Starbucks Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Timeline


A Culture of Belonging

Each Starbucks store is the heart of a neighborhood, and we aspire to make each one a welcoming and inclusive third place. From our early decision to offer healthcare to part-time workers to our commitment to support diverse hiring and economic development through our community store initiative — we have been dedicated to creating not just opportunity, but equal opportunity. Through our community partnerships, feedback from our partners and customers, and counsel from civil rights and community leaders, Starbucks will continue our journey to be a place where everyone is welcome. Here are some of our milestones along the way:

Our Mission: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”


August 2022

To show our support for diversity in college admissions and giving students of color an equal chance to access higher education, Starbucks joined other businesses and organizations to file an amicus brief  to the Supreme Court supporting universities’ flexibility to consider race in admissions to promote student body diversity.

July 2022

Starbucks joins the Economic Opportunity Coalition in partnership with the public, private, and the social services sectors to address economic disparities in our communities and accelerate economic opportunity in historically marginalized communities. Starbucks will contribute to the coalition’s efforts through our ongoing leadership on the Community Resilience Fund.

January 2022

  • Starbucks announces launch of a leadership accelerator program beginning with BIPOC partners, focused on empowering partner capacity for self-promotion, advocacy and career navigation
  • Starbucks sets goals to increase annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5B by 2030.
  • Starbucks announces it will issue $21 million to seven community development financial institutions (CDFIs) as part of its Community Resilience Fund.
  • The Starbucks Foundation shares impact results from its more than $5 million investment in eight nonprofits supporting BIPOC youth, reported to support more than 100,000 youth across the country. 

November 2021

Starbucks graduates first cohort of partners in the inaugural mentorship program.

July 2021

  • Starbucks donates $1.7 million to Feeding America to support equitable food access grants, designed to help food banks provide nutritious food to households with BIPOC individuals residing in communities experiencing high rates of food insecurity.
  • Starbucks is recognized as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion by scoring 100 out of 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI).

May 2021

New large-print and Braille menus are made available in all stores in the U.S. and Canada. Starbucks worked with the National Braille Press to create the new menus to make stores more accessible for blind and low-vision customers.

March 2021

  • Starbucks publishes its third Civil Rights Assessment conducted by Covington & Burling LLP under the leadership of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. The report is an objective evaluation that 1) provides a factual and honest review of the company’s journey in inclusion, diversity and equity and 2) helps track progress over time to drive truly lasting change. Read the report here
  • Starbucks shared that last year it once again achieved and maintained 100% pay equity by race and gender for similar roles in the U.S., and 100% gender equity in pay in China, Canada, and other company operated global markets including Austria, Great Britain, Italy and Switzerland. Learn more about reasons for the gender pay gap and the best practices and tools Starbucks uses to close the gap here.
  • Starbucks begins offering free Aira service in all U.S. stores in partnership with San Diego-based Aira Tech Corp. Aira connects blind and low-vision people to trained visual interpreters who provide instant access to visual information through a third-party smartphone app.
  • Starbucks signs onto the Disability:IN pledge, Are You In, committing to advance disability inclusion in the workplace.

January 2021

October 2020

Starbucks shares next steps it’s taking to advance racial and social equity as part of its ongoing journey to create a welcoming and inclusive Third Place. These commitments include:  

  • Launching a mentorship program connecting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) partners to senior leaders and investing in strategic partnerships with professional organizations that focus on the development of BIPOC talent. 
  • Disclosing data reflecting the diversity of our current workforce.  
  • Setting and tracking annual inclusion and diversity goals of achieving BIPOC representation of at least 30 percent at all corporate levels and at least 40 percent of all retail and manufacturing roles by 2025.  
  • Connecting the building of inclusive and diverse teams to our executive compensation program. 
  • Joining peer organizations in the Board Diversity Action Alliance committed to racially and ethnically diverse representation on corporate boards of directors.
  • Establishing Inclusion and Diversity Executive Council to provide internal governance to integrate inclusion and diversity throughout the organization.  

