Starbucks decision to close 8,000 of its shops across the US

Much has been made of Starbucks’ decision to close 8,000 of its shops across the US yesterday to conduct diversity training, after the arrest of two black men at one branch caused controversy.

While some lauded the coffee shop behemoth for taking action against racial bias, others have condemned the move as nothing more than a publicity stunt.

The four-hour “bias training” programme was designed to encourage Starbucks employees to examine implicit biases they may hold when dealing with people of different ethnicities, genders or backgrounds.

Starbucks has now revealed exactly what the training involved by sharing the guide online.

The guide goes through Starbucks’ mission and values before moving on to sections on how to understand bias and make all customers feel like they belong.

Each section of the training featured some form of “inspiration,” be that “a film, a look into mind science or a leader sharing a story”, followed by “self- or group reflection and a chance to practice.”

Employees were encouraged to reflect privately by writing in notebooks and were also asked to think about biases.

Stereotypes are shaped by the things we take in around us. Much of it comes through the media, but also our experiences and the broader culture we live in,” the guide reads.

“The risk is that when we hold negative stereotypes, unconscious bias can arise. When we are under pressure, are short on time or don’t pay attention, unconscious biases are triggered more easily.

“We can hold biases about race and age and religion. Gender and sexuality and body type. Ability and mental health and class. And many other attributes.

“That’s why it’s important that we learn about how our biases are framed and what we can do to override them.”

Source – The Independent

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