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Starbucks Discloses Gender and Racial Pay Gap: There Isn’t One

Jeff Green

(Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp., for the first time, is disclosing how much less women at the coffee chain earn than men in the U.S.: zero dollars. That’s in contrast to the nation’s workforce overall, in which women make on average 19% less than men. Starbucks also says it has no racial pay gap.

Starbucks joins Citigroup Inc. in reporting figures for median pay, a rarity among U.S. companies, which are not required to release diversity data publicly. The U.K. has required organizations to report such data for workers since 2018. There, women at Starbucks make 5% less than men. Globally, its female employees make 98.3% of what men do.

“Starbucks has been focused on diversity and equity for a long time, and you can see it in their numbers,” said Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, which pressures companies to reveal pay data for greater gender equality. “But having little to no adjusted or unadjusted gender pay gaps really sets them apart.”

Starbucks’ parity shows not only that women get “equal pay for equal work” but also that they have achieved as many high-paying roles as men.

“Pay equity has long been a priority at Starbucks,” said Bailey Adkins, a spokesperson for the chain. “We’ve done serious work to ensure women and men are compensated fairly.”

Pressured by Arjuna, some of the biggest banks and tech companies have disclosed the pay gap between men and women doing the same work—often referred to as pay equity. Companies have resisted sharing their median pay gaps, which could be embarrassing. After Citigroup reported that women at the bank earn 29% less than men, its peers chose not to follow. In the U.S., the bank also pays people of color 7% less than their white co-workers.

On Wednesday, Microsoft Corp.’s shareholders voted down a measure calling for median pay disclosure. Arjuna says it will file resolutions at more than a dozen technology, financial and retail companies for the 2020 proxy season. It withdrew its proposal from Starbucks.

--With assistance from Leslie Patton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Green in Southfield, Michigan at jgreen16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Greenfield at rgreenfield@bloomberg.net, Philip Gray

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