Don't flip out when you see McDonald's golden arches Thursday. They've been flipped.
In honor of International Women's Day, the fast food giant is turning its iconic golden arches upside down on its digital channels, some of its packaging and at least one U.S. restaurant. When upturned, what is normally an M for McDonald's becomes a W for women.
The sign is outside the McDonald's in Lynwood, Calif., owned by Patricia Williams for three decades.
Williams "has since encouraged her two daughters, Kerri Harper-Howie and Nicole Enearu, to work with her. Patricia, Kerri and Nicole represent the hardworking and dedicated women we have in our system," the Oak Brook, Ill-based fast food company said, explaining why Williams' location was selected for the upside-down sign.
Six out of 10 of its restaurant managers are women, according to McDonald's.
The company built a new sign featuring the flipped golden arches for the Southern California restaurant, removed the existing sign and then installed the new one, the chain explained.
Dozens of other locations will have special packaging, including fry boxes, cold cups and bags, and the inverted Golden Arches on employees' hats and T-shirts.
The upside-down look "in honor of the extraordinary accomplishments of women everywhere and especially in our restaurants,” the burger chain's Chief Diversity Officer Wendy Lewis said in a statement. “From restaurant crew and management to our C-suite of senior leadership, women play invaluable roles at all levels and together with our independent franchise owners. We’re committed to their success.”
This year, companies from Mattel to Johnnie Walker are marking International Women's Day or Women's History Month, which is March.
"Everyone is doing it, so they want to jump on board," said Denise Sutton, an assistant professor of marketing at the New York City College of Technology. "At the same time, when I see something like that, it's nice for International Women's Day, but what is McDonald's doing the other days of the year? How are they promoting and appreciating women on other days?"
There are three women on its 12-person board of directors and three women among the fast-food chain's top-ranking 10 corporate executives, according to the company website. The seven-person U.S. leadership team includes three women.
McDonald's stock closed at $152.38, up $1.18 or 0.78%, on Wednesday.