Starbucks Will Tie Compensation To Increasing Minority Representation


Starbucks Corp. has set hefty diversity goals in the midst of a national conversation over race.

On Wednesday, Starbucks Corp. said it would aim for at least 30% of its U.S. corporate employees (40% of its U.S. retail and manufacturing employees) to be people of color by 2025.(Includes Black people, other people of color and indigenous people). Starbucks said it currently has about 200,000 U.S. employees and nearly 8,900 company-owned stores in the U.S. (about 9.3% are black or other)

“They aren’t slam dunks,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer said of the new targets. “They are going to take some work.”

The White House is discouraging companies with federal contracts from issuing specific diversity-related targets or conducting racial-sensitivity training. In fact the Labor Department is investigating companies with federal contracts that have included specific numerical goals in their pledges to increase diversity.

Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee company by sales and stores, is a federal contractor.

Ms. Brewer said the company was aware of the executive order that is set to take effect next month and would implement the targets and training regardless.

“It’s not impacting our path forward,” Ms. Brewer said of the executive order. “We understand some of the controversy around it, but it’s who we are. We are committed to it.”

Ms. Brewer said the new staffing goals arose from an assessment of the company’s diversity levels following arrests in their Philadelphia store that caused protest.

“People of color want to be seen, and they want to be heard,” she said.

Starbucks said it would make its ongoing progress public and review their diversity goals annually. Executive compensation for senior vice president and above would be determined in part by diversity metrics.

The company said it would also offer an executive mentoring program for employees of color starting this year and include antibias materials in hiring, development and performance assessments.

Ms. Brewer, who is Black, said she wished she had such mentorship earlier in her career. “I can only imagine back in my own personal career if I had that opportunity,” she said.

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