Starbucks newly appointed CEO Rosalind Brewer has shocked shareholders after it was revealed she believes white men are the root of all evil.
According to a recently surfaced 2015 CNN interview, Brewer says she is extremely “triggered” by the sight of white men in business.
Silenceisconsent.net reports: The Washington Post reported on a particular exchange in the interview. CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked Rosalind Brewer about what it would take to see more women at the top of corporate America. Brewer answered.
“My executive team is very diverse, and I make that a priority,” she told Harlow. “I demand it of my team and within the structure. And then, every now and then, you have to nudge your partners, and you have to speak up and speak out. And I try to use my platform for that. … I try to set an example. I try to mentor many women inside my company and outside the company because I think it’s important.
“And I talk to my suppliers about it. Just today we met with a supplier, and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier’s] folks in the room because there were actually no females, like, levels down. So I’m going to place a call to him.”
That set off a firestorm, as many wondered why she would get so upset over the sight of a lot of white guys. Her defenders said her critics, in turn, were either racist or sexist.
Here’s the real problem: Brewer called out one of her own suppliers in a national interview with CNN, accusing them of discriminating against minorities and women because all of the higher-ups were white guys.
No one should have a problem with wanting a more diverse corporate leadership. Opening up opportunities to women and minorities is important, if not essential, to long-term success. Brewer herself, however, should know that the issue is far more complicated, and the lack of minorities and women in leadership of a business is not indicative of bias. A meeting room full of white guys is not proof of white patriarchy.
Starbucks can afford to be more diverse, because as a high-profile corporation, they have access to the best and the brightest candidates in business. They are more likely to find the diversity they want.
Her supplier, on the other hand, could be far smaller, and if it is in a labor-intensive industry like printing coffee cups or manufacturing restaurant tables, it only makes sense that men would dominate the leadership. If it is a regional company, they may be limited in their workforce, so geographically, they may be pulling 90% white guys as potential employees.
In that context, complaining about the makeup of a company’s leadership is unwarranted. Had she discovered that her supplier had a reputation of discrimination, however, then she should have used her power as CEO to affect change. The way she described the situation, she seemed like someone prone to knee-jerk, politically-correct overreactions.
So she fits right in at Starbucks.
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