Starbucks recently changed its parental leave policy to include adoptive parents, a huge victory for many of the company's LGBTQ workers. We caught up with Annie Sartor of the Paid Leave for the United States (PL+US) campaign to talk more about this exciting change for the company.
Tell us a bit more about the campaign to change the parental leave policy at Starbucks to include adoptive parents
A big focus of our work over the last several months has been supporting Starbucks baristas in their call for an equal parental leave policy as a way to inspire the company to lead by offering equal leave to all employees and to elevate the public narrative of who is currently left out of corporate paid family leave policies. We're making progress! Thanks to amazing campaigns led by Niko and Ryan (trans and gay baristas), a drumbeat of fantastic media coverage on the impact of unequal policies, particularly on low-income and LGBTQ folks, and the support of so many fantastic organizations (including Coworker.org, Working Washington, CPD, Moveon, MomsRising, Gays With Kids, Parents Together, the National Center for Adoption and Permanency and so many others) Starbucks' new policy now includes 6 weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents who work in the stores (they were left out of the policy announced in Jan). There's still a lot of work to do (the policy still completely leaves out barista dads and provides 3x less to barista moms) but it does mean many adoptive parents will feel some relief and that the pressure is working.
Part of that work has involved engaging investors with paid leave advocacy, right?
Yes, PL+US has been collaborating with a number of leading socially responsible and mainstream investors to help them engage with companies in their portfolios who have problematic paid family leave policies. Zevin Asset Management has been in active conversation with about 15 of the largest employers around issues of transparency, and unequal, and lacking leave policies.
Recently, we announced a first ever shareholder resolution on unequal paid family leave. The resolution was led by Zevin Asset Management and co-filed by Reynders McVeigh Capital Management, Arjuna Capital, Pax World Management, Friends Fiduciary Corporation - with assets under management totalling nearly $7 billion.
There's a lot of interest in filing resolutions to additional companies, including paid family leave in gender lens investment criteria, and generally making paid family leave a major investor conversation in 2018.
How can people get involved?
Let's win this!