Equality + Belonging
Equality + Belonging 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 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.
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. In addition to our COBC, we have a dedicated Equality and Belonging strategy centered around three areas of focus:
- Storytelling: Telling stories about who we are and what we stand for helps us create a company culture that values equality, opportunity and connection for all people. To attract and retain talent, we seek to be more vocal about our public commitments, awards and efforts.
- Experimentation: To drive innovation, we encourage trying new and different approaches to discover what works and what doesn’t to recruit talent, develop leaders and create programs that promote an inclusive work culture.
- Programs that Matter: To set the foundation for our inclusivity work, we invest in programs across Gap Inc. that support mentorship, learning, creating inclusive products and promoting equal access for all.
Creating a Community of Equality and Belonging
To create a community of equality and belonging, we use a number of tools and resources:
- Diversity + Inclusion Training Curriculum: Creating customized training, tools, and resources that support an inclusive workplace for all our employees and customers is important to us. Our curriculum is a suite of offerings that includes videos, discussion guides, and bite-size learning modules that employees can leverage at every step of their career here at Gap Inc.
- Unconscious Bias Training: Our CEO signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion and since then we have been rolling out unconscious bias training across our enterprise. From workshops to store leadership platforms, we have been focused on training our teams on what unconscious bias is, how it can influence how we interact with our teams and our customers, and what we each can do to minimize its impact on others.
- Be One. Get One.: We value mentoring as a developmental process that helps build incredible careers. Our Be One. Get One. (BOGO) philosophy aligns with our core values and empowers employees to take an active role in their development and the development of others. Mentorship is a personal journey that works best when people connect organically, instead of relying on matching systems and formalized reports. Paying it forward is the way of life here at Gap Inc.
- Open to All: In 2018, Gap Inc. and our family of brands announced that we joined a coalition of advocacy organizations and companies by signing the Open to All Business Pledge. The pledge reaffirms that our workplaces and stores are welcoming spaces for everyone, and each U.S. store displayed the Open to All sticker. We are proud to join with other businesses and national social justice groups like the NAACP, HRC, ACLU and Anti-Defamation League to show that we are open to all.
- Supplier Inclusion Program: We are committed to increasing the diversity of suppliers we use, helping diverse businesses become competitive industry leaders and enhancing the economic vibrancy of the communities we serve. We launched our supplier inclusion program in 2018 to increase our work with companies that are owned by or employ a large percentage of minorities, veterans, women and people with disabilities. Through this program, we are forming new partnerships to expand our networks to connect with a more diverse set of companies.
We also have several internal teams dedicated to embracing and driving diversity and inclusion efforts at Gap Inc.:
Enterprise Equality + Belonging Team: The E+B team is responsible for the design and implementation of the Global Diversity and Inclusion strategy for Gap Inc. The team works in seamless collaboration across corporate functions and brands to achieve optimal integration, impact and return.
Color Proud Council: This council focuses on two of the company’s most essential assets: product and talent. In 2018, a group of employees formed a cross-enterprise body to challenge industry norms and too-often accepted biases by ensuring we know the importance of putting an inclusive lens on fundamental aspects of our business, including: product design, merchandising, and marketing, as well as expanding efforts to recruit, develop and retain diverse talent.
Equality and Belonging Network Groups: Gap Inc. employees from diverse backgrounds developed these Groups, which provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning, mentoring and relationship building. These groups organize development, networking and volunteering events. They exist to encourage belonging, foster awareness of underrepresented groups, and provide personal and professional development. The goal of these groups is to express, represent and advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion for Gap Inc. employees; we support our employees in developing these groups, which may grow and change in the future.
Our current Groups include:
- AANG: African American Networking Group
- ASIA: Asians Supporting Inclusion and Awareness
- GEAR: Gap Gay Employees, Allies and Resources
- Gap Parents
- Gap V.E.T.S.: Veterans Enablement, Transition and Support
- GAPWIL: Women in Leadership
- HOLA: Honoring Our Latino/Hispanic Ancestry
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 support of and recruitment 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. Gap Inc. is also the first and only global apparel retail company to sign on to the UN Human Rights LGBTI Corporate Standards of Conduct for Business, bolstering our efforts to support and lead on issues that impact our LGBTI community around the world. We are proud that in 2018, for the 13th year in a row, Gap Inc. received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which examines corporate policies and practices related to LGBTI workplace equality.
For Gap Inc., diversity and inclusion starts with welcoming all customers to our brands, and ensuring our workplaces around the world allow every employee to be their true self and achieve their full potential. Not only is this good for business, we believe it’s just the way things should be.
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 75% of our employees, serve as a majority of our global store managers and serve equally on our leadership teams. 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
We are committed to women’s leadership and have taken a number of steps to support the advancement of women. 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. 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.
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. Through P.A.C.E., we aim to reach 1 million women and girls throughout the world by 2022.
Gap Inc. was included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year. Bloomberg listed Gap Inc. as one of 230 global companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality.