COMMITMENTS LEARNING JOURNEY WORK IN ACTION MULTIPLIER FOR GOOD PRODUCT IS POWER IN THE NEWS
OUR PEOPLE DATA
It’s hard to believe that this month last year was my last time physically reporting into the office. I would have never imagined that what was soon to follow would be nothing short of a watershed moment for our nation, our organization, and our communities. Our collective consciousness received a massive call to action last year to address to what many describe as two global pandemics: COVID-19 and Systemic Racism – and we responded. In the middle of a global crisis and economic turndown, we leveraged our platform and the voice of our people to commit to a better future for all.
Since releasing our 2025 Commitments to Change, we have quickly mobilized teams, architected short and long-term strategies, and have launched into action against our nine commitments across Employee, Customer and Community Belonging.
Employee Belonging: We have made significant headway in building trust and consciousness –– continuing our listening sessions, anti-racism learning journey, internal community building, and balancing the precision of data with the nuance and complexity of human testimony to evaluate our culture and talent practices further.
Customer Belonging: We have embarked on our collective (and individual) learning journeys to evolve our product and customer experience to embrace a more diverse set of people. We are moving beyond stand-alone ‘inclusive products’ towards a holistic process where inclusive design principles are integrated into the rhythms of the business, and our entire line is intentionally planned, designed, assorted, and marketed with inclusion in mind. This is our path to fostering a sense of belonging for all people who shop our brands today and those who we hope to attract to our brands in the future.
Community Belonging: We’ve been focused on assessing and optimizing our strategic partner network and identifying the intersection points across our portfolio – allowing us to leverage our towering strengths to influence policy, expand access and drive economic inclusion.
This update represents the positive and necessary early steps in the change journey, but we must continue to reimagine and rewire the system for our impact to match our ambition. This work has no simple answers, so we’re taking immediate action where possible and then acquiring knowledge, deep understanding, and skill to help drive the more complex work forward.
While there is significant work still to do, we want to thank you, particularly our Equality & Belonging Groups, Color Proud Council and numerous project teams across the business, for the continued daily efforts and long-term focus that keep us moving toward our goals.
We encourage everyone to bookmark gapinc.com for easy reference and regular updates on progress, activations and collaborations happening across our brands and functions.
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, 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 employees.
READ MORE STORIES FROM EMPLOYEES