In addition, the company announced the rollout of $1.5 million in Neighborhood Grants from The Starbucks Foundation prioritizing grassroots and community-based nonprofit organizations focused on local impact. These grants aim to uplift organizations led by and that serve Black communities and will support more than 400 local nonprofit organizations across the country. The Foundation will also invest $5 million to launch a two-year initiative focused on supporting nonprofits that serve BIPOC youth.   

June 2020

The Starbucks Foundation commits $1 million in Neighborhood Grants to promote racial equity and creating more inclusive and just communities. Nominated by Starbucks partners, and with input from civil rights leaders, these grants will support efforts in over 100 cities and towns across the United States.

May 2020

Throughout its 49-year history, Starbucks partners have come together for one another in the aftermath of hateful incidents. As part of an ongoing commitment to create a sense of inclusion and belonging, Starbucks launches an internal series of courageous conversations addressing difficult topics and to help increase partners understanding of themselves and others.

On May 30, more than 2,000 partners and their families came together virtually to join a conversation about the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and other racial injustices that have shaken the entire country. Throughout the dialogue partners shared stories, expressed emotions, and supported one another. As ceo Kevin Johnson said in a letter to partners: “While we may not have all the answers, we know the path forward requires these courageous conversations with one another. As I shared at the close of today’s meeting it is, in part, our promise to one another as partners to live our mission and values daily.”

Starbucks donates a combined $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality in honor of Pride Month to aid in their support for vulnerable members of the LGTBQ+ community due to the impacts of COVID-19.

February 2020

Starbucks publishes the 2019 assessment on Civil Rights, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion conducted by Covington & Burling LLP, under the leadership of the former Attorney General Eric Holder. The report, which reviews the company’s progress since the 2018 report, evaluates Starbucks ongoing efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion and how this supports the company’s Mission and Values. 

November 2019

Starbucks shares its median pay gaps by gender globally, and by gender and race in the US. In 2019 the median pay for women globally is 98.3% of the median for men. In the U.S., the median pay ratio is 100% for women and 100% for people of color.

TATA Starbucks Private Limited in India achieves 100 percent pay equity for women and men. Women now make up 29 percent of Starbucks’ workforce in India, a key gender diversity milestone toward the goal of 40 percent by 2022. 

Starbucks opens the Penang Signing Store in Malaysia, creating career opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners (employees) while also serving as a gathering spot for the area’s deaf community. This is the company’s fourth signing store, with two in Malaysia, one in Guangzhou, China, and one in Washington D.C. 

October 2019

The Starbucks Foundation awards $1.4 million in Opportunity for All grants, to help 63 programs across the U.S. create pathways to jobs and careers for students, young adults and other people facing barriers.

Starbucks announces it will invest $10 million to support entrepreneurs, small business owners and nonprofits in Chicago. The loan will be distributed in January by a network of mission-based lenders called community development financial institutions, which work to revitalize struggling neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides.

September 2019

Starbucks releases Siren’s Blend, a new core coffee inspired and created by trailblazing women in the coffee industry.

Starbucks launches its “To Be Welcoming” Curriculum, in partnership with Arizona State University. The free 15-course online class is designed to address bias and encourage more meaningful conversations around our shared human experience.

July 2019

Starbucks opens its 14th Community Store in Jonesboro, Ga., part of an initiative to support economic development in diverse, underserved areas of the country.

The company commits to hiring 5,000 veterans and military spouses annually. Starbucks has hired more than 25,000 veterans and military spouses to date, more than doubling its initial promise to hire 10,000 by 2018. 

Shonda Rhimes, the award-winning creator of hit TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, shares the importance of storytelling in our culture. Starbucks invited Rhimes to be part of its Third Place Development Series, the company’s commitment to creating a more welcoming and inclusive experience for partners and customers.

Starbucks is recognized as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion by scoring 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI).

Starbucks joined over 200 companies to file a joint amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of LGBTQ rights. The landmark briefing argues that existing federal civil rights law should protect LGTBQ people from discrimination in contexts ranging from employment to housing, healthcare and education. To file the brief the company worked with prominent civil rights groups the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Out & Equal, Out Leadership, and Freedom for All Americans.

