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Finance & Innovation

Starbucks Just Ensured Women Will Earn the Same as Men

For years, Starbucks has been one of the corporations leading the way toward equal pay regardless of gender, race, or other factors related to identity.

And on Wednesday, the coffee giant announced that it had finally fulfilled its commitment to 100% pay equity across its executive team.

“Roughly 10 years ago we began serious work to ensure women and men – of all ethnicities and races – are compensated fairly at Starbucks,”  Starbucks Vice President Lucy Helm said in a statement. "This milestone is the result of years of work and commitment,"

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According to Pew Research study, white women earn about 82 cents for dollar a man makes. And the gap is even worse for black women, who make about 65 cents for every dollar white men make.

The same study also found that, on average, black men earn about 73 cents and Hispanic men 69 cents for every dollar a white man makes.

Starbucks announced that it will next turn its attention to promoting pay equity among its corporate partners.

“We believe it is important to encourage others to join us in recognizing the importance of this issue, not just for our partners, but for women all around the world,” Helm said.

Starbucks may be at the corporate forefront for ensuring equal pay, but the movement has long motivated women and their allies around the world.

In March, at least 5 million people across Spain participated in the first-ever Feminist Strike to demand equal pay among other women’s rights issues on International Women’s Day. In 2016, Massachusetts passed the Pay Equity Act in an effort to compel companies to address the wage gap. And in Hollywood, superstar actors like Michelle Williams and Emma Watson are shining an even brighter light on pay disparities in the film industry and throughout the economy.

Global Citizen campaigns on gender and racial equality in the workplace and in all phases of life. You can take action here.

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For Starbucks, pay equity didn’t happen overnight. It took a concerted effort to halt the typical employment practices that contribute to pay inequality.

Starbucks announced that it will disclose the pay range for every available position in order to promote transparency. That’s an important move because social scientists say one factor contributing to the gender pay gap is a lack of negotiating opportunities for women due to social pressures and expectations. Transparent pay grades would remove some of the burden of negotiating salaries.

Starbucks also stopped asking job candidates about their previous salaries, which penalizes people who earned less than their peers.

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Despite the pay equity achievement, women still make up just about a third of the Starbucks executive team, CNN reports

Still, advocates for workplace equality, like the American Association of University Women, hailed Starbucks’ commitment to pay equity and urged another megacorporations to follow their lead.

“AAUW commends Starbucks on not only talking the talk, but walking the walk when it comes to equitable workplaces,” said AAUW Chief Executive Kim Churches. “Equal pay is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for employers and our economy as a whole.”