Award-winning Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. Program to Expand to Community Settings
Program builds on partnerships with factories and five years of success with more than 12,000 female garment workers
San Francisco, CA - September 24, 2012 – Today at the Clinton Global Initiative, Gap Inc. announced plans to expand P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement), its educational learning program for female garment workers. Through a partnership with CARE, Gap Inc. will soon expand P.A.C.E. beyond the factory setting into communities in select countries.
Keys to Success
To date, Gap Inc. has partnered with vendors to implement the program in their factories. Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. program takes into consideration both the needs of the female garment workers and the business needs of the factories. The goal is to create a sustainable model where factory personnel are trained to implement the program on their own. The result is a best-in-class program that simultaneously benefits the woman, her community and the factory. A vendor in India, which employs more than 60,000 workers, has committed to extending the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program’s life skills education and technical training to all their factories and employees by the year 2020.
“The commitment of vendors to dedicate their internal human resources makes the P.A.C.E. program sustainable and scalable,” said Dotti Hatcher, Executive Director, Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. Global Initiatives. “Factory management sees the immediate and direct benefits of the program, such as improved employee retention rates and greater worker efficiency.”
“The Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program is a strong reflection of our company culture. Given the positive impact on female garment workers, we believe there is opportunity to benefit more women by expanding into community settings,” said Bobbi Silten, Senior Vice President of Global Responsibility, Gap Inc. and President, Gap Foundation.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Gap Inc. on this life-changing program,” said Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA. “Bringing P.A.C.E. beyond the factory setting into the local community helps fulfill CARE’s mission to provide innovative solutions and lasting change in the poorest communities in the world.” Beginning in 2013, P.A.C.E. will be expanded to community members in Cambodia, India, and Bangladesh.
Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. evaluations, conducted by the International Center for Research on Women, show strong benefits to the participants, the families of participants, and the workplace.
Evaluation reports demonstrate that program participants feel they have greater confidence, built stronger communication skills, and learned the importance of goal setting and practical financial practices. Additionally in the evaluations, factory managers report improved efficiency, increased professional advancement and lower rates of absenteeism from P.A.C.E. graduates.
About Gap Inc. P.A.C.E.
The global garment industry is one of the largest employers of low-skill women workers, with relatively few female garment workers having access to basic education and the technical training they need to advance in the workplace to positions of supervisors and managers. In response to this need, the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program, a comprehensive workplace educational learning program, was launched in 2007. The program provides life and work skills learning for female garment workers, and is currently being implemented in seven countries.
Conducted over an 8-10 month timeframe, P.A.C.E. training covers topics such as communications, problem-solving, decision-making, financial literacy, and gender equality.
To date, more than 12,000 women have participated in the P.A.C.E. program in seven countries, surpassing the goal of 7,500 women by 2015, the commitment made by Gap Inc. at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal year 2011 net sales were $14.5 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in about 90 countries worldwide through about 3,000 company-operated stores, about 250 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com/socialresponsibility