OUR COMMITMENTS | OUR LEARNING JOURNEY
OUR WORK IN ACTION | PRODUCT IS POWER | PEOPLE DATA
Over the past several months, like so many of you, I’ve seen the impact of systemic racism through a new lens. It’s impossible for me not to feel deeply pained by the tremendous suffering caused by our nation’s discriminatory policies, exclusive attitudes and acts of violence. Earlier this month, 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. was fatally shot by police at his home. Casey was one of our own employees and had joined the Gap Inc. family just a few months ago. I believe the only appropriate feelings in the immediate aftermath of this tragic loss are grief and frustration. The only appropriate action, however insufficient it might feel in the moment, is to demand and create change.
Earlier this year, we laid out our commitments to enable a culture of belonging for our teams, customers and communities and while this work takes time, we’re making progress. Never have I been more aware of my own privilege, as well as my own racial trauma – both deepening and accelerating my commitment to strengthen our company’s culture through investment in greater inclusion and belonging for all.
Arriving at true racial equality will be a journey. This is only an update – change takes time and maniacal focus, and we’re invested for the long-term. I’m committed to sharing our progress quarterly on this page as we continue to deliver on our promise.
I encourage you to explore what we’ve been up to and what transformational work lies ahead.
Head of Equality & Belonging
We can – and we will – do more to be a force for good and break down the centuries-old systems that have held back our Black and Brown communities. Take a look at our commitments and progress to drive systemic change and enable a culture of belonging for our teams, our customers and future generations.
Transparency: Since 2013, we have publicly reported annually our global employee gender data and overall U.S. race and ethnicity data. Starting today, we will begin to regularly share additional data of how our employees identify their race and ethnicity, including at the store and HQ levels.
Representation: We will double the representation of Black and Latinx employees at all levels in our U.S. HQ offices by 2025 to mirror our customers, with a particular focus on functions that make and market our products to ensure we are creating for all, with all. We also plan to increase representation of Black employees by 50% in our Store Leader roles in the U.S. by 2025.
Racial Pay Equity: In 2014, we were the first Fortune 500 company to validate with an external firm that we pay women and men equally, and since then, we’ve conducted annual reviews of our pay data by gender. Starting this year, we’ll have an external firm assess our pay data by race for all U.S. employees, and we’re committed to fixing any disparities we find.
Create for All, With All: We believe it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone feels seen in the products we make and sell. As we push for change within the fashion industry, our brands will build and expand initiatives, such as True Hues, to create dedicated product inclusion strategies with a particular focus on Black and diverse consumers. This includes upcoming capsule collections like The Gap Collective, featuring Black designers and artists, as well as formalizing Color Proud Council engagement as a critical and necessary step in brand inclusive product and marketing creation.
Amplify Black Voices: We’ll thoughtfully and intentionally find ways to amplify diverse voices in our creative and marketing. This means featuring and working with more Black and Latinx talent and partners.
Online and Store Experiences: Our brands do not stand for the few -- they are Open to All, and we’ll continue to find ways to show up in a bigger way to authentically serve all of our customers and communities. This includes anti-racism trainings as part of our ongoing employee and customer belonging initiatives.
Civic Engagement: Participating in our democratic process is a vital right and we’re committed to removing roadblocks so that employees don't have to choose between voting and work.
Access and Pipeline: We’ll achieve diverse representation in our pipeline programs through internships and our longstanding This Way Ahead program, with a concerted effort to increase representation of Black talent by 2021. We’ll continue our partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row as one way to champion the next generation of designers and create access for designers of color to careers in fashion.
Policy and Advocacy: We’ll use our platform to support and influence work to end racial inequality. We’ll optimize our relationship with partners like Open to All, the NAACP, and EmbraceRace to engage with our customers, schools and communities on the topic of racism and social injustice.
This work is a movement – not a moment – and we’re here to listen and learn along the way. And what better way to bring our journey to life than through the experiences of our own employees.
HEAD OF GAP GLOBAL
Mark is no stranger to the world of retail and the challenges facing the industry regarding diversity and inclusion. He is an advocate for celebrating diversity and partnering to support innovation. In 2019, Gap Inc. began a partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row to collaborate with Black designers and increase programs for a multicultural audience.
“Across Gap Inc., we are committed to inclusive design and talent. With HFR, we are providing stronger opportunities for designers of color to share their collections, reach more customers and advance their careers with fashion companies. The HFR collaborations with Janie and Jack and Banana Republic are just the beginning of this creative partnership.”
WOMEN'S DESIGN LEADER, BANANA REPUBLIC
With more than 20 fireside chats and ten different workshops, many of our Black employees had the opportunity to attend the Executive Leadership Council’s Mid- Manager Symposium focused on the full identity of the Black professional.
"It was a watershed of reflection, solidarity and empowerment in so many ways. In this moment, where 'table stakes' representation can continually feel all too distant for many looking to drive meaningful change, this platform centered focus on professional transformation; starting from within,” said Ra’mon.
