September 21, 2020
The following email was sent to Gap Inc.'s employees earlier today. Photo courtesy of ©Getty Images.com/Washington Post.
Like many of you, I spent the weekend reading inspiring stories of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and accomplishments. Whatever your views are on the many legal cases she litigated or presided over, her unwavering belief in and fight for equality helped dismantle barriers for women and overturn long-held gender stereotypes. We lost a true warrior who made it her life’s mission to ensure we all have equal protection under the law. She used her superpowers to help create a more fair, equitable society.
In many ways, Justice Ginsburg’s work heralded an era that made our own company’s success possible. Her legacy is a stark reminder that a company co-founded by a woman in 1969 and built by women and men who were united behind the ideals of democracy – being open for all – would not have been able to thrive without inclusive, fair legal protections.
My favorite insight from Justice Ginsburg is one where she encourages us to “be a little deaf” — to brace against the negative drag of skepticism, to ignore the doubters. When we have the confidence and tenacity to lead with optimism and purpose, even when there are those who say it is impossible, we can accomplish great things. Justice Ginsburg did not follow prescribed norms or pay much attention to naysayers.
Inspired by our co-founders who ran this business as equals, we embrace inclusion and equality as core values — fueling our business, and embodying how we support our communities and each other. This is why we mentor young people who are ready to start a career with their first-ever job in one of our stores, why we offer education and training to the women who make our clothes and want to advance their personal and professional lives, why we pursue solutions that save water in our supply chain, and why we devote countless hours volunteering in the communities where we live and work.
Each generation plays a role in moving the baton forward. We learn from history, we smooth out the wrinkles of our past, we bridge disparities. This is the progress of inclusivity and the work of equality. Even small, incremental steps have tremendous power to advance us closer to a world where all people have opportunity, where we are equal.
Thanks to trailblazers like Doris Fisher, Justice Ginsburg and many others, we can say without a doubt that women belong in all places where decisions are made. We see it every day at Gap Inc. as a global company comprised of 76% women, and we see purpose come to life for our customers through our powerful brands.
Rest in Peace, Notorious RBG. You will be greatly missed.