McDonald’s Corporation and vice chairman and CEO Jim Skinner were selected as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 12th Annual A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award Honorees for exemplary corporate leadership in advancing equal opportunity and diversity. The gala black-tie dinner, themed “We Believe in All of Us,” will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis on October 24 with a 6:30 p.m. reception and 7:30 p.m. dinner. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi will serve as emcee.

McDonald’s Corporation is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 33,000 local restaurants serving more than 64 million people in 118 countries each day. Around the world, inclusion and diversity at McDonald’s means providing equal opportunities for everyone to succeed and contribute. McDonald’s accomplishes this in a number of ways, such as the integration of diversity initiatives into their daily business practices, a strong diversity education curriculum, employee business networks, and external partnerships with diverse national organizations.

“At McDonald’s, we celebrate, embrace, and advance diversity as part of our legacy. We’re honored to receive the prestigious Higginbotham Award recognizing our work in this area,” Skinner says. “Having a purposeful diversity strategy helps McDonald’s meet the needs of our broad base of customers. We’re committed to developing an even stronger culture of diversity, and to making sure that our global business teams are as diverse as the customers visiting our restaurants.”

“We salute McDonald’s and Jim Skinner for their stellar commitment to inclusion and diversity,” says Lawyers’ Committee executive director Barbara Arnwine. “We are enormously proud of McDonald’s global leadership in embracing and empowering a diverse workforce.”

More than 60 percent of McDonald’s home office and U.S. company workforce are of a racial or ethnic minority, or are women. In addition, approximately 45 percent of McDonald’s U.S. franchise owners are women and minorities. McDonald’s suppliers are also diverse; 68 percent of the company’s annual spend on food, packaging, uniforms, operating supplies, and premiums come from U.S. minority and women-owned businesses. The company’s recognition includes: Corporate Responsibility Magazine, 2010 Top 100 Best Corporate Citizens; Black Enterprise Magazine, Top 40 Best Companies for Diversity; and Hispanic Magazine, Top 60 Best Companies for Diversity.

The prestigious Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award, named in honor of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a pioneering civil rights advocate, author, and federal appeals court judge, was established in 2000. Past honorees include: Aetna Inc.; BellSouth Corporation; Citigroup Inc.; Colgate-Palmolive Company; Fannie Mae; General Electric Company; Microsoft Corporation; The New York Times Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; Qualcomm, Inc.; Time Warner, Inc.; and United Parcel Service.

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