Starbucks also joined the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition in support of the Equality Act, a bill that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, the workplace, public accommodations, and other settings under federal law. The Equality Act has since passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

June 2019

Starbucks’ 13th Community Store opens in New Orleans, La., creating more than 30 jobs in the area.

The Starbucks Foundation celebrates Pride Month by matching up to $250,000 in donations to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. The money goes towards improving access to mental health resources for LGBTQ+ communities.

May 2019

Starbucks introduces opportunity for new and current partners to self-identify with the company as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) similar to other identifications, such as disability, refugee, veteran and military spouse. The move was the result of efforts by the Pride Alliance partner network to create another way to build upon the company’s commitment to the inclusion and diversity of all partners.

April 2019

On Equal Pay Day, Starbucks and 25 other U.S. employers in the Employers for Pay Equity consortium join to agree to a shared set of Pay Equity Principles to help eliminate the gender pay gap.

February 2019

China and Canada, two of Starbucks largest international markets, achieve 100 percent gender pay equity one year after Starbucks announced 100 percent pay equity in the United States.

January 2019

Following a recommendation in our Civil Rights Assessment, Starbucks published its principles on upholding the third place. This public statement describes the key principles and responsibilities of making a welcoming space for all, including our zero-tolerance position on discrimination, that will continue to guide Starbucks as the company holds itself accountable to them.

November 2018

Starbucks opens its 12th Community Store in Dallas.

On Veterans Day, the company announces 21,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired since creating the military hiring commitment in 2013, and that 50 Military Family Stores, which focus on honoring and hiring veterans and military spouses, have been dedicated around the nation.   

October 2018

The first U.S. Starbucks signing store opens in Washington, D.C., providing employment opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing partners and led by partners fluent in American Sign Language.

Hire! Philly job and resource fair creates career opportunities and provides career preparation resources for 1,700 Philadelphians. Starbucks serves on the Advisory Board of the Hire! Philly coalition – a group of employers from the Philadelphia region dedicated to creating workforce opportunities.

September 2018

Starbucks announces a partnership with Arizona State University to develop an open-sourced curriculum to address forms of bias.

August 2018

The company opens a Community Store in Birmingham, Ala., to support economic revitalization and diverse hiring.

The Starbucks Foundation announces Opportunity For All Grant recipients, donating $1.3 million to 47 organizations across the country that focus on supporting underserved communities and youth.

July 2018

Starbucks rolls out the first of a series of Third Place Development training modules designed for all partners that continues our commitment to address bias.

June 2018

The company joins U.S. Chamber Foundation’s campaign to hire 100,000 military spouses.

Starbucks announces the company’s health insurance plans cover not only gender reassignment surgery, which had been covered since 2012, but also a host of other procedures for transgender partners in the U.S. that were previously deemed cosmetic, and therefore not covered.

Starbucks broadens its health insurance options for transgender partners to not only include gender reassignment surgery (which had been covered since 2013), but also a host of procedures that were previously considered cosmetic.

Starbucks launches the Welcoming Refugees Alliance, partner network dedicated to welcoming and empowering refugee partners and allies, on World Refugee Day.

May 2018

The company closes 8,000 stores in the U.S. for company-wide implicit bias training and makes the curriculum publicly available.

Starbucks announces its new Use of the Third Place policy, defining a customer as anyone who enters a Starbucks space regardless of whether they make a purchase.

The company connects with 2,600 young people at the Atlanta Job and Resource Fair.

April 2018

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson are arrested in a Starbucks Philadelphia store. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks chief executive officer, calls the outcome “reprehensible” and publicly apologizes, saying “This is not who we are.”

March 2018

Starbucks announces 100 percent pay equity across race and gender for U.S. partners, sets global goal.

Starbucks opens Community Store in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

December 2017

New Community Stores open in Dallas and Trenton, N.J., part of the company’s strategy to invest in underserved communities across the U.S.

