Gender Smart | May 3, 2017

Score one for gender wage transparency: Starbucks says it pays women equally

The team at


Starbucks says it pays women equally.

Starbucks’ disclosure follows a proxy ballot measure on gender wage transparency filed by Arjuna Capital, a Starbucks shareholder.

In its report, Starbucks says it pays comparably-skilled male and female employees within 99.7 percent of each other. That’s at the far end of the retail bell-curve.

On average, women in retail earn 70 cents to every dollar a man earns; the disparity is worse for black and Latina women. “We need more companies like Starbucks to break down the structural bias that keeps women in the back seat and business from reaching its full potential,” Arjuna’s Natasha Lamb said in a statement.

Arjuna withdrew its shareholder resolution for Starbucks but is pursuing similar measures for eight other companies in financial services and consumer goods.

The disclosure comes as the Trump administration and some legislators are seeking to rein in shareholder activism, particularly around social and environmental issues (see, “Shareholder resolutions are one of the only ways for investors to have impact on public companies”).