Diversity and inclusion

Key Takeaways:

-        Our diverse and inclusive employee base helps foster a creative culture, drive innovation, and enable us to be more effective everywhere we do business around the world.

-        We support a number of innovative programs that help incorporate diversity at all levels of our company, and we are always looking for new and better ways to build on our progress.


At Gap Inc., employee diversity is integral to achieving our company’s global growth objectives. Collectively, our brands have a presence in more than 90 countries, and our diverse employee base enables us to be more innovative and effective in serving our customers around the world. Creating this environment requires everything from having the right policies in place, to implementing company-wide programs, to supporting employee driven initiatives.

Embracing diversity requires us to provide an open, inclusive, and respectful work environment, which comes to life through our Code of Business Conduct (COBC), including various employee policies and initiatives.

-        Our Code of Business Conduct sets forth the company’s expectation that our employees do what’s right, acting with integrity in all they do.  It is our foundation for promoting a responsible and ethical work environment, and helps ensure that our employees act in ways that reflect our company’s culture of integrity and values. 

-        Our comprehensive non-discrimination policy, known as “Zero means Zero,” helps ensure that our employees are able to do their best work in a productive, professional environment.

To learn more about our Code of Business Conduct and “Zero means Zero” policies and how they help serve our diverse and inclusive work environment, please click here and here.

We also promote diversity at Gap Inc. through company-driven initiatives such as our ASCEND program, which recognizes diverse store leaders who demonstrate the capability, desire, and potential for career advancement. The program features a variety of Gap Inc.’s most successful leadership development trainings. Through ASCEND, we also provide mentoring programs that help employees to succeed and the company to build a pipeline of diverse leadership.

Many of our employees want to take their own initiative to embrace diversity and inclusion, and we believe in giving them the opportunity. Our Employee Resource Groups help foster a work environment where our employees and customers are treated with respect and cultural sensitivity. These groups are open to all employees and united by a common philosophy that diversity brings value to Gap Inc. Our four groups include:

–        African American Networking Group (AANG): Established in 2000, AANG’s mission is to establish and maintain a network of African American employees that fosters professional development at all levels. The group also focuses on raising cultural awareness at Gap Inc. and volunteering in the community.

–        Asians Supporting Inclusion and Awareness (ASIA): Established in 2011, ASIA's mission is to create awareness and make an impact on the Asian/Pacific Islander community at Gap Inc. by providing an environment that gives our employees the opportunity for networking, professional development, community outreach, and sharing different cultures.

–        Gap Gay Employees, Allies & Resources (GEAR): Established in 2006, GEAR's mission is to create an inclusive and supportive environment at Gap Inc. for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Ally (LGBTQA) employees while embodying Gap Inc.’s values.  Our aim is to help Gap Inc. become the employer and retailer of choice for the LGBTQA community.

–        Honoring Our Latino/Hispanic Ancestry (HOLA): Established in 2010, HOLA's mission is to empower our Latino/Hispanic employees to drive business and make a positive impact in our community. We support our members by creating meaningful networking opportunities and identifying creative ways to grow our business while celebrating our shared heritage.

For eight consecutive years, Gap Inc. has been recognized for supporting equality for LGBT employees, receiving a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Index.

Our North American employees recently gave us promising feedback on our efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment. According to our August 2012 employee opinion survey, 82 percent of employees believe that everyone has a fair chance to have a successful career at Gap Inc., regardless of their differences or background, compared to an industry average of 65 percent.

As we continue to expand globally, we will ensure that our diversity strategies address global issues and those specific to the countries where we operate.  In some instances, this may mean expanding existing initiatives; in other instances, we will need to explore and address particular diversity and inclusion challenges that may differ from those we face in in North America. 

We’re already taking steps to do so. For example, our Global Supply Chain team is committed to raising cultural awareness among our sourcing offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Delhi. These offices collaborate across geographies to create product for our brands.  The Global Supply Chain team has held workshops to increase awareness and understanding of different cultures and communication styles.  Through these types of development opportunities, we seek to promote a global, diverse, inclusive, and effective workplace.

Case Study: Results Only Work Environment (ROWE)

In 2011-12, several business units within Gap Inc. and at Gap brand adopted Results Only Work Environment (ROWE).

ROWE is a corporate culture initiative designed to improve employee productivity, accountability, and engagement. It respects the value of our diverse employee base by empowering people to work in whatever way they are most productive. In a ROWE, the emphasis shifts from how work is done to the results delivered. Employees are held accountable for their specific piece of the business.

Several departments have made a successful transition to ROWE, empowering their teams and helping employees do their best work. We believe that ROWE will make teams more accountable for delivering results and empower employees to eliminate work that’s not productive. As a positive byproduct of a ROWE, employees have more flexibility in their schedule, as long as their work gets done. We have had remarkable early success with this program and will continue to evaluate how we can expand it to help our employees thrive.