As stated on the Official International Women's Day website, March 8th "is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity". In 2018, if you happened to drive past the McDonald's restaurant in Lynwood, California, you might have been surprised.
The next morning, as you scrolled through your Facebook feed, you might have thought something strange was happening. It felt like a glitch in reality or like you were inside an episode of the TV show Black Mirror. But it wasn't any of those things, so you could have left your tin-foil hat aside.
Your eyes weren't playing tricks on you: McDonald's famous golden arches logo had been turned upside down. It resembled a big, curvy "W" and had nothing to do with their ongoing Twitter feud with Wendy's. The logo had been flipped as a "celebration of women everywhere.," according to a McDonald's spokesperson.
People in Lynwood, CA, could have already seen the upside-down sign at their local store. However, on Thursday, March 8th, also known as International Women's Day, McDonald's displayed the inverted arches on its social media accounts. Employees wore clothing and hats with the "W"-like logo, and special packaging featuring this design could be found at 100 stores across the country.
McDonald's Spokesperson, Wendy Lewis Offered Some Insight
"For the first time in our brand history, we flipped our iconic arches for International Women's Day in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants," Wendy Lewis, McDonald's Chief Diversity Officer said.
According to McDonald's spokesperson Lauren Altman, the alteration of the logo was a way to honor women all around the world. "We have a long history of supporting women in the workplace, giving them the opportunity to grow and succeed. In the U.S. we take pride in our diversity and we are proud to share that today, six out of 10 restaurant managers are women. The logo will be changed on all of the company's social media channels and 100 restaurants will have special "packaging, crew shirts and hats and bag stuffers."
Several other brands had also undertaken similar initiatives to recognize and support women. For instance, Johnnie Walker introduced a 'Jane Walker' bottle and pledged to donate $1 for each bottle sold to charities that support women's causes.
"Important conversations about gender continue to be at the forefront of culture. And we strongly believe there is no better time than now to introduce our Jane Walker icon and contribute to pioneering organizations that share our mission," Stephanie Jacoby, vice president of Johnnie Walker shared. "We are proud to toast the many achievements of women and everyone on the journey towards progress in gender equality."
Brawny introduced a 'Strength Knows No Gender' campaign, featuring women instead of the Brawny Man, and committed to donating $100,000 to Girls, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young women through leadership and financial education. McDonald's, on the other hand, did not disclose any intentions of making a donation as part of their initiative.