Embracing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion

Embracing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion A commitment to equality, opportunity and connection

Since our founding, we’ve embraced core company values that include celebrating individuality and diversity and treating all people equally—with respect, dignity and fairness. 

As one of the world’s leading apparel retailers, we see an opportunity to stand alongside other leaders and work toward greater fairness for everyone. We feel it is important to take public positions on issues that matter to our employees, our customers and our business. In this way, we can champion the ideals of our founders and contribute to broader cultural change.


Embracing diversity and inclusion

Embracing diversity promotes creativity and innovation and helps to attract and retain the best talent everywhere we do business.

We believe in standing up for all forms of equality—inside and outside our company.

To us, celebrating individuality goes hand in hand with having deep respect for all. Our business can thrive only if everyone has the chance to do the same. For our business to grow, our people also need to understand and embrace the wide variety of cultures that we encounter across our brands and store locations. Our commitment to equality and diversity is embedded in our Code of Business Conduct (COBC), which includes a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. This policy applies to our directors, employees, applicants, customers and business partners, including independent contractors and suppliers.

We believe in standing up for all forms of equality—inside and outside our company. In recent years, this has included raising our voice in opposition to proposed legislation impacting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities, many of whom are current and future employees and customers. 

Our Global Talent team works with our Diversity and Inclusion team to design, develop, deliver and evaluate programs and activities related to talent and inclusion. We use internal and external benchmarks, and leaders across the organization identify and prioritize a set of critical issues (e.g., sustainable development or leadership opportunities) based on agreed-upon criteria. Our Communications and our Public and Government Affairs teams support communication of these priorities internally and externally.

Creating a Community of Diversity and Inclusion

We believe diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes high-quality decisions and enhances economic growth. An inclusive culture helps employees feel comfortable being authentic at work.

We have internal teams dedicated to embracing and driving diversity and inclusion efforts:

Diversity and Inclusion Council
This advisory group—comprising corporate and field executives and leaders from throughout our organization—develops diversity and inclusion strategies and connects these activities with business outcomes.

Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Team
This team is responsible for the design and implementation of Gap Inc.'s Global Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Diversity Ambassadors
These individuals across our organization champion diversity efforts, build awareness, increase knowledge and share their skills and resources within their respective teams.

Business Resource Groups
Gap Inc. employees from diverse backgrounds have taken the initiative to develop Business Resource Groups, which provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning, mentoring and relationship building. These groups organize development, networking and volunteering events. They gather employee input and support on internal initiatives, as well as offer consumer perspectives and product feedback that help Gap Inc. in the marketplace. Additionally, they contribute their language skills and knowledge of various countries and cultures to support the global aspects of our business. Engaged employees gain networking experience and visibility, and they meet leaders across the company. 

We support our employees in developing these Business Resource Groups, which may grow and change in the future. Our current Business Resource Groups include:

  • AANG: African American Networking Group
  • ASIA: Asians Supporting Inclusion and Awareness
  • GEAR: Gap Gay Employees, Allies and Resources
  • GAPWIL: Women in Leadership
  • HOLA: Honoring Our Latino/Hispanic Ancestry
ASCEND is designed to help minority leaders realize their potential and achieve their career aspirations through mentorship, building opportunity and individual capability building.

ASCEND: Investing in the Next Generation of Leaders

We are devoted to developing an inclusive, diverse workforce and a pipeline of future leaders. Our ASCEND program supports Gap Inc.’s ongoing vision and commitment to developing talent, driving engagement and advancing diversity. ASCEND is designed to help minority leaders realize their potential and achieve their career aspirations through mentorship, building opportunity and individual capability building.

We also invest in the next generation through our spport of and recruiting at minority job fairs and through the Gap Foundation’s This Way Ahead youth internship and job-skills program. 

Standing with the LGBTQ Community

We believe part of our role as a business is to bring people together and work toward a brighter future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive as equals. Gap Inc. and the UN Foundation built a partnership to raise awareness and funds in 2017 for UN Free and Equal, a program of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to promote equal rights and fair treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people globally.

The partnership marked Pride Month and included two main components to engage our customers:

  • As part of Gap Inc.’s #WearYourPride campaign, 30% of net sales from Gap brand’s Pride T-shirts were donated to the UN Foundation to benefit Free and Equal.
  • Gap Inc. brands also sold special, Pride-themed e-gift cards. We donated $2 from each card sold to support Free and Equal.

This campaign allowed us to publicly demonstrate our commitment to equality, while giving our customers a way to support and celebrate Pride.

We believe in standing up for all forms of equality—inside and outside our company

“We strive to create a workplace culture that embraces diversity and inclusion and treats every individual with dignity and respect. By upholding these values, we are able to attract and retain talented people, deliver the best products and experiences to our customers and support positive change across business and society.”

Kisha Modica Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Creating Opportunities for Women

Creating opportunities for women is deeply embedded in our culture. From store managers to brand CEOs, women have long played an important role in running and growing each of our brands. Women make up over 70% of our employees, serve as a majority of our global store managers and serve equally as our brand leaders. We strongly believe that our commitment to equality for women gives us a competitive advantage, it helps us attract top talent, increase engagement and retention, and connect with our customers, a majority of whom are women.

