteeing equal rights without distinction on the basis of race, gender, language, origin, religion or other factors. The plan also helps prevent the wage gap by implementing regular remuneration monitoring with a focus on gender.
For Javier Mejía, AENOR's Strategic and Product Marketing Manager, "McDonald's has voluntarily submitted to the precise and complete examination of AENOR's auditors, achieving the certification that inspires the greatest confidence from society. Adopting this System shows that McDonald's is committed to gender equality on a daily basis, with a long-term vision and geared towards permanent improvement. It involves a global approach to thinking that encompasses many fields ranging from selection processes to the remuneration policy".
An innovative and ambitious Equality Plan that goes beyond what is established by Spanish regulations
The McDonald's Equality Plan does not only comply with Spanish regulations. The company wanted to go a step further, committing to a Plan that is characterised by its breadth, inclusiveness and innovation capacity, and that calls for more than 35 actions aimed at integrating, to an even greater extent, equal treatment and opportunities between women and men into its corporate culture.
These actions include training its management staff on the importance of avoiding gender stereotypes in the distribution of tasks in restaurants. In addition, selection and management personnel receive specific training to ensure that selection processes are carried out under neutral and objective criteria that ensure equal opportunities for women and men.
Furthermore, as part of the plan, McDonald's has expressly created a number of measures that are closely associated with the social reality, such as the development of a sexual diversity and gender reassignment management protocol, as well as a protocol for the management of female victims of gender violence in the workplace. In this regard, the company plans to sign a collaboration agreement with different entities to promote the employability of female victims of gender-based violence.
But the commitment of McDonald's to equality is nothing new. The company has been working for a number of years to foster an inclusive and respectful working environment, and this work has earned it several awards. For example, in 2017, McDonald's became one of the Top 25 Spanish companies committed to good practices in diversity and gender (Informe VariableD 2017). In addition, since 2000, the company has been collaborating with the Inserta Programme by the ONCE Foundation, which facilitates the employment of people with different abilities. Since then, McDonald's has integrated more than 260 people into its workforce through this programme.