SAN FRANCISCO - March 30, 2010 –Gap Inc.’s P.A.CE. program was recently awarded the 2010 Financial Times - Justmeans Social Innovation Award for “Most Strategic Philanthropic Program.”
P.A.C.E., or Personal Advancement, Career Enhancement was launched as a pilot project in India in October 2007 to help female garment workers advance in life and the workplace through factory-based education.
More than 100 companies participated in the two-year-old awards program this year, with 11 winners judged and selected by a panel of experts in the field of social responsibility. The awards recognize companies that seek to promote better business by implementing groundbreaking strategies and programs to solve some of the world’s most critical challenges.
“We are honored to receive this award as it recognizes P.A.C.E. for its innovation in advancing the women who make our clothes, enabling them to succeed not only inside the factory, but also in their community” said Bobbi Silten, Chief Foundation Officer, Gap Inc. “P.A.C.E. was conceived as part of our commitment to focus on women in the developing world and demonstrates our company’s dedication to making a positive impact in the communities where we do business.”
Globally, the garment industry is one of the largest employers of female workers. Despite their large numbers, few female garment workers ever progress beyond entry-level positions. To address this issue, Gap Inc. initiated P.A.C.E. to help these women reach their full potential through the development of professional, life and interpersonal skills.
The two-phase program involves a series of factory-based learning modules, covering areas from personal finance and communications to health and gender equity. The first phase is an 80 hour course on life skills. The second phase focuses on technical training. To implement this training, the program leverages Gap Inc.’s relationships with key vendors, as well as partnerships with both local and international non-governmental organizations, including the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).).
Due to P.A.C.E.’s encouraging results, the program expanded to Cambodia in 2009. It will also expand to other sourcing countries over the next few years, including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
For more information on P.A.C.E., please visit Gap Inc.’s Social Responsibility website, gapinc.com/socialresponsibility. For more on the Social Innovation Awards, please visit www.socialinnovationawards.com.
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 brand names. Fiscal 2009 sales were $14.2 billion. Gap Inc. operates about 3,100 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan and Ireland. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.