New recipes

This Boston Startup Wants You to Talk Politics at Starbucks

This Boston Startup Wants You to Talk Politics at Starbucks

The company says it tries to screen for people who are nice through a questionnaire when users sign up

The company says each participant will receive part of a Starbucks gift card, which must be pieced together with that of the participant’s match to be redeemed.

Get into a friendly political debate while you sip on your Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato at Starbucks through one startup company in Boston, Hi From The Other Side, which is looking connect people “not to convince, but to understand” beliefs different from their own.

According to the company, prospective participants can sign up through Facebook, answer a few questions, and wait to receive an email if a match is found. Once a match is made, the company leaves it up to the participants to follow up and set up a time to have a conversation.

The company also provides a conversation guide to give potential talking points, such as “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How did you come to that idea?” and “Think back to before the election, what were you most hopeful about? What were you most afraid of?”

Starbucks is not officially affiliated with the startup, but has provided e-gift cards to the company for users to redeem during their meet-ups.

“In this case Starbucks has donated gift cards to Hi From the Other Side to help encourage participants to meet in person for the important conversations the program facilitates,” a company spokesperson told Eater.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.


Starbucks’s Mellody Hobson, the Only Black Chairwoman in S&P 500, Says ‘Civil Rights 3.0’ Is Brewing

Mellody Hobson, pictured in 2018, says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently.

Heather Haddon

Mellody Hobson has seen corporate pledges to increase workplace diversity come and go over the years. Starbucks Corp.’s new chairwoman believes this time is different.

As co-CEO and president of minority-run, asset-management firm Ariel Investments LLC, Ms. Hobson is one of the country’s most prominent Black investors. As of Wednesday, she will also be the only Black chairwoman of an S&P 500 company, when she assumes that role at Starbucks.

She’s one of a handful of Black women to recently take on a leadership position in the highest echelons of American corporations, where Black female bosses are few and far between. Another is Rosalind Brewer, a longtime friend of Ms. Hobson, who left her role as Starbucks’s operating chief and will become chief executive officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Monday.

Ms. Hobson says roughly 20 other women of color in her orbit have been elected to corporate boards recently. Companies face more investor and regulatory pressure to diversify board rooms, and the death of George Floyd in police custody, the killing of Breonna Taylor and other prominent cases involving Black Americans and police have pushed many to redouble efforts to help Black workers advance. “I joke, we have to be headhunters in our spare time at Ariel,” she says.

Ms. Hobson, 51, rose from intern to the top of Chicago-based Ariel, which manages $15 billion in assets. She joined Starbucks’ board nearly 16 years ago and counts former CEO and chairman emeritus Howard Schultz as a friend and mentor. She recently spoke to The Wall Street Journal from the southern California home she shares with her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.