Our global Women and Opportunity initiative includes both internal and external programs and activities that engage leaders and employees across our company. Our broader women’s empowerment strategy includes ensuring alignment across all efforts impacting women and leveraging gender inclusion. This commitment to equality extends to all aspects of our business, from learning and development to leadership training.

Inspiring Future Women Leaders

Our GapWIL—Gap Women in Leadership—group partnered with Girls Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to launch a summer "menteeship" program at Gap Inc. During the three-week program, high school juniors met with career coaches, visited stores and developed technical skills through workshops in retail and inventory management. They also sat down with Gap Inc. leaders to learn about the business and our company's values.

In addition to these efforts, we have integrated our P.A.C.E. program into our core business practices to help the women who make our clothes and their communities gain the skills and confidence they need to advance in work and life. In September 2015, we announced a major expansion of P.A.C.E., with the goal of reaching 1 million women and girls throughout the world by 2020. 

In 2014, we signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles, developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact to give business practical guidance on areas such as women’s professional development and the need to publicly report on progress about gender equality.One of the ways we support women’s equality is by providing equal pay for equal work. We are proud that in 2015 we became the first Fortune 500 company to report publicly that we pay female and male employees the same for the same work around the world, verified by a third party. By sharing our progress, we aim to engender broader change, with other companies following our lead.

We are proud that in 2015 we became the first Fortune 500 company to report publicly that we pay female and male employees the same for the same work around the world.

We were honored to receive the 2016 Catalyst Award recognizing Gap Inc.’s culture of equality, inclusion and opportunity.

2016 Catalyst Award Winner

The annual award from Catalyst recognizes organizations whose innovative approaches result in proven, measurable results that advance the recruitment, development and advancement of women in the workplace. For the first time since the inception of the Catalyst Award, Gap Inc. is the sole company to be honored by the organization in a given year and has become the first company from the fashion industry to be recognized.

Initiatives that are considered for the Catalyst Awards are evaluated in a rigorous, yearlong process against criteria such as strategy and rationale, senior leadership activities, accountability and transparency, communication, employee engagement, innovation and measurable results.

Gap Inc. Diversity

In 2016, 48 percent of our full-time and part-time (non-seasonal) employees in the U.S. classified themselves as white and 52 percent identified as ethnically diverse.

Gap Inc. Owned Facilities

U.S. Ethnic breakdown 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
All 57% 54% 53% 51% 50% 48%
Management 75% 75% 75% 74% 73% 72%
New Hires 57% 53% 51% 49% 46% 44%
All 6% 6% 6% 6% 7% 7%
Management 8% 8% 9% 9% 9% 10%
New Hires 5% 5% 6% 6% 6% 6%
All 17% 18% 19% 19% 19% 19%
Management 6% 7% 6% 6% 7% 6%
New Hires 18% 22% 23% 24% 24% 24%
All 17% 18% 18% 20% 20% 21%
Management 9% 9% 9% 10% 10% 10%
New Hires 14% 15% 16% 17% 18% 19%
Other Minority
All 3% 4% 4% 4% 4% 5%
Management 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 2%
New Hires 5% 5% 5% 5% 6% 6%
All Minorities
All 43% 46% 47% 49% 50% 52%
Management 25% 25% 25% 26% 27% 28%
New Hires 43% 47% 49% 51% 54% 56%
* U.S. full-time and part-time, non-seasonal employees. Data on ethnic diversity not available outside the U.S.


Global Gender Representation

 We monitor and assess the balance of women and men across our business.

Global Gender Representation 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
VP & Above
Women 49% 47% 49% 46% 49% 51%
Men 51% 53% 51% 54% 51% 49%
Director / Sr. Director
Women 59% 59% 59% 59% 59% 61%
Men 41% 41% 41% 41% 41% 39%
Manager / Sr. Manager
Women 61% 60% 61% 60% 60% 61%
Men 39% 40% 39% 40% 40% 39%
Store Management
Women 69% 69% 69% 68% 69% 68%
Men 31% 31% 31% 32% 31% 32%
New Hires
Women 71% 70% 70% 72% 73% 74%
Men 29% 30% 30% 28% 27% 26%
Women 73% 73% 73% 74% 74% 75%
Men 27% 27% 27% 26% 26% 25%

U.S. Promotion Rates by Gender & Position

U.S. Promotion Rates by Gender & Position 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
VP & Above
Women 12% 3% 8% 8% 10% 3%
Men 7% 7% 3% 5% 13% 7%
Director / Sr. Director
Women 9% 7% 12% 9% 12% 10%
Men 7% 7% 9% 11% 10% 12%
Manager / Sr. Manager
Women 11% 14% 13% 13% 16% 16%
Men 9% 14% 14% 13% 15% 14%
Women 7% 7% 7% 7% 6% 7%
Men 7% 7% 7% 8% 7% 8%
Women 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 7%
Management 7% 7% 7% 8% 8% 8%