Whether it’s providing inclusive sizing or building an inclusive workplace, our co-founders Doris and Don Fisher set out to bridge all sorts of gaps since day one. Over 50 years later, we’re still driving their mission forward through our company purpose: Inclusive, By Design.
At Gap Inc., when we recognize that inclusion isn’t optional, not only do the gaps between us close, but a whole world of possibilities opens. The simple idea that we all deserve to belong, on our own terms, is core to who we are as a company and how we make decisions.
This includes how we show up as brands. Old Navy democratizes style to ensure everyone has access to quality fashion at every price point. Athleta unleashes the potential of every woman, regardless of body size, age, or ethnicity. Banana Republic believes in sustainable luxury for all. And Gap inspires the world to embrace differences—bringing individuality to modern, responsibly-made essentials. From nurturing diversity through our Color Proud Council and projects like Banana Republic’s True Hues Campaign, to championing equity for female athletes through Athleta's childcare support efforts, to unlocking career opportunities through Old Navy's youth program, our purpose inspires the ways we show up for our customers and communities.
But more importantly, Inclusive, By Design influences how we show up for our own people. Hear Jason Lopez, Manager, Equality & Belonging, Enterprise Programming & Activations; Tracey Dinar, Sr. Director, Product Management; and Achini Herath, Sr. Manager, Foundation, talk about how equality and inclusion have shaped their experiences working at Gap Inc.
World, Meet River
Jason: I recently introduced River Shaques to the world as we celebrated Pride at an all-employee drag charity show, Denim Divas, for The GenderCool Project at our San Francisco Hub. (Yes, I was in full drag at the 2 Folsom office lobby!). While there were a lot of firsts with this event—my first time in drag and first official drag show at 2 Folsom—this was also not out of the ordinary at Gap Inc.
The work we’re doing as the Gap Inc. Equality & Belonging team is to inspire every employee to show up exactly as who they are no matter where they work—from our hubs, to our stores, and customer experience centers. The charity show—where all performers were Gap Inc. employees and all costumes were designed and created in-house—was a prime example of how the Gap Inc. family can support each other through time and talent.
Through this experience, I realized that River has always been a part of me. As a queer person there have been countless times that I had to tap into that same confidence, resourcefulness, creativity, and strength that took over when I transformed into River. Now more than ever, I know that my queer identity is my superpower both personally and at work. The skills I’ve acquired through my journey and life experiences are not only of benefit to me, but also to the teams and company I work for.
When we build tables and bring in diversity of thought and identity, we’re setting ourselves up to design the best product, create the best experience, and ultimately drive the business forward. People are the business; and I can honestly say that’s true at Gap Inc.
The Future is Female
Tracey: During my retail experience at Gap Inc. brands and beyond, I had the opportunity to work with and alongside diverse team members and customers every day. When I transitioned to Product Management, however, I realized that the daily experience in tech is different. I’ve found myself in meetings where I looked around and noticed I was the only woman! This experience is unfortunately common in the technology industry, but when I saw that Gap Inc.’s employee base is 76% women, that our CFO, CIO, and the head of our Strategic Growth Office are women, and that there are goals and commitments related to increasing our employee diversity—I felt proud.
That said, we still see more opportunity. We’re actively working to increase gender balance, develop gender fluent leaders (those who use their power to acknowledge and address barriers), and identify solutions earlier on by nurturing girls' interest in STEM through recruitment and growing our current talent.
Last summer, I pitched to our technology leaders a Women in Technology (WIT) initiative with the goal to empower, connect, and support the next generation of women leaders within our organization. Without any hesitation, the first WIT cohort and a companion Allyship program was formed. A grass-roots initiative designed by employees for employees, the WIT initiative offers customized development programs to support women in tech to navigate their careers and create a sense of belonging and community. We saw incredible success with our first cohort, with several of our female members celebrating recent promotions in recognition of their amazing contributions to the business.
Tracey and the Women in Technology cohort at a virtual event
Setting the P.A.C.E.
Achini: Beyond celebrating heritage months and special days across cultures like Sinhalese, Tamil New Year in April, Divali in October, and so on—I champion inclusion at Gap Inc. as the Senior Manager of P.A.C.E Global Initiatives.
P.A.C.E is a program that encourages women and girls in the global apparel industry to work for ourselves and be the writers of our own future. We teach participants life skills to help them gain confidence to dream big and fulfill their life goals. I’ve seen these women grow strong enough to work in male-dominated networks. They now believe in themselves enough to compete with their male co-workers for opportunities, generate income for their families like their partners, and educate their daughters just as they would their sons! They now have the mindset that they are equal and deserve similar opportunities as men.
In my eyes, equality is about equal opportunity for every individual, regardless of their background, disability, etc. And inclusivity is about forms of access, opportunity, and communication. Gap Inc. fully embraces these concepts, and my role and work is testament to that.
Participants in India attending a P.A.C.E event