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Starbucks Commits to 100 Percent Gender Pay Equity Globally and Achieves 100 Percent Pay Equity in the U.S.

From the beginning, Starbucks has made it a priority to put partners first. From recent investments including parental leave to a comprehensive Family and Partner Sick Time Benefit, Starbucks has listened to its partners and invested in ways that promote equality and career development. Now, that investment includes both gender and race pay equity.

Announced today, Starbucks has committed to achieving and maintaining 100 percent gender pay equity for partners in all company-operated markets globally, setting a new bar for multinational companies. This is an effort supported by equal rights champion Billie Jean King and her Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) and leading national women’s organizations, the National Partnership for Women & Families and the American Association of University Women.

Further, Starbucks announced it has achieved 100 percent pay equity for women and men, and for people of all races, performing similar work in the United States.

“This milestone is the result of years of work and commitment, and we believe it is important, as a company of our scale, to help bring more attention to this critical issue,” said Helm. “Starbucks has consistently outperformed our industry in terms of pay equity, but it is incumbent upon us to do more.”

Starbucks has also formulated Pay Equity Principles that led to the successful closure of the pay gap at Starbucks in the United States. Recognizing the importance of this issue for women all around the world, Starbucks is sharing these principles so other companies can follow suit, and address known systemic barriers to global pay equity.


the cynical person in me would suggest that what this means is if I'm a woman in the same job as a man and i do a better job then I get paid the same...but clearly that isn't a cycnical viewpoint, it must actually be true, right? You can 'perform' similar work all you want, but the results are by no means identical. While I understand the objective, this seems - don't know - weird.
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Do you have a link? I'd like to see if there is a fine print.
There was some investment bank (I want to say a UK one) which recently announced that they had "99% pay equity." *First of all, kudos on the precision!!!) The fine print was of course, "as adjusted for experience, education, and other factors." The actual ratio of median pay was 40%.
Equity != equality, but that's what they want us to think.
(Whether it should be or not is a different debate.)
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if I'm a woman in the same job as a man and i do a better job then I get paid the same

In some tech companies, if you are a woman with some managerial skills, it works for their advantage, as they are desperate to have some women managers.
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I actually wasn't thinking about it very hard.

That SBUX bit just caught my eye cause it was flat out weird - what possible logic is there in following the advice of "Billie Jean King and her Leadership Initiative (BJKLI) and leading national women’s organizations, the National Partnership for Women & Families and the American Association of University Women". Are these people qualified to make business decisions this granular? BJK is a tennis player. And what is a Partnership for Women and Families - does that exclude men?

And literally: "Further, Starbucks announced it has achieved 100 percent pay equity for women and men, and for people of all races, performing similar work in the United States." How can this be true? As you stated previously, there are different outcomes regardless of what the work is, and I can't imagine there is any such thing as 'similar work' cause that's ridiculous. Some people do terrible work.

I also find it weird that SBUX holds itself up as a role model - I want my children to get good paying jobs, not aspire to be a person making my coffee at SBUX (not to disparage any occupation). But what were they doing before? Paying men more for the same exact same job description and outcome? Is that what they were doing? If not, did they arbitrary raise the salary for women just because they were women? That can't be right - right? And I can't help but be cynical when I look at SBUX's BOD- mostly men.

My only experience with gender pay gaps is working at a grocery store in my youth and women being paid more than men as they entered the workforce (50c more). When I asked my manager why this was so, I was told it was to compensate women for being women.

--

From recent investments including parental leave to a comprehensive Family and Partner Sick Time Benefit...

course, this is impressive stuff - I'm impressed. When you are self-employed though, and you consider hiring an employee, it isn't the salary that makes you not want to hire - it is the benefits like this. Family leave is great and all but when it means that somebody gets paid for nothing, pretty quickly it becomes uneconomical. At least where I am, for the most it is only government who can afford to do this.

Anyway, didn't mean to get this far into it - wouldn't have referenced it if I weren't looking at SBUX yesterday...
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At least where I am, for the most it is only government who can afford to do this

Most business that have more than 100 employees can afford. I think it really encourages women in workforce. When my son was born, my wife took time off from work, I mean she quit to raise my son. It is impressive she could come back and enjoy a successful career. For many young women, it is extraordinarily difficult to make a choice between having children vs career. Many young women choose to freeze their eggs hoping someday they would be secure in their jobs and can have children. Of course there are other social issues at play here, but when a young women has to make such choice, I think as a society we are putting profits over everything. So, I disagree that it is uneconomical as a society. Some small organizations may have a big of challenge but most organizations can handle this.
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to be clear, I paid 4 months maternity leave for a employee who had been with me only 8 months previous to that and had no intention of returning (and she had some complications - i put her health above all), but have you priced health care and all these other things independently? Group rates via work are wonderful (thanks to my wife for her state job and benefits; otherwise, self-employment would have not been possible) but when you get outside big brother protection the costs of these things can eat you alive...just 2c
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I understand you are speaking from a small office/ family office point of view. I agree on that, hence I qualified by saying organizations with 100+ employees. I thought with Obamacare we are moving to a place where small business can buy insurance at somewhat affordable rate, after the initial ramp-up and adjustment period. But...
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So... since I have some visibility into our data for this, I can say with some certainty that women coming into our organization have immediate prior salaries, even for the same education and experience levels, that are markedly lower than men. If we JUST looked at their immediate prior salaries in making offers to new employees, we would perpetuate built-in inequities in pay. It was eye-opening to see how much difference there was -- and also how much difference we can't even see, because in the category of 20-30 years of experience, there aren't any women to compare to. Each industry is facing this issue in its own way and at a different pace, definitely. And if you have anything to do with hiring, it is a really, really good idea to look at what's happening in your organization.

ThyPeace, was genuinely surprised by how much difference there still is, even today.
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obvious question - up to you to respond

who is 'our'?
or if not exactly who, but what do they do?
why would the company pay less to women? I don't mean to put it this way, but are the women just stupid in not asking for an appropriate salary? ignorant? Or is there some other impediment? What is the justification on the company's part? Companies wouldn't do this for an arbitrary reason - if I'm an employer, I would want to pay as low as I could while getting the help I needed (employment is not a right), and if one group accepts less I don't see any issue there, assuming all other requirements/benefits etc are equal (they are in government).

Each industry is facing this issue in its own way and at a different pace, definitely.

curious - and you know this because?

To shorten this discussion, I won't respond beyond this inquiry...
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Companies wouldn't do this for an arbitrary reason

Companies are collection of people, people with biases, prejudice, etc. As much as we want to believe the decisions are based on logic and reasoning... seldom they are.
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why would the company pay less to women? I don't mean to put it this way, but are the women just stupid in not asking for an appropriate salary? ignorant? Or is there some other impediment? What is the justification on the company's part? Companies wouldn't do this for an arbitrary reason - if I'm an employer, I would want to pay as low as I could while getting the help I needed (employment is not a right), and if one group accepts less I don't see any issue there, assuming all other requirements/benefits etc are equal (they are in government).

If you're a no-name employer seeking the best employee adjusted for cost then it certainly makes economic sense to hire from a "less desirable, lower compensated" pool of potential employees whether it be women or minorities or immigrants. Indeed, a lot of businesses do just that - successfully tapping certain pools of talent (some manufactures link themselves to female hispanic talent, etc.)

It's a win-win for both side: the "less desirable" potential employee is gainfully employed and the employer gets a better worker for the buck.

But if you're Starbucks and your brand and sales are somewhat tied to the of-the-moment social justice beliefs of the "latte class" then it also makes sense to strive for pay parity even it's partially artificial and potentially has downside effects for the economy as a whole (or minority and women employment prospects across the economy).

And let's admit that it's a grating sensation to realize that one does just as good a job as someone else but earns less because of factors beyond one's control.

Some of what Starbucks does seems fine:

https://news.starbucks.com/facts/starbucks-history-of-partne...

We do not ask candidates about their salary history. Starting pay should be based on the candidate’s skills, abilities and experience, not on a prior salary from another employer.

If a minority or female employee, in order to get into the system, takes a lower wage that low wage unfortunately can serve as a guidepost for future wages and the employee often never catches up ...

Part of the problem as I see it is the unnecessary tendency for companies and their supporters to insist that there own terribly expensive preferences should be universally adapted. Sometimes it's not even the companies fault: witness all the social justice warrior doofuses who insist that Wal-Mart should pay like Costco despite a very different business model.

OTOH, the answer imho is not to throw shade at companies like Starbucks who are focused on improving the work environment so long as they don't put themselves up as an example for all businesses. More experimentation - within existing labor laws - the better.

***

Years ago orchestras started blind auditions to minimize bias against women candidates. Truly the candidate who plays the best should get the job. But it wasn't so.

https://graphpaperdiaries.com/2017/08/13/5-things-you-should...

I like the above link because it notes that "blinding" addresses biases besides sexism (less conductor student bias for example).

Long story short - bias sucks. If Starbucks wants to ignore previous pay or use "impartial" pay calculators they should go right ahead. Surely the results will be problematic but that doesn't mean it's not a better answer than the status quo.

ET
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Nice post ET. I agree generally with your view / perspective.

I will share an anecdote which is something common I have detected on men / women differences that may drive part of some of the perceived pay gap.

My wife and her friend were interviewing for jobs (maybe 10 years ago) and they were asking my opinion on resumes, approach to interviews etc. Both were probably top 1/3 in their field, competent, professional, etc (and side note, the field is probably 3/4 women, but not relevant to this example); so I wasn't worried about any technical aspects of the job hunt, but more the soft aspects.

So here is how I start poking on them:

"If they ask what you were paid in your prior job, what is your answer and why?"

Their response - silence, followed by "well, if you include this, and that, or maybe that... take home pay... bonus... " kind of a squishy non-answer (to a squishy question yes...), but one better greeted with a definitive and confident answer.

My response was this which I think for them was good advice, and I think probably good universal advice:

"Step 1 -- know what the realistic job pay range is that you are asking.
Step 2 -- if you are even close to that range, say your prior salary is the absolute highest (yet truthful) # you can justify - salary + overtime + one time bonus for a month x 12 for example"


They both didn't really understand (or I should say think instinctively) that the perspective you should take when you get asked the question is that you are negotiating - it has started... you are answering the question with the goal of pushing the employer to pay you the most they are willing.

My logic was - downside of aiming high is *zero*... also, you need to answer quickly, because if you don't, it means you don't think much about your salary anyway (hence, you don't really care... for whatever reason they assume). Unless you aim so high they get scared away of even offering you a job (hence knowing the range and being reasonable)... but an employers' goal is to hire you (once they have decided to) at the lowest rate... it's not to treat you "fairly"... they don't want to treat you unfairly, but +/-10-20% is certainly within reason. Virtually no employer will offer you more than they think they need to... all employers will hesitate to pay you less than you *expect* unless they have no option.

To me, this was very obvious advice, but to my wife and her friend it wasn't second nature. I don't know if this is some fundamental difference between women and men, but I have found it somewhat consistent. I think guys (generally) are overconfident and leads them to asking more, expecting more, while very competent women seem to be more subdued in stating (or even knowing) what they are truly worth in a job setting. Cultural, hormonal, genetic, or something else, I don't know, but I've found it to be true.

As with all things like this, the plural of anecdote is not data, but I tend to be hyper-sensitive now to this kind of thing when I interview or meet folks to ensure I don't bias my own perception (for example, do you correlate confidence with competence... I do, and I have to fight to adjust how I view others because of this).

Just some musings.
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My logic was - downside of aiming high is *zero*...

This is not correct. Let us say the job has a salary range of $125 to $135K; and you think you will be hired if you asked for $100K or rejected because you asked for $175K?

You are negotiating and if you are really a candidate they like they are going to say this is what we can offer and at that point you have an option of taking or leaving.

I don't think you are going to lose a job because you asked for a higher salary. Especially when the employer has not made an offer.

To me, this was very obvious advice, but to my wife and her friend it wasn't second nature. I don't know if this is some fundamental difference between women and men, but I have found it somewhat consistent. I think guys (generally) are overconfident and leads them to asking more, expecting more, while very competent women seem to be more subdued in stating (or even knowing) what they are truly worth in a job setting. Cultural, hormonal, genetic, or something else, I don't know, but I've found it to be true.

How often you hire people or you applied for jobs and negotiated salary? This is full of biases and not closer to reality.
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Kingran,

"My logic was - downside of aiming high is *zero*...

This is not correct. Let us say the job has a salary range of $125 to $135K; and you think you will be hired if you asked for $100K or rejected because you asked for $175K?

You are negotiating and if you are really a candidate they like they are going to say this is what we can offer and at that point you have an option of taking or leaving.

I don't think you are going to lose a job because you asked for a higher salary. Especially when the employer has not made an offer.
"

I don't understand, you agreeing with me but saying I'm wrong... My comment was there is zero downside for the potential employee to aim high... you agree right?

"To me, this was very obvious advice, but to my wife and her friend it wasn't second nature. I don't know if this is some fundamental difference between women and men, but I have found it somewhat consistent. I think guys (generally) are overconfident and leads them to asking more, expecting more, while very competent women seem to be more subdued in stating (or even knowing) what they are truly worth in a job setting. Cultural, hormonal, genetic, or something else, I don't know, but I've found it to be true.

How often you hire people or you applied for jobs and negotiated salary? This is full of biases and not closer to reality"

must be because I'm an inexperienced n00b. Clearly your world experience is "closer to reality" and mine is invalid.
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<>Years ago orchestras started blind auditions to minimize bias against women candidates. Truly the candidate who plays the best should get the job. But it wasn't so.

https://graphpaperdiaries.com/2017/08/13/5-things-you-should......

I like the above link because it notes that "blinding" addresses biases besides sexism (less conductor student bias for example). </>

Study is from 2001 with data from the 50's to 90's. Surely female students were instructed and treated as fairly as their male counter parts during their musical instruction and education!
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you agreeing with me but saying I'm wrong

You are right. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that post. Sorry.
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To me, this was very obvious advice, but to my wife and her friend it wasn't second nature. I don't know if this is some fundamental difference between women and men, but I have found it somewhat consistent.

That's my experience anecdotally too - at least in the workforce, women tend to be, to use a Jordan Peterson term, more 'agreeable' than me, in that they don't complain as much (w/some exceptions - in a shipyard where I worked with 30k folks, this was unquestionably true). There was a podcast on the Investor Field Guy site w/Brent Beshore where he noted that of the thousands of companies he looks at it is very rare to find one headed by a woman entrepreneur. I think the other thing that is really obvious is another Peterson point - by the time women reach 28-35, they've got to get their family/work life in order, cause the options begin to run out - that's irrefutable, and it explains perhaps why men can dither and women face more challenges (maybe this is changing on the edges, but it also explains the popularity of the Lean In books which make a rather unremarkable point to men but earth-shattering - again, based on the success of that book - in women).

Again, this is all anecdotal to me, but it rings true - of course, the good news is that if a woman is aware of this then they can take concrete steps to address it. Repeated enough, it will be second nature - perhaps. I know when I used to play sports i wanted to win every darn time, and I got mad often when i didn't. In fact, that was absolute constant in my early life - men challenged men all the time, all the time. We still do. My wife.....nope...far more agreeable.
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That's my experience anecdotally too - at least in the workforce, women tend to be, to use a Jordan Peterson term, more 'agreeable' than men,

really awful typo

p.s. I'm not trying to start a Peterson discussion here either (if you don't know the reference, save yourself some headache) - I was told to watch the Peterson/Newman interview as a particularly vivid example of how to defend one's views (no judgement on those!) against someone who was determined to misconstrue every single word spoken...that's all...
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p.s. just cause of balance - to remind anyone who cares, note that my wife and I took turns raising our young children (out of financial necessity), both balancing careers and family life, so I've been in both roles...
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