Equality + Belonging
Equality + Belonging A commitment to equality, opportunity and connection
Since our founding, we have embraced core company values that include celebrating individuality, diversity and treating all people equally – with respect, dignity and fairness. Being an inclusive company is both a moral and a business imperative: It sends a message to the world that we stand for equality for all, and that business can and should be a force for good. And it makes us a better, stronger company that reflects and serves the world in which we operate.
We know we are not perfect, but we are committed to making the necessary changes within our company and beyond. We see an opportunity to stand alongside our employees and other industry leaders to work toward greater equality and a sense of belonging for everyone. This helps our company attract and retain the best employees, create great products for all of our customers, foster creativity and innovation, and contribute to a more inclusive and just world.
Our ongoing empowerment, employee and workforce programs support the rights and well-being of the people who embody and drive our business, ensuring that they have equal opportunity and support to develop personally and professionally. In 2020, we made new commitments that reflect our ambition to do better, listen more and drive greater change – starting within our company and using our influence to enact systems change.
Being an inclusive company isn't optional. For us, striving for equality is just as much of a business imperative today as it was 50 years ago when we started out.
We have a long history of striving for equality, and we have deepened our commitments and engagement and elevated our ambition in response to rightful calls that real progress on racial justice is long overdue. In addition to continuing our strong programs and resource groups that foster diversity and inclusion, Gap Inc. took took made important changes in 2020, including established three new commitments to foster racial justice.
We began by acknowledging that we have more work to do, and we took time to listen to feedback from our employees. We appreciate those who engaged in these conversations, which have helped our company understand more deeply what it means to be an ally.
Those conversations informed our bold new commitments that will foster change in our company and beyond. We have established commitments in three areas:
- Our employees: By 2025, we will double the representation of Black and Latinx employees at all levels in our U.S. headquarters offices, and increase the representation of Black employees by 50 percent in store leader roles in the U.S. We are proud to employ a 76-percent female workforce globally, and that 55 percent of our U.S. staff identify as people of color. But we have more work to do to fully represent the communities we serve. Improving representation is one step, but hiring the right talent is not enough. We will continue our efforts to cultivate a deep sense of belonging, and also increase our investment in pay equity. Since 2014, we have conducted annual reviews of our pay data by gender, and in 2020, we began using an external firm to assess our pay data by race for all U.S. employees. We are committed to fixing any disparities we find.
- Our brands: We believe it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone feels seen in the products we make and sell. Our brands are committed to building and expanding initiatives such as True Hues, a product-inclusion strategy with a focus on Black consumers. It is currently developing capsule collections featuring Black designers and artists. True Hues was initiated by the Color Proud Council, a cross-enterprise body founded by employees in 2018 to focus on inclusion in product design, merchandising and marketing. In 2020, we formalized the Color Proud Council within our brands as a critical and necessary partner in achieving a “best product, best experience" approach to the product life cycle. Our brands are committed to creating online and store experiences that authentically serve all customers and communities and amplify Black voices. We also include anti-racism training as part of our ongoing employee- and customer-belonging initiatives.
- Our communities: The third pillar of our commitments relates to systems change. We see three opportunities for Gap Inc. to support progress beyond our business: through civic engagement; investments that improve the apparel industry’s access and talent pipeline; and policy and advocacy aimed at ending racial inequality. We are making it easier for our employees to participate in the democratic process, including by providing paid time off for voting. We are also partnering with organizations such as Open to All, the NAACP and Embrace Race to engage with our customers, schools and communities on racism and social justice. In our industry, our longstanding This Way Ahead program – 95 percent of whose alumni identify as people of color – is helping to create a diverse pipeline of talented future leaders. We are also proud to continue our partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row to champion the next generation of designers.
We have also taken an important step toward greater transparency. Since 2007, we have publicly reported our global employee gender data and overall U.S. race and ethnicity data. Starting in 2020, we will regularly share additional data on how our employees identify their race and ethnicity at both stores and headquarters. We will also create a new Equality and Belonging report in 2021 to talk openly about our progress and the lessons we have learned along the way.
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
Training + Resources
In 2017, we launched a series of unconscious-bias trainings to employees, which we expanded to our global workforce in 2018. We also created curricula and accessible resources that support equality and belonging. We want our leaders and employees to identify how unconscious bias and other issues present in their everyday work. Through our commitment to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, we continued to provide unique and engaging education opportunities.
Be One. Get One.
At Gap Inc., we value mentorship as a developmental process that helps build incredible careers. We view it as a personal journey that works best when people connect organically, instead of relying on matching systems and formalized reports. In 2018, we launched our Be One. Get One. program to empower employees to take an active role in their own development and the development of others.
Supplier Inclusion Program
We are committed to increasing the diversity of the suppliers we use, helping diverse businesses become competitive industry leaders and enhancing the economic vibrancy of the communities we serve. Our supplier-inclusion program, launched in January 2018, provides a framework 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.
UN Human Rights LGBTI Corporate Standards of Conduct for Business
As the first and only global apparel retail company to sign on to the standards, we bolstered our efforts to support and lead on issues that impact the Gap Inc. lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community around the world.
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
In August 2017, we took the pledge, committing to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The pledge aims to rally the business community to work collectively toward that goal and outlines a specific set of actions, such as unconscious-bias education. Companies are encouraged to share practices for cultivating a trusting environment where all ideas are welcome, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion. In 2019, we hosted the Check Your Blind Spots Unconscious-Bias Tour, which offered a unique, technology-enabled multimedia experience focused on blind spots that can potentially influence everyday decision-making.
Open to All
In October 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 displays the Open to All sticker.
For us, this is nothing new, and is in line with our Code of Business Conduct and Zero Means Zero policy. 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.
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 This Way ONward 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 2019, for the 14th 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. In 2019, Gap Inc. partnered with BSR’s HERproject, ILO Better Work, CARE, ICRW and Walmart to launch Empower@Work, a collaborative effort dedicated to empowering women and advancing gender equity in global supply chains through the sharing of knowledge, skills and networks.
Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index
As a company working for a more equal, diverse and inclusive future for all, we are proud to be 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.
Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index
Gap Inc. was named one of the world's most diverse and inclusive companies for the third consecutive year in Refinitiv’s 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Index, previously produced by Thomson Reuters. Gap Inc. was ranked ninth out of 7,000 international corporations, according to Refinitiv, which scored companies across four key categories: diversity, inclusion, people development and news controversies.
Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (CEI)
For the 14th year in a row, in 2019, Gap Inc. received a perfect score on the CEI, an annual benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality.
We believe diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes high-quality decisions and enhances economic growth.
We track and disclose data on comparable workplace information to enable us to monitor trends and the effectiveness of our strategy. In an effort toward greater transparency, we will regularly share additional data on how our employees identify their race and ethnicity at stores and headquarters through a new Equality and Belonging report to be released in early 2021.
Detailed data tables are available here.