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Burger King and McCormick CEOs on diversity in their own words

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

Restaurant Brands (QSR) CEO Jose Cil is adding one more important initiative onto his plate

Personally overseeing the company’s efforts on bolstering diversity. Cil tells Yahoo Finance he would like to see at least half of all final round candidates interviewing for roles within Restaurant Brands’ corporate offices globally to be from groups that are “demonstrably” diverse.

“One of our six core values for the company is that diverse voices and perspectives make us better and make us stronger, and I feel very passionate and committed to diversity and inclusion because I believe it’s going to make us better as an organization,” Cil said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. “I think it’s very important to make sure we bring diverse talent to the organization to make us better, make us stronger and do a better job of delivering against the things that our guests are looking for, having a more. engaged team and a more diverse team is one of those key components as an organization and for me as a leader of the organization.

Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, speaks during a meeting with restaurant industry executives about the coronavirus response, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, May 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By and large, the restaurant industry has been somewhat quiet on improved diversity efforts as the sector deals with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides Cil stepping up, Yum! Brands CEO David Gibbs announced this month a $100 million commitment over five years to tackle inequity in his organization and in communities. The initiative by Gibbs will focus on equity, inclusion, education and entrepreneurship.

McCormick on the front of diversity

Some executives in the restaurant industry should phone the CEO of their main spice supplier, McCormick (MKC), Lawrence Kurzius. The long-time McCormick leader is seen as a champion of diversity. He has articulated goals of having 50% women in leadership positions globally by 2025. He plans to have 30% of ethnically diverse talent in U.S. leadership roles globally by 2025.

“Not only are we on track, we just about hit those targets already so we are re-evaluating those goals to see how we can make them stronger,” Kurzius told The First Trade. “In this whole issue of racial and social justice, McCormick is trying to be on the front foot in three ways. One is to just set an example in our own company. You can see our very diverse board of directors which includes four women directors, two black directors, one North African director, and a Latina director. We’re a diverse company. We’ve not been silent on these issues. We’ve taken a public stand on them and we put our money where our mouth is. We’ve created programs and funding to support racial justice. And the money in particularly, we’re letting our employees direct where it goes.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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