Canadian Business Magazine: Why Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is right to talk about race


If your workforce is already diverse, as Schultz’s is (about 40% of Starbucks baristas are racial minorities), frank conversations about race serve as an organizational thermostat, giving employees an opportunity to express fears and concerns that might otherwise distract them from their work. Here in multicultural Canada, where we pride ourselves on being “colour-blind” and inclusive, incidents like last October’s vandalization of a mosque in Cold Lake, Alta., and a Montreal judge’s recent refusal to hear a woman’s case unless she removed her hijab have left many minority citizens concerned about their personal safety, says Saadia Muzaffar, a marketing director and founder of TechGirls Canada, an advocacy group for gender and racial diversity in tech. “I’d much rather see a company invest in this kind of forum rather than holding a ‘multicultural day,’ because those are a mirage for actual acceptance and celebration—a laughable way to say, ‘You have permission to be a caricature of yourself for one day. Enjoy!’”

Read the full article [here]