Equality & Diversity Lessons From Starbucks

The well-known chain of coffee shops, Starbucks, has hit the news because of an incident in the US relating to the mistreatment of two black customers which subsequently went viral.

This incident has resulted in the CEO not only issuing a written and video apology, but in every single US store (all 8,200 of them) being closed next month so all staff can receive training to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion and prevent discrimination.

This may seem extreme but the issue of racial discrimination is not limited to the US, it occurs in the UK too. Recent examples include the railway worker who was the subject of racial abuse seven times in seven months and the Lebanese jobseeker whose CV kept being rejected by potential employers until he changed his name to “Paul”.

A recent Business in the Community (BITC) report also found that less than 50% of UK employers carry out equality, diversity and inclusion training, with such training only mandatory for 7% of managers.

These startling figures led Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at BITC, to issue a warning to all employers that they must take equality and diversity training seriously and that this training should be built into their existing mandatory training programmes for all employees. She went on to recommend that every employee also receives ‘refresher’ equality and diversity training at regular intervals.

This is good advice, but how many organisations would struggle to do as Starbucks has done? Can you really close the business for a whole day to train your staff? Almost certainly the answer is no – the commercial costs this would incur would simply be too much.

The good news is you can provide equality and diversity training to all your employees without having to close the business, or indeed taking your people away from their desks. By using our certified equality and diversity online training course all your employees can be trained easily, quickly and with minimal disruption to the business.

And being an online course, the cost per employee trained is very reasonable too! Click here to see full details.