In Anti-Bias Training, Starbucks enrolls hip-hop Artist Common, President Howard Schultz



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hopes that the next anti-prejudice training will help prevent fighting like the one that led to the arrest of two black men in one of their cafes last month.

How effective will be an open question. Even though the training has been used by companies for approximately two decades, its benefits have not been tested to a large extent and experts say it must be integrated into a long-term organization to really work.

"Expectations have to be managed," he said

Sherrilyn Ifill,

president and counselor-counselor of the NAACP Legal Education and Defense Fund, which advises Starbucks pro bono in its efforts against prejudice. She told reporters on Thursday that it is an "ambitious project."

Starbucks plans to close its more than 8,000 stores operated by the company in the US. UU On the afternoon of May 29 to carry out the training. Starbucks employees will meet in stores where they work to watch videos with the president of Starbucks

Howard Schultz,

board member

Mellody Hobson

and the hip-hop artist Common, among others, discussing what the bias means and how to treat others respectfully, according to a preview of the video that Starbucks posted online this week. They will also do exercises in which they will be asked to share stories of how they have experienced a bias in their own lives.

Part of the training aims to ensure that the "third place" that Starbucks says it provides between home and work is inclusive, executives say. "May 29 is not a solution, it's a first step," Rossann Williams, executive vice president of Starbucks for US retailers, said in a letter to employees the company cited online Wednesday.

Starbucks did not disclose how much continuous training will cost, but a spokeswoman said: "We believe this is a critical investment in the long-term success of Starbucks" and that the company will continue to invest in this area.

The company faced a backlash last week over a new policy that says everyone, including non-paying guests, can use their cafeterias, including restrooms. Many customers have complained in social networks that they can not find space to sit and that bathrooms can become unsafe or dirty. Some threaten to take their business elsewhere. Some customers, however, have praised Starbucks for the effort.

Starbucks decided to offer training after a store manager in Philadelphia in April called the police when two black men who had not bought anything and allegedly denied access to the bathroom did not leave the store when asked . The store's policy required guests to make a purchase to be in the store and use the restroom, but Starbucks executives said the police should never have been called.

Mr. Schultz told "CBS This Morning" last month that he met with the store manager and believed he had shown unconscious bias when deciding to call the police. The company has not named the manager, but said he left the company. The Starbucks executives apologized to the two men and settled with them for an undisclosed amount.

A recent study of two university researchers found evidence that the potential to treat clients differently according to race is present in all industries. bias among hotel employees. Alexandra Feldberg, doctoral candidate in organizational behavior at Harvard Business School, and Tami Kim, badistant professor of marketing at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, sent emails to more than 7,000 hotels in the US in 2016. UU Who posed as white and African people Names that sound in America and Asia, looking for restaurant suggestions. The emails that come from Caucasian sound names received the highest response rate, as well as the most friendly and complete answers, found their research. The findings have not yet been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal.

"The results tell us that the bias is not specific to companies, which happens in all companies that interact with customers," Kim said. "If there is not a big event like what happened at Starbucks, companies may not realize what's happening inside their own company."

Getting people to badyze their own judgment in dealing with clients could be a challenge, according to David Rock, director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, a research firm that applies neuroscience to the workplace. Workers may notice others' bias in real time, he said, and even point their bias in retrospect, but they can seldom recognize their own bias while it is happening.

Jamie Lyn Perry, professor of human resources management at Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business, discovered that the effects of one-day training "decay over time" and that participants' attitudes toward diversity they deteriorate six or 12 months after a training session.

Mrs. Perry said 360-degree badessments – in which employees criticize each other and their supervisors – can help control behavior, and companies should link economic incentives, such as increases, with inclusive behavior. who want to promote.

Some studies have shown that anti-bias training can have a measurable change. For example, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley trained a group of middle school teachers to change their disciplinary focus, from treating students simply as troublemakers to trying to understand why they might be misbehaving. In the year after the training, the students whose teachers had received the training had half the suspension rate than the students whose teachers did not.

Other studies have shown greater diversity in the hiring of companies whose managers have received such training. [19659006] But there has not been a long-term longitudinal study conducted on such training within a large organization, according to L. Song Richardson, dean of the Irvine School of Law at the University of California. She said that it is extremely difficult to eliminate the implicit prejudices that people have, but that it is possible to raise awareness about them.

"The most challenging question is what institutional changes [Starbucks executives] they will commit to doing in order to reduce cases of biased behaviors What protections will they put in place? What policies will they institute?" Said Ms. Richardson.

Mrs. Ifill, from the NAACP, and

Heather McGhee,

the chair of the leftist think tank, Demos, and an unpaid adviser from Starbucks, said they will release a report next month that details the steps Starbucks can take to bring anti-bias efforts to all parts of the company.

Write to Rachel Feintzeig at [email protected] and Julie Jargon at [email protected]

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