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An annual independent review of Starbucks compiled by former Attorney General Eric Holder praised the coffee chain's commitment to diversity amid the coronavirus pandemic and an election year with widespread protests against racial discrimination.
At the same time, the coffee chain also disclosed it has settled with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to "resolve allegations, dating back to 2007, that Starbucks’ promotion practices discriminated against some of its store partners on the basis of race and national origin" as detailed in the report.
Reviewing the past year, the company gave employees the opportunity "to feel seen and heard and to address partner needs," according to the company's 2021 Civil Rights Assessment.
Holder pointed to numerous company efforts from organization virtual forums allocated for employees to "share their perspectives and feelings regarding racial injustice," updating the dress code to allow for the expression of the Black Lives Matter movement and creating a mentorship program focused on connecting Black, Indigenous and people of color to senior leaders in the company.
READ THE FULL REPORT HERE
CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement Wednesday that the report is meant to assess the company's "commitment to civil rights."
STARBUCKS AIMS TO INCREASE CORPORATE WORKFORCE DIVERSITY, COMMITS OVER $1.5M IN GRANTS TO NONPROFITS
In 2019, the report was used to understand and mitigate implicit bias in its stores. Its 2020 report dove deeper into its corporate strategies following protests, some peaceful and others violent, condemning police brutality following the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody.
"Following difficult and traumatic events that consumed the nation — all of which uniquely affected persons of color — Starbucks created new digital forums to better listen to and understand the needs of Starbucks’ partners," the report read.