Starbucks recently announced that it will take major steps to promote diversity and address racial bias within its company by planning to “mandate anti-bias training for executives and tie their compensation to increasing minority representation in its workforce.” The company’s actions come amid an increased national dialogue about racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans at the hands of police officers this summer.
In the days after the video of George Floyd’s killing was circulated widely on social media, Robert F. Smith addressed his staff with an open letter where he called Floyd’s killing “heartbreaking and painful.” Smith has gone further though, he has called for companies to dedicate 2% of their annual net income for the next decade to empower marginalized communities and help eradicate racial discrimination.
Since he has made this call, Netflix, Bloomberg and other corporations have set aside funds and launched new initiatives to advance this critical cause. Starbucks’ announcement adds it to the ranks of companies that are working towards racial equity. Corporations can and must play a vital role in addressing structural racism in this country.
Read more about Starbucks’ commitment here.