“It starts with embracing the value of our VOICE; leaning into our authenticity without apology and collectively growing together. I took many lessons with me, but this one resonated deeply: 'The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it.' -James Baldwin."
LEADER OF DIVERSITY OUTREACH, GAP INC.
Lorna is one of the many new faces to join the Equality + Belonging team, ready to dive in. From her own personal experiences growing up in the Bay Area as a low-income, first generation Latina to more than 10 years at Students Rising Above, a San Francisco-based college success and career pipeline program for underrepresented communities, her passion for large scale change in achieving equitable workforce opportunities brought her to Gap.
“I felt that Gap was authentically invested in creating connections within the community and was in a unique position to influence real systemic change,” said Lorna. In her new role, she is thrilled to help build sustainable community partnerships that will create opportunities for diverse pipelines and talent outreach at all levels.
EQUALITY & BELONGING GROUP LEAD
Jorge embodies our culture of inclusion and speaks with candor when it comes to the needs of their and their allies’ communities. From their time in stores in Puerto Rico to our NYC HQ office supporting our Franchise business, Jorge continues to make space for the voices around them to unlock both personal and business growth.
“As part of Gap Inc., I have a responsibility to be part of the change and to remind others that we are Inclusive, By Design – from our product to the way we honor our customers’ identities. I do this by speaking up, especially in moments where I feel I and many others are excluded from the narrative. Even if what I’m saying will not be accepted immediately, it will challenge peoples’ thinking and start a conversation,” said Jorge.
A culture of inclusion, belonging and equity requires transformation: an exhaustive and deep shift in practices, cultural norms and composition. Building and executing strategies to minimize the impact of oppression and systemic racism without addressing the behaviors and dismantling the systems that uphold them, is a zero-sum game. See the work we’re doing to change that.
The most successful efforts in creating positive change begin by listening and learning. We’ve rolled out a number of series for employees including Real Talk which unpacks topics like institutional racism, microaggressions and allyship and monthly Allies and Advocate Workshops, both with Inclusion Strategist Amber Cabral. We’re also piloting Allies for Allies About Race with our African American Networking Group in Gap Brand.
Up Next: We’re launching Safe Spaces: Our Path Forward as an open forum for employees and community partners to come together and discuss real-time issues impacting our BIPOC employees and how we can bring about change and support one another.
We recently completed a four-week deep dive of our talent practices from “hire to retire.” After eight intensive workshops, using qualitative and quantitative data, and with 72 participants (44% BIPOC) across the company, we identified key themes and next steps to create more inclusive talent practices and have emerged with one clear goal: dismantle inequitable systems and structures that have negatively impacted employees of color.
You’ll learn more about the integration of short and long-term strategies in the coming months, but continue to read how our key learnings and process changes are already driving meaningful change throughout our talent lifecycle.
We are reimagining the onboarding experience to go beyond an employee’s first day to build a deeper sense of connection with their team and leader. In January, we are piloting “Into The Fold”, a re-imagined week one focused on connection and culture. Employees will take part in a three-hour E&B immersion - "You Belong Here!" - dedicated to understanding our company culture and values. In this session, our new hires will have the space to reflect on their personal values and connect with our purpose of bringing Inclusive, By Design to life, as well as have the opportunity to join E&B Groups.
Creating Product for All, With All, requires us to attract high potential talent through diverse strategies. By implementing community partnerships focused on creating paths and pipelines for underserved communities, we can begin to cultivate equal curiosity, access and opportunities to careers in retail.
Gap Inc.'s Rotational Management Program (RMP) is an inter-disciplinary leadership training program that exposes candidates to the inner workings of a global retail business. To ensure our screening assessments remain free of bias and fair for candidates of all backgrounds, we partnered with an external vendor to create new trainings for interviewers to understand how they can address their unconscious bias and tools to assess talent based on potential.
We've also revised the interview process so that each candidate interacts with business partners and leaders from diverse backgrounds, brands and experiences. The result? +28% increase in overall diversity and +17% increase in Black + Latinx talent for the incoming 2021 RMP rotations (this reflects 62% overall diversity for the entire 2021 cohort against 2018’s 23%). In particular, Black and Latinx trainees will comprise 32% of our 2021 trainees (against 2018’s 4%).
Though we’ve made progress, we still have opportunities to build stronger relationships with BIPOC students earlier in their academic careers – specifically helping build awareness around how they can have dynamic, thriving careers in the retail industry.
With that in mind, we’re creating an educational, learning experience that will provide participants the opportunity to develop new skills, learn about careers in retail and build their resumes. It will also give Gap Inc. the opportunity to build relationships with high-potential talent who we can re-engage with when internship or full-time job opportunities become available. The program will kick off in Spring 2021 with about 30 students.
