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Last Updated:

10/31/20 6:04 PM

overall rating:

undertones approved


Internal Representation & Support
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Public Commitment
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External Communication
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To evaluate this pillar, we take into consideration a range of factors, including but not limited to:

- Employee representation

- Diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI)

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We weigh a company’s degree of public commitment primarily on their monetary contributions to DEI matters or organizations fighting racial injustice.

Forms of monetary support we look for:

One-off donations
Recurring donations
Grant initiatives
Employee donation matching



Starbucks' Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team is over 15% Black and their Board of Directors is over 50% BIPOC. As part of their commitment to Black Lives Matter, the company created t-shirts that were sent to employees; until they were received, employees were encouraged to wear pins expressing their support. The appear to have taken their DEI efforts seriously, having provided in October 2020 an update to their initial commitment made in June.


Despite its strides toward antiracism on an organizational level, Starbucks has not been nearly as vocal about their support for Black Lives Matter across their social media accounts. This is particularly disappointing given their 10 million followers on Twitter and 18 million followers on Instagram.

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We scour the company’s website and official social media channels to determine what message they are sending around racial injustice, how they are communicating it, and whether their communications are perceived as genuine or performative.

Public statement: We verify that companies have made a formal statement regarding racial injustice.

Social media: We consider how a company uses their platform(s) beyond performative allyship.

Representation: For companies that have the opportunity to showcase diversity in their feed, we consider whether they have adequate Black representation and BIPOC representation across their models. 

Looking for an equitable brand as a replacement? Click here to see our directory! 

Deep Dive

I. Internal Representation & Support:

Board of Directors:

> 15% Black, > 40% BIPOC, 36% - 40% Women

Executive Leadership:

> 15% Black, > 40% BIPOC, 31% - 35% Women

8% - 9% Black, > 40% BIPOC, > 50% Women


An appointed DEI senior leader and/or a dedicated DEI organization, A Black employee resource group

DEI Support:

II. Public Commitment

Starbucks has pledged a donation of 0.001% - 0.009% of annual revenue towards racial injustice, specifically for Black lives. Additionally, Starbucks has engaged in actions that advance racial justice and/or uplift BIPOC communities, such as partnerships with nonprofits or mission-based organizations, sponsorship of events, and matching donations to a broad range of qualifying organizations. Starbucks is also an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and people living with disabilities.

III. External Communications

Starbucks has issued a public statement, both on social media and in a public memo, addressing racial injustice that included specific calls to action, and explicitly stated "Black Lives Matter." Since June 2020, 0.1% - 9% of the brand's social media content has been centered around racial injustice with posts seeming performative in nature. While the brand has made an effort to include ethnic diversity, specifically increasing Black representation, and has shown inclusion through featuring a range of models, there is little to no evidence of their support of the LGBTQ+ community on social media beyond a post for Pride.
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