Starbucks Canada History of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Since the beginning, Starbucks has been committed to creating a welcoming third place for our partners, customers and communities. From our early decision to offer healthcare to part-time workers to our commitment to support diverse hiring and equal opportunity for all — we have been dedicated to building a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Here are some of our milestones along the way: 


  • Provides pronoun pins for store partners; adds gender affirmation coverage to partners extended health benefits plan. 
  • Three new Partner Networks launch in Canada: The Hora Del Café Partner Network celebrates Latinx culture while developing partners and positively impacting communities. The Canadian Armed Forces Partner Network welcomes, engages and empowers Starbucks veterans. The Disability Advocacy Partner Network fosters a community of awareness, inclusion, and accessibility for partners with apparent and non-apparent disabilities.  


  • A Career Advancement roadmap is developed to implement initiatives that will further support partners in meeting their career goals.  
  • New large-print and Braille menus are made available in all stores in the U.S. and Canada. Starbucks worked with the National Braille Press to create the new menus to make stores more accessible for blind and low-vision customers.
  • The NEXT Partner Network launches to support and empower the next generation of Starbucks leadership.  


  • The Anti-Racism Action Plan is developed
  • A series of Courageous Conversations kick off within Starbucks Canada, connecting thousands of partners, guest speakers and subject matter experts.  
  • A dedicated Inclusion and Diversity support team is established within Starbucks Canada
  • Three new Partner Networks launch: the Black Partner Network, Indigenous Partner Network and Pan-Asian Partner Network
  • Curriculum in support of the Third Place and Anti-Bias training rolls out across Starbucks Canada.  
  • The Starbucks Foundation commits to invest $1 million in Neighbourhood Grants to promote racial equity and create more just, inclusive communities.  
  • MentorME is inaugurated — a unique collaboration between Starbucks Canada, MENTOR Canada and the Black Business Professional Association to develop a national mentorship program for Black youth.  


  • Starbucks launches its “To Be Welcoming” Curriculum, in partnership with Arizona State University. The free 15-course online class is designed to address bias and encourage more meaningful conversations around our shared human experience.
  • Principles on upholding the Third Place are published, outlining the expectations and values of the commitment.  
  • Starbucks leads the first multi-employer refugee hiring event in Toronto, in partnership with Tent, World Education Services, the Refugee Jobs Agenda Roundtable, the City of Toronto, and a coalition of Canadian employers. 


  • Starbucks announces the Third Place policy, defining a customer as anyone who enters a Starbucks space regardless of whether they make a purchase.  
  • The Starbucks Inclusion & Diversity Council launches in Canada.  
  • Approximately 1,100 Canadian Starbucks stores close on June 11 to conduct anti-bias training. 
  • Opportunity for All Youth is launched. Co-founded by Starbucks, OFAY is the first national employer-led coalition aimed at hiring disadvantaged youth. The goal is to connect 40,000 young people facing systemic barriers with meaningful employment over the next five years.  


  • The Canadian Women’s Impact Network is launched


Sergio - Opportunity For All Youth Partner
  • Starbucks commits to 10% of all store hires at Starbucks Canada to Opportunity Youth


Starbucks Pride Alliance
  • The Pride Network launches in Canada, becoming the first Partner Network in the country. 


  • A new mission statement is adopted at Starbucks with a commitment to partners that “Together, we embrace diversity to create a place where each of us can be ourselves.”  


  • Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines are issued at Starbucks Canada to support partners who are transgender or considering transitioning to promote understanding of fair and equitable treatment of transgender and gender-diverse partners.    


  • Starbucks expands its company’s mission statement to include a new pillar: “Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.”


  • Full health benefits for eligible full- and part-time employees, including coverage for same-sex domestic partners, is offered at Starbucks Canada. 


  • Starbucks opens its first international store in Vancouver, BC.
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New, more sustainable Starbucks cold cups are made with up to 20 percent less plastic