Starbucks Sets Diversity Benchmarks to Advance Social and Racial Equity

Coffee chain is tying executive compensation to building inclusive and diverse teams

starbucks employee
Starbucks institutes benchmarks for creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace. Starbucks
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Starbucks, as part of its mission to advance social and racial equity, is aiming for 30% of corporate level employees and 40% of retail and manufacturing roles to be filled by Black, indigenous or people of color (BIPOC) by the year 2025.

In tandem, the company will publicly share data on the diversity of its workforce.

As part of those goals, the coffee chain is instituting a mentorship program that connects BIPOC employees with senior leaders, the company said. Starbucks will also invest in strategic partnerships with professional organizations that focus on the development of BIPOC talent.

“Greater diversity enables us to better fulfill our mission,” said company CEO Kevin Johnson. “We have already taken action on many of the recommendations that resulted from our Civil Rights Assessment but, while we have made progress in many areas, we know that there is still more work to be done.”

In addition, Starbucks said it “will offer foundational inclusion and diversity learning modules and embed anti-bias content into all hiring, development and performance assessment toolkits,” while enhancing its ability to track internal talent advancement and opportunity.

To ensure the company achieves its goals, the compensation of executives will be tied to building inclusive and diverse teams, while also requirement senior management to complete anti-bias training.

Pertaining to Starbucks’ corporate governance, the company will join organizations such as the Board Diversity Action Alliance to improve diverse representation on its board of directors. Meanwhile, The Starbucks Foundation will provide $1.5 million in neighborhood grants, with a focus on community-based nonprofits that serve African American communities, and invest $5 million in a two-year initiative to support nonprofits that serve BIPOC youth.

These initiatives are just among the latest efforts by the coffee chain to improve its record when it comes to anti-bias and diversity—after a Philadelphia store employee contacted the police about two Black customers who were waiting at the store that occurred over two years ago.

According to the company, last year the company created the role of global chief inclusion and diversity officer and hired Nzinga Shaw to fill the post. The new position was among the recommendations of the Civil Rights Assessment Johnson referred to. That assessment was conducted by international law firm Covington & Burling.


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@RichCollings richard.collings@adweek.com Richard Collings is a retail reporter at Adweek.
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