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  Social Responsibility

Women Empowerment
Published on: Dec. 2, 2020, 3:10 p.m.
Tata Starbucks ties up with Educate Girls to empower women
  • In the first year of the program, Tata Starbucks will support 2,000 girls and young women across India

By S.M. Boothem

Retail chain Tata Starbucks has recently announced ‘Empowering young women program’, a new initiative to support them through education, skills development and economic empowerment.

As part of Tata Starbucks commitment to creating equal opportunities, the program will provide them with the education, financial assistance and community support they need to develop their skills and find careers. Tata Starbucks has collaborated with non-profit organisation, Educate Girls, to improve girls’ education in rural and underprivileged areas, and VIDYA India, to provide volunteering and educational support to girls and young women who have relocated to urban cities from villages.

In the first year of the program, Tata Starbucks will support 2,000 girls across India, creating education, skills development and mentoring opportunities that will empower participants to create a better future for themselves and their communities. Every Starbucks store across India will sponsor and support the education of a girl in primary school by covering the cost of enrolment, while improving learning outcomes and school retention rates.

In addition, the company will also donate a percentage of all transactions in the new all-women stores in India to help mobilise communities around the importance of girls’ education through the partnership with ‘Educate Girls’. The program aims to increase educational enrolment and retention within rural communities while improving literacy and numeracy skills.

Tata Starbucks partners can also volunteer to support girls aged four to 18 years old who have relocated to urban cities from villages. Through the VIDYA India collaboration, partners can help to conduct training for life skills, numeracy, and literacy, and volunteer as teachers’ aides to make online classes more effective and engaging. Partners are also invited to participate in parental education awareness programs, designed to advance understanding and engagement around the importance of their children’s education.

“This new initiative that provides girls and young women in India with education and tools to build a better life for themselves and for their communities,” said Navin Gurnaney, CEO, Tata Starbucks. “Throughout India, gender disparity remains a significant barrier to education – more than four million girls are out of school and we are still 15 per cent away from closing the literacy gender gap between men and women. As a leading employer in India, we have a responsibility to invest in initiatives that advance education and skills development among girls and young women. We also continue to encourage diversity and gender equality in this dynamic region. It drives sustainable growth, elevates innovation through diverse thinking and deepens understanding of communities.”

“Educate Girls is glad to collaborate with Tata Starbucks. Together we hope to strongly advocate for gender equality, equal rights to education and enable our girls to become contributing members of our society,” said Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director of Educate Girls.

Since entering the market in 2012, Tata Starbucks has aimed to honour its commitments to diversity and inclusion in India through empowering women in new and meaningful ways. Earlier this year, Tata Starbucks opened three stores in India operated entirely by women, and plans to open more women-led stores by the end of the year. In 2019, Tata Starbucks claimed to have achieved 100 per cent gender pay equity and set an ambitious target to increase its workforce female representation to 40 per cent by the end of 2022.

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