Why Some Starbucks Stores In India Are Staffed Entirely By Women

At the end of last year there were more than more than 33,000 Starbucks stores open around the world (via Statista). With such a massive global footprint, the company has an opportunity to create a lot of good in the world. While relations between the company and its increasingly pro-union employees have been rocky in the United States, Starbucks has offered to help maintain abortion rights for their employees. The coffee powerhouse has also closed all Russian locations due to the war in Ukraine, along with other initiatives and programs around the globe. 

One of those initiatives was launched to fight labor disparities between genders in India by opening store locations staffed entirely by women. The company opened their first two female-led locations in 2020 (via Starbucks). By September 2021, Starbucks had opened another nine stores across the country according to Business World. Starbucks had been present in India since 2012 in a joint venture with Tata Global Beverages. Tata Starbucks says these female-led stores are a part of their ongoing work to provide opportunities for women and promote equity, inclusion and diversity in India, per the company website.

Starbucks works to promote work equity for women in India

According to a 2019 World Bank report, approximately 20% of working-age women in India were employed at the time despite being the second-most populous country in the world (via Worldometer). This is well below the global 39%. Starbucks hopes that by opening stores like these, the company can train and empower Indian women to join the workforce.

In a 2021 interview with Business World, Nabamita Banerjee, head of human resources at Tata Starbucks, stressed the important role these stores play in the country's workplace gender dynamics.

"In a market that has stigma attached to a barista role and concerns around women's representation in the workforce, our All Women stores now act as a medium to challenge both. This initiative empowers female partners and instills pride as they deliver the Starbucks experience in their Green aprons," said Banerjee.

Some of the proceeds from these stores go towards educating girls in rural and underserved communities (via Business World). Starbucks hopes to achieve 40 % gender diversity among its Starbucks partners in India by the end of this year. As of September of last year, the company was well on its way at approximately 34%.