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Starbucks makes major announcements on gender pay equity: During this morning’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Seattle, the coffee company announced that it’s closed the pay gap among all genders and minority groups for its U.S. workforce. On average in the U.S., the pay gap between women and men doing the same or similar work is about 20 percent. The gap for women of color is even greater. The news from Starbucks comes on the same day that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act into law.  Starbucks hopes to share its pay equity principles to help other companies achieve one-hundred percent equity … and pledged to achieve pay equity for its employees outside of the U.S., as well.


Coffee giant moves toward recyclable cups: Starbucks is also in the news for another pledge. The company wants to develop a recyclable coffee cup within the next three years and put $10 million towards the initiative. The current cups are recyclable in some cities — but not all. There is a plastic coating inside each Starbucks cup, which helps keep coffee hot. But this coating makes the cups unrecyclable in some places. This initiative answers the calls of frequent protesters who have called on Starbucks to make cups more sustainable. These groups, and the cup monster mascot, show up at a lot of events, including the last GeekWire Summit, when Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson spoke.


Mark Zuckerberg responds to the latest Facebook scandal: In other news, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell weighed in on the latest Facebook scandal during an AI event hosted by the Washington Post. She criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his silence following the reports that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm, illegitimately accessed data from 50 million Facebook users to help President Trump on the campaign trail. Earlier this afternoon, Zuckerberg made his first public statement about the scandal, saying “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this won’t happen again.


Has Amazon changed its ways? Amazon replaced Alphabet, the parent company of Google, as No. 1 on LinkedIn’s top companies list. The list, which was released this morning, features 50 of the “most sought-after employers.” Retaining talent has not always been Amazon’s strong suit. At one point, the company had the second-highest turnover rate among the Fortune 500 and was notorious for its “only the strongest survive” approach. A New York Times article from 2015 portrayed Amazon as a bruising workplace … and depicted  employees crying at their desks. Fast forward to today — and Amazon has grown by hundreds of thousands of people, with an employee count of more than 566,000.


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