Epsilon & McDonald's: Why inclusion matters

Creating a shared value system with our clients is an important part of Epsilon’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. We believe in sharing convictions with our clients and setting goals for our collective success. To bring this to life, we recently got together with our client partners at McDonald’s for a discussion on why inclusion is the foundation for culture and business

The session kicked-off with a conversation between Jen Mahone Rightler, Epsilon’s DE&I Leader and the illustrious Reggie Miller, McDonald’s Chief Diversity Officer, who is a well-known leader in this space. Jen and Reggie discussed the experiences that shaped them into the DE&I leaders they are today and how they approach diversity, equity and inclusion.

Jen shared more about why it’s time to think differently about DE&I and the opportunity she saw in her role at Epsilon:

“D&I cannot continue to be this templated, check the box, tactical type of effort. Coming into Epsilon, it was an amazing opportunity to do things differently and focus on talent integration. It’s important we can have conversations that really matter and think of inclusion as a growth strategy for our people, Epsilon and its clients.”

Reggie also talked about the importance of people in McDonald’s inclusion efforts and what keeps him motivated to create change:

“What keeps me motivated is the opportunity I have to be a change agent for all the members of our McFamily. It’s not about one person, it’s about creating cultures of belonging at McDonald’s where everyone – our employees, franchisees, suppliers, even customers – feel valued and know they are a part of our collective success. We will always be better together.”

Jen and Reggie then welcomed their colleagues from Epsilon, Publicis and McDonald’s to dive deeper into how we can collectively bring DE&I efforts from the workplace to the marketplace to drive systemic change.

Joining the conversation were:  

  • Carlos Terrazas, Disability Manager, Global DEI, McDonald’s 
  • Karmetria Dunham Burton, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity, McDonald’s  
  • Wayne Townsend, Chief Strategic Growth Officer, Epsilon  
  • Laurie Fry, Chief Talent Officer, Epsilon   
  • Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe.  

The panel opened discussing the role of leadership and accountability in fostering an inclusive environment. Renetta had this to say about leaders and their roles in shaping culture:

“Leaders do shape culture – and therefore it is leader’s interest to manage signal clarity – and send a very clear signal. Accountability only exists if there’s been a commitment. Leaders need to make sure that whatever their commitment is to this topic – that it’s direct, overt and that it’s part of that signal.”

Karmetria went on to explain that DE&I leaders carry influence and a responsibility to bring DE&I from the workplace to the marketplace. Here’s how McDonald’s is leading that effort:

“To bring DEI from the workplace to the marketplace, we have launched the Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. McDonald’s has a unique opportunity and a responsibility to use its size and influence to demonstrate its values in actions by accelerating change through our suppliers. This pledge is designed to meet suppliers where they are by focusing on best practice sharing, advocacy, education and other tools and resources. As we think about the ecosystem and driving change and influence – we’re all in this together.”

Epsilon is proud to be one of McDonald’s 200+ signatories to creating mutual commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion – it’s just one of the ways we’re working with our clients and partners to drive systemic change.

Wayne built on the importance of creating a connected ecosystem and what it ultimately means for the end consumer:

“We [Epsilon] are building campaigns to influence consumers on behalf of our clients – like McDonald’s.  We are better at doing all of that if we have a diverse team that understands culture and can have a bigger impact on our client’s approach to marketing. When our talent is more diverse and we are aligned with our clients, the end consumer benefits.”

This conversation was an inspiring example of how we bring our client shared value system to life. We are committed to shared success between Epsilon, our clients and the communities we serve. We’re laser focused on inclusion, empowering collaboration and embracing change together.

Interested in joining the Epsilon team? Check out our job openings!