Officials said it would mandate antibody training for officers and tie their compensation to increasing minority representation in their workforce, becoming the latest company to set fresh diversity goals amid a national dialogue between races.
The coffee chain said on Wednesday that it would target at least 30% of its American corporate employees – and 40% of its American retail and manufacturing employees – by 2025 as people of color. Starbucks said its metrics included black people, others. People of color and indigenous people.
“They are not slam docs,” Starbucks chief operating officer Rose Brewer said in an interview about the new goals. “They are going to get some work.”
Starbucks is implementing diversity goals and training at a time of intense discussion about race and representation in American corporations. Following the murder of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, a national conversation rekindled during the unrest race during the summer, during which some companies vowed to make their scope more diverse.
The Trump administration is discouraging companies with federal contracts from releasing specific diversity-related targets or conducting racial-sensitivity training. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the Department of Labor is investigating companies with federal contracts that have included specific numerical targets in their pledges to increase diversity. The White House has said it would consider canceling contracts with companies that violate an executive order prohibiting federal training recipients from conducting diversity training.
The executive order has caused confusion among businesses with federal contracts and prompted pushback from some private companies.
Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee company by sale and store, is a federal contractor.
Ms Brewer said the company was aware of the executive order that is set to go into effect next month and will implement the targets and training. He added that all Starbucks employees would benefit from being part of a more diverse workforce.
According to the executive order, Ms. Brewer said, “It is not affecting our path forward.” “We understand some of the controversies surrounding it, but that is who we are. We are committed to. ”
Starbucks has sparked controversy over race at other times in recent years.
In 2018, the arrest of two black men sitting at a table at one of Starbucks’ Philadelphia locations sparked protests. Chief executive Kevin Johnson apologized for the arrest, and the chain stopped its American corporate stores conducting antibody training for a day. This June, Starbucks provided T-shirts giving employees a “Black Lives Matter” slogan, which was initially available after instructing employees not to display their individuals’ slogans at work.
Ms. Brewer said the goals of the new staff stemmed from an assessment of the company’s diversity levels following arrests at the Philadelphia store. The company found that it had to do more to help employees of different backgrounds rise through the ranks, she said.
“People of color want to be seen, and they want to be heard,” she said.
Starbucks said it would annually promote progress towards its diverse goals. The Seattle-based company said executive compensation for employees at the level of senior vice president and above would be determined by a diversity matrix. It did not say exactly how the compensation would be linked to the metrics.
The company said that it will offer an executive mentoring program for employees of color starting this year and will include antisocial 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 personal career if I had that opportunity,” she said.
Write Heather Hayden at [email protected]
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