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Starbucks pledges to have 30 percent of corporate employees identify as a minority by 2025

Starbucks pledges to have 30 percent of corporate employees identify as a minority by 2025
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Starbucks on Wednesday released an internal report of the diversity of its employees while setting a new goals for minority representation among its corporate operations.

Currently, the coffee giant's workforce in the U.S. is nearly 70 percent women, with 47 percent of employees identifying as Black, Indigenous, and people of color. 

However, the diversity of the workforce significantly declines among Starbucks' corporate employees, just 3.7 percent of whom identified as Black and 7.4 percent identified as Latino.

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The company announced that by 2025 it hopes to have 30 percent minority representation "at all corporate levels" and 40 percent "at all retail and manufacturing roles."

"We know that a more inclusive environment will create a flywheel that leads to greater diversity, and thereby greater equity and opportunity for all," CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

"Today, we are outlining additional actions we will take on our journey. Each of the actions lines up with our Mission and Values, and so we know they are not just fleeting initiatives, but rather woven into the fabric of Starbucks," Johnson said.

One of the actions outlined by Johnson is a mentorship program that connects minority employees with senior executives at the company. Additionally, the upper echelon of Starbucks senior management — vice president or above — will be required to complete anti-bias training. The company's workforce diversity reports will also continue.

Another initiative is an investment of $1.5 million for neighborhood grants as well as $5 million that will go to nonprofits that support minority youth.

"These grants aim to uplift organizations led by and that serve Black communities and will support nearly 400 local nonprofit organizations across the country," Johnson said.

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In recent years, Starbucks has at times received criticism for its handling of race-related situations. Two years ago, a pair of Black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks as they were waiting for a business meeting to begin. The incident sparked outrage and boycotts of the coffee giant around the country, prompting the company to close down all of its U.S. stores for an afternoon for racial bias training.

Then this summer — following the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man — the chain received flak again when it initially refused to let store associates wear clothing that supported the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The company quickly reversed its decision, even going as far as to give every employee a specially designed Black Lives Matter shirt that could be worn at work.