Gap Inc. is thrilled to partner with Business Roundtable and participate in the launch of a new, multi-year effort to reform internal hiring and talent management practices. The program will emphasize the value of skills – rather than just degrees – to improve equity, diversity and workplace culture. This process will also help us identify upward career paths that employees can explore by acquiring new and/or different skills along their career journey.
From our listening sessions, a strong theme emerged: employees, particularly those from communities of color, want to build meaningful connections that support their career growth. Research shows that Black professionals have less direct access to senior leaders than their White counterparts – 31% compared to 44%, and Asian American women are least likely to become executives despite high representation in the workforce – largely pointing to a lack of career advancement opportunities.*
To support this essential need, we are redesigning our existing mentoring program and launching a new program and suite of mentoring tools and resources, including a Real Talk focused on cross-cultural mentoring, lunch and learns and a speaker series during National Mentoring Month. We’ll continue to build throughout the year and will help leaders expand their reach and impact through the launch of leader-led Be One. Get One. Mentoring Circles.
* Being Black in Corporate America report and Illusion of Asian Success report.
Creating for All, With All means creating product with inclusion in mind. From concept through to in-store and online, the collections below are an amazing reflection of the future of our industry – making sure all customers, no matter who they are, feel seen.
Banana Republic’s True Hues capsule offers an inclusive range of nude necessities, designed for every skin tone. Originally launched in 2019, True Hues is a result of the work of its Color Proud Council – Gap Inc.’s first product inclusion initiative. In February 2020, Banana Republic Factory launched the collection online and in 75 stores.
Shop the collection
Team Athleta celebrated the launch of its first collaboration collection in August 2020 with Allyson Felix, the world’s most decorated track and field athlete. As an athlete who trains and competes, Allyson knew exactly what a female athlete would need both on and off the track. Each piece is a true representation of breaking the mold and empowering women and girls to feel healthy, confident and enough.
As a brand that stands for the democracy of style, Old Navy took action on a gender-neutral Kids assortment, in partnership with POPSUGAR and a group of inspiring tweens – Kheris Rogers, Alizé Lee and Jensen Gering. The assortment of graphic tees focuses on positivity, inclusivity and generational optimism.
This year, Gap set a goal to unleash its mantra, do more than sell clothes, and shift to a purpose-led brand that takes action on social responsibility and sustainability. And that idea has come to life in many different ways, including product with The Gap Collective. Designed by one of Gap Inc.’s very own, Stephennie Factor, the capsule celebrates the spirit of activism and the energy of forward moving individuals around the globe and within our own community.
This is just the beginning of our journey with more to come across our brands, including continued newness within collections such as Banana Republic’s True Hues, The Gap Collective capsule and more.
As we push forward, we will use our learnings to capitalize on opportunities that make all our customers feel seen and valued.
This Holiday season, Old Navy launched an inclusive range of skin tones for Santa products across their Jingle Jammies, Cozy Socks and other accessories. The impact was immediate, with shades like “Santa Cocoa” and “Santa Walnut” having the highest sell-through of the collection.
These are the moments that remind us of the untapped opportunity across our product portfolio. The business case for inclusion is clear and we are stepping up to the challenge to think more holistically about what it means to design, assort and buy product with all our customers in mind.
As we learn together and facilitate thoughtful conversations with our employees, customers and communities to drive change, we are turning up the volume on underrepresented voices. See how we're raising voices.
Athleta launched a new monthly social series dedicated to creating a space for overt dialogue around racial injustice and issues facing BIPOC communities. Discussion topics have included the inequities in the wellness industry, the Black maternal health crisis and the impact of movement as a healing method in the lives of BIPOC women and girls.
Join the conversation
To demonstrate that real change needs to start with and come from all of us, Banana Republic took to their Instagram page as a space to amplify the voices of the Black community – including our very own employees – and their allies.
Gap brand kicked off an Instagram Live social series with author + inclusion strategist, Amber Cabral, to discuss topics like allyship, creating safe spaces and the responsibility we all share to advocate for justice and equality.
Join the conversation
This year we encouraged our employees to use their voices and engage in our democracy. In response to the record shortage of poll workers this year to ensure poll sites stay open and operational, Old Navy spearheaded a company-wide partnership with the Civic Alliance + Power the Polls. More than 2,000 employees across the enterprise stepped up and signed up to work the polls.
More than the clothes we create, we are defined by our people and we can’t succeed without the people who make our company what it is today. While we know there’s work to do, we're measuring our progress and are committed to doing better.
See our people data
“A group of 45 Gap Inc. employees, called the Color Proud Council, is taking diversity and inclusion head-on at the company, overhauling how all of its seven brands market, merchandise and hire to have a new focus on inclusivity. “
Gap Inc. was founded on the belief to “do more than sell clothes,” but that means not settling for the good they do today and recognizing there’s more work to be done.
In early October, Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniel announced that she and her organization were teaming up with Banana Republic to launch a BIPOC-focused sustainable design competition.