October 2017

A new Community Store opens in Miami Gardens, Fla., to support local revitalization and youth hiring.

September 2017

Starbucks participates in Opportunity Job and Resource Fair in Washington, D.C.

August 2017

The White Center (Seattle) Community Store opens.

May 2017

Starbucks opens Community Store in Long Beach, Calif.

The company participates in Dallas Opportunity Job and Resource Fair.

Starbucks expands its Opportunity Youth commitment to 100,000 hires by 2020, after reaching initial goal of 10,000 hires by 2018

Starbucks expands its hiring commitment to 25,000 service members, veterans and military spouses by 2025. Expands hiring commitment to 25,000 service members, veterans and military spouses by 2025, after reaching milestone of 10,000 hires and expands the number of Military Family Stores to 132 by 2022.

Community Store opens in East Baltimore.

January 2017

Starbucks announces its commitment to hire 10,000 refugees around the world by 2022.

November 2016

Starbucks partners work with the local Seattle business community and Mary’s Place to raise $3 million to bring an estimated 500 unsheltered King County families indoors.

September 2016

The company opens Community Store in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

August 2016

A Community Store in Phoenix opens with an in-store training center.

June 2016

Starbucks joins more than 200 other business leaders to urge equal treatment for the LGBTQ community. Lucy Helm (now chief partner officer) shares a letter to partners underscoring Starbucks commitment to inclusion.

May 2016

The company participates in Opportunity Job and Resource Fair in Seattle.

April 2016

Starbucks signs White House Fair Chance Business Pledge in support of eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and pledging to creating a pathway for a second chance.

Starbucks opens its first store in Ferguson, Mo., as part of a commitment to provide local jobs, training opportunities for youth and support traditionally underserved communities with lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

March 2016

Opens its first Community Store in Jamaica, Queen, N.Y. as part of a national effort to engage youth in diverse communities.

The company joins TurboVote Challenge to encourage U.S. civic participation.

February 2016

Starbucks participates in Opportunity Job and Resource Fair in Los Angeles.

January 2016

The Starbucks Youth Leadership Council is established to help shape the company’s social impact strategies.

November 2015

Seattle Police Department’s Safe Place program rolls out to Starbucks stores in Seattle, with special designation as secure places for victims of anti-LGBTQ-related crimes and harassment. More than 2,000 store partners receive SPD Safe Place training and window clings identify the 100 company-owned stores in the greater Seattle area.

Starbucks announces it has hired 5,500 veterans and military spouses; extends college benefit and announces a new pay-for-service-benefit, which will cover up to 80 hours of pay each year for service obligations.

October 2015

The company participates in Opportunity Job and Resource Fair in Phoenix.

September 2015

The first class graduates from Starbucks Inclusion Academy, a program to train people with disabilities, at its York (Pa.) Roasting Plant.

August 2015

Starbucks takes part in the first-ever Opportunity Fair & Forum to reach 4,000 young people in Chicago. The event marked the official launch of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of Starbucks and leading companies committed to engaging 100,000 young people in jobs, internships and apprenticeships.

July 2015

On the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Starbucks affirms commitment to access and disability inclusion.

The company announces plans to open Community Stores in diverse, under-represented neighborhoods in 15 U.S. cities, working with local suppliers, nonprofits and civic leaders to create new opportunities for economic development and community engagement.

Starbucks writes Sen. Cory Booker in support of “ban the box” legislation to extend a fair chance to millions of Americans.

June 2015

The company commits to hiring at least 10,000 Opportunity Youth by 2018 and leads the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of leading companies to create pathways to employment for young people.

Starbucks scores 100 out of 100 on a new Disability Equality Index survey, a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

The company applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.

April 2015

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is expanded to offer full tuition coverage for all four years of an undergraduate degree for qualifying U.S. Starbucks partners. Commits to 25,000 partners graduating by 2025.

March 2015

Race Together, inspired by Partner Open Forums, Starbucks seeks to broaden the dialog about Race in America with an initiative to aimed at stimulating conversation, empathy and compassion toward one another.

January 2015

The Starbucks Inclusion Academy, an on-the-job training program for people with disabilities, is launched.

2015

In order to assist transitioning partners in self-identification, Starbucks updated its technology systems to ensure that documentation in stores reflect a partner’s “known as” name or nickname by which they want to be addressed that is consistent with the applicant’s gender identity or expression.

Starbucks Young Professionals launches. It later becomes Millennial Partner Network and is now Next at Starbucks.

December 2014

Starbucks holds Partner Open Forum at the company’s Seattle headquarters to discuss racial tension in America. It would be the first of many held in cities across the country.

November 2014

The first Military Community Stores open near military bases in Lakewood, Wash. and San Antonio, Tex.

July 2014

Partners who have served in the military, as well as their spouses, have the option to have the American flag, their name and military affiliation embroidered.

June 2014

The company creates the Starbucks College Achievement Plan with Arizona State University to offer qualifying U.S. partners the opportunity to complete a college degree through ASU’s online degree program.

November 2013

The company announces its commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018.

October 2013

Starbucks creates a store partnership model with community organizations in Harlem, New York and Los Angeles.

The company supports transgender partners by adding coverage of gender reassignment surgery to the company’s health benefits.

March 2013

Chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz makes a vocal statement on diversity and equality during a spontaneous exchange at the 2013 Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In response to a stockholder who voiced his view that the company had lost customers because of its support for marriage equality, Schultz said, “Not every decision is an economic decision. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people.”

2013

India Partner Network launches.

February 2012

Starbucks files an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.

September 2011

The first Starbucks Card with Braille lettering debuts.

2011

China Club (later renamed China and Asia Partner Network) is recognized as a partner network. 

Starbucks hosts its first Coffee with a Cop event, and would go on to host more than a thousand events in neighborhoods around the United States.

2009

Armed Forces Network is added to the partner network program.

2008

The company adopts the new mission statement “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

The Women’s Development Network, which would later be renamed Women’s Impact Network launches.

2007

Partner Network program launches for Starbucks partners. Pride Alliance, Black Partner Network, Hora del Café and Access Alliance are the first networks established under the new program.

China Club begins hosting Lunar New Year celebrations. It later becomes China Asia Pacific Network and is now Pan-Asian Partner Network.

2006

Deaf Partner Group launches. It later becomes Access Alliance and is now the Disability Advocacy Network.

Hora Del Café initially launches as a way for partners to speak Spanish and connect over coffee.

2002

Starbucks works with the Red Cross to send its first shipment of coffee overseas to troops. Members of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN) have regularly organized care package shipments since then.

2002

The Human Rights Campaign’s first Corporate Equality Index includes Starbucks in its national benchmarking tool on LGBT corporate policies and practices. Each year since 2002, Starbucks has scored 85 percent or higher, including a perfect score of 100 percent in 2016 and designation as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”

1998

Starbucks opens the first Urban Coffee Opportunities store in Ladera Heights, Calif. as part of joint-venture partnership with Magic Johnson to create economic opportunity and a stronger sense of community in underserved neighborhoods. Over the tenure of the 12-year partnership, more than 100 UCO locations were opened in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Establishes the CUP Fund, an emergency financial assistance fund for partners.

1996

The first Starbucks LGBTQ partner group forms. The group goes on to become the Starbucks Pride Partner Network and grows to include thousands of partners in the United States, Canada and around the world.

1991

Starbucks becomes the first privately owned U.S. company to offer a stock option program that includes part-time employees.

Starbucks creates a new healthcare policy for employees with terminal illnesses to bridge the gap between the time they can no longer work until they become eligible for government insurance. The policy was inspired by Jim Kerrigan, a longtime partner who was unable to work due to the advanced stages of AIDS. Kerrigan died a year later, but hundreds of partners would continue to march in his memory to support AIDS research and programs.

1990

The company unveils Starbucks mission statement “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.”

1988

Starbucks offers full health benefits to eligible full- and part-time employees, including coverage for same-sex domestic partners.

1971

Starbucks opens first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.