Say what you will about Starbucks and the fact that many of us fork over four dollars there every morning: at least its corporate practices appear to be in the right place. According to QSR, the coffee chain has announced “that it has reached 100 percent pay equity for partners of all genders and races performing similar work across the U.S.”
The announcement was made at the company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which took place Wednesday in Seattle. Starbucks’ chief partner officer Lucy Helm stated, “Roughly 10 years ago we began serious work to ensure women and men—of all ethnicities and races—are compensated fairly at Starbucks… This accomplishment is the result of years of work and commitment.”
Starbucks is hoping that this achievement could help inspire other companies to focus on these efforts, by using the same practices and methods that Starbucks did. For example, “If a woman comes into a company low, she tends to stay low,” Sara Bowen, an attorney who leads Starbucks Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility team, said in a statement. “If a job candidate comes to Starbucks making 70 or 80 cents on the dollar, and we use that as the basis for her pay at Starbucks, we simply import gender inequality into our own system. Prior salary can be tainted and should not dictate how we pay our partners.”
This kind of equity focus is sorely needed: QSR notes that “according to the American Association Of University Women, it could take until 2119 for the country to close the gender pay gap—longer worldwide.”
This is such good news from Starbucks, we’re almost willing to forgive them for another Starbucks announcement this week: The “Crystal Ball Frappuccino,” a peach-flavored, glitter drink with different-colored “candy gems” that supposedly tell your fortune. The Unicorn Frappuccino is now usurped as Starbucks’ worst-ever idea.