Starbucks announced Tuesday an update of its diversity and inclusion goals and initiatives, originally set in Oct. 2020. The coffee chain has made progress on several of its initial efforts to diversify its workforce and tie these initiatives to executive compensation.
For example, initial diversity goals called for store-level and manufacturer staffs comprised of at least 40% Black, indigenous and people of color at all levels, and as of Oct. 2021, baristas and shift supervisors are past the 40% mark, while progress still needs to be made at higher rungs of the store-level positions. At the corporate level, vice presidents are now slightly more than 30% BIPOC, while managers and directors are closing in on that 30% mark. Throughout 2021, half of all senior vice president promotions at the corporate level were BIPOC, though they only comprise 19.5% of all senior vice presidents at the company.
For Dennis Brockman, senior vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Starbucks’ progress in diversifying its staff is about more than just numbers, it’s about making sure that Starbucks employees can be themselves and know that they have opportunities to advance within the company.
“We know that for BIPOC partners, the most marginalized individuals are weakened, because they have not been promoted at the same rate,” Brockman told Nation’s Restaurant News. “So that's really our goal: to make sure that everyone has a sense of belonging […] If I have to hide part of Dennis Brockman, if I have to do any code switching, then Starbucks would never get the best of me. […] If you can’t be your authentic self at work, can you really do your best work?”
Starbucks is adding onto its initial diversity goals with new inclusion initiatives, like consciously choosing diverse suppliers by increasing its annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5 billion by 2030. The company will also be committing more funds to D&I-related community initiatives like the announcement of the seven recipients of the $21 million Starbucks Community Resilience Fund, which is designed to help small businesses in BIPOC communities thrive and more grants for nonprofits that support BIPOC youth.
One of Brockman’s chief goals since being promoted to chief diversity and inclusion officer last year, is to make sure he and his team are giving BIPOC Starbucks employees the tools they need to advance in the organization. He announced a new leadership accelerator program focused on coaching. Although the program will be open to everyone, at first this self-empowerment program will specialize in helping employees of color become leaders.
“In this program an example of what we’re doing is working with our BIPOC leaders on how to interview on a Zoom well and how to show your authentic self to a leader,” he said. “Through our research, we've heard from a lot of leaders something like, ‘well, this person didn't interview well,’ so we say, ‘what does that mean?’ One focus is on how to interview with team leaders and another is The second one is, which I think it's more importantly, it's really focusing in on the job and how to demonstrate the skills you have.”
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