Gap Inc. was founded with equality built into our DNA: in 1969, Doris and Don Fisher started the company with the same equity stake, back when most women weren’t expected in the building, let alone in the board room. This simple but meaningful fact helped paved the way for our business, guided by a north star of being Inclusive, by Design in everything we do. Gap Inc. is one of the top retailers to employ primarily women (76 percent). We were the first retailer to confirm Equal Pay in 2014. And, we have a Board of Directors with gender parity. But this is a journey without an end state.
Just this week, Sally Gilligan, our Chief Information Officer & Head of Strategy, participated in Target Gender Equality Live, hosted by the United Nations Global Compact. In her session, focusing on the Women’s Empowerment Principles that Gap Inc. signed onto years ago, she spoke with candor about her personal experience. “For me personally, I’ve had incredible career opportunities in supply chain and technology, traditionally fields that are very male-dominated,” Gilligan said. “My opportunity came through strong advocacy from my mentors and sponsors. I really believe that opening similar opportunities to all women and girls to bring their point of view is important. As a leader, I believe without diversity of thought and representation, we’re not getting the best answers to problems.”
Gap Inc.’s leadership in gender equity comes from a relentless focus on inclusion. While we’re far from perfect, we’re proud of our achievements to date. For four consecutive years, the company has been listed in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index. Recently, Gap Inc.’s efforts to empower women were featured throughout the Gender-Equality Playbook for Business, a toolkit for decision-makers highlighting examples from America’s biggest companies, published by our nonprofit partner CARE. Our highlighted efforts include our commitment to equal pay, along with our supply chain investments in prevention and response of Gender-Based Violence in the supply chain and our work transitioning the people employed by our suppliers’ factories to digital wage payments. Earlier this month, we announced several new women’s empowerment targets focused on female garment workers, including seeking to achieve gender parity at the supervisor level in our strategic factories globally. Last week, we announced that we will expand our programming to empower women who work throughout our supply chain, including training programs that will give them essential life and job skills to build their careers.
And still, Equal Pay Day is a reminder of how far our society still must go to achieve equality for all. The wage gap facing women of color – particularly Black, Native American and Latina women – is about more than money. It is connected to disparities across education, healthcare, access to childcare, and homeownership – all of which impact one’s ability to accumulate wealth.
Beyond gender, Gap Inc. continues to build a truly inclusive company committed to fostering a culture of belonging for all our employees, customers, and the communities we serve. This commitment includes an audit to ensure our employees are paid equally regardless of gender and race. In June, we will release our Equality and Belonging annual report to showcase our progress toward that and our broader racial justice commitments.
For more information about our work toward creating a more inclusive world with an opportunity for all, please visit https://www.gapinc.com/en-us/values/equality-belonging.