LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM — International Women’s Day is March 8 and McDonald’s is highlighting the achievements and accomplishments of women in their restaurants. A Midstate woman is being recognized for her hard work.

Michelle Suarez, a local owner and operator of multiple Midstate McDonald’s, has had a positive impact on her restaurants and the surrounding community, while she works to support the next generation of future leaders.

Suarez owns a total of five McDonald’s locations throughout Lancaster, Dauphin and York Counties. She shares the ownerships with her sister and brother-in-law.

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, the Suarez sisters were taught values of respect, hard work, and giving back from their parents who were Spanish immigrants. The family eventually started their first McDonald’s franchise in downtown Lancaster in December of 1987.

Suarez and her family work to invest in their employees through mentoring, support, and education, and career growth opportunities.

Last year, McDonald’s awarded Suarez with the Inclusion Award for her leadership and inspiration to her staff, as well as exceptional customer service. She was selected along with nearly 1,400 McDonald’s restaurants in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Women have worked hard within the company and McDonald’s shared some data to help appreciate all women do this International Women’s Day:

  • At the end of 2020, 61% of United States McDonald’s employees are women (including corporate staff and McOpCo)
  • Globally, 54% of corporate staff are women
  • 70.5% of company-owned restaurants are managed by women
  • In the United States, women of color account for 11.6% of Sr. Directors and for 10.5% of Officers
  • Women are 28.3% of McDonald’s operators and own 30% of restaurants
  • 50% of McDonald’s Board of Directors are women or racial or ethnic minorities