By: Lucy Spratlin
Making sure all employees and customers feel welcome, comfortable and valued is a priority for many companies in 2019. Those who fail to do so quickly become pariahs as damaging videos go viral. Integrating diversity and inclusion into workplace culture is not only the “right” thing to do, it impacts the bottom line in a positive way.
Lyft and Starbucks both have nonprofit partners to ensure they create a true culture of diversity and inclusion that helps attract and retain talented employees and loyal customers. Don’t wait for damaging publicity to occur before moving forward with D&I initiatives at your company. Keep reading to learn how Lyft and Starbucks changed their culture.
Lyft + ACLU
Lyft is a good example of a company who got out in front of an issue that could adversely affect its business. The company became a strong vocal and financial partner of the ACLU in 2017 in response to the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban. Lyft committed $1 million to help support more than 200 legal actions to protect immigrant rights. Lyft riders also raised more than $3 million for the ACLU through Round Up & Donate.
Today, diversity and inclusion are strongly imbedded in Lyft’s company culture. A large number of both Lyft drivers and riders are immigrants and/or first generation Americans and their stories continue to inspire Lyft to take a stand. A new campaign called America is an Idea, Not a Geography, is a bold digital series that looks at immigration across the U.S. The stories are from the Lyft driver community and are a direct response to the current anti-immigration climate.
On July 22nd, Lyft is hosting free screenings of This Changes Everything a documentary about equal opportunity which the company co-produced with Tom Donahue and Geena Davis. The film examines gender discrimination in Hollywood. Lyft is inviting top women drivers to attend the screenings at theatres in select cities. They are also asking those who RSVP to the showings to Round Up & Donate to the ACLU.
Starbucks + Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Starbucks dominated the news for all the wrong reasons in April 2018 when two young African-American entrepreneurs at a Philadelphia Starbucks for a business meeting were handcuffed and arrested after a manager called police because they failed to order anything. A video went viral and a month later Starbucks closed all of its U.S. stores to conduct four hours of racial basis training. Chairman Harold Schultz decided it was time for Starbucks to look deeply at its own relationship with racial bias.
Since then a series of new training modules developed in partnership with external experts including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has been released which focuses on the impact of discrimination. The company is holding conferences for store managers and leaders to continue the discussion and look for ways to be more inclusive.
Starbucks is trying to encourage other companies to think about the role of bias and is working with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to bring other groups and businesses together for a working session on creating a more inclusive work culture.