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Starbucks to launch program focused on diversity

Starbucks is taking its diversity and inclusion efforts to the next level by rolling out a new mentorship program for its partners, setting target goals for diversity across the company's ranks, publicly sharing its progress, and linking executive compensation to hitting those goals. Yahoo Finance's Julia La Roche weighs in.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Word on the Street, let's go to Julia La Roche. I want to talk about Starbucks, although some of us are Chock Full o' Nuts drinkers.

JULIA LA ROCHE: Well, when it comes to Starbucks, they're actually taking their diversity and inclusion efforts to the next level here, Adam. And they're rolling out a number of new initiatives that are actually super interesting.

They're coming out with a mentorship program for their Black, indigenous, and people of color employees. They call their employees, partners. This will be more of like a sponsorship program. That's what COO Roz Brewer told me when we had our conversation yesterday.

They're also setting some target goals around diversity and inclusion. And get this-- they are linking executive compensation at the highest levels to hold the company accountable when it comes to reaching those targets. And some of the specific targets here is to reach representation of at least 30% at all corporate levels and at least 40% across its retail and manufacturing.

And Starbucks will also be sharing publicly this data. And they'll also go back several years to allow folks to follow along and track where they are trending when it comes to that. So this is-- Starbucks according to Roz Brewer, when I spoke to her, has been on this kind of journey for a long time.

If you go back to the incident that the company faced in Philadelphia with one of its stores where two Black men were arrested soon after the company closed all of its stores for racial bias training, that was a big story back in 2018. And ever since then, they've come out new efforts, whether it was, you know, getting folks to vote and giving them that opportunity to volunteer at polls and getting them to the polls or the ballots in.

Those sorts of things kind of play into the company's broader civil rights initiatives here. And they're also kind of pushing for more board diversity just across corporate America. And they joined the board of Diversity Action Alliance.

And they're also having anti-bias training in their hiring practices and also at the higher levels. Vice president level and above must also go through an anti-bias training and racial bias courses curriculum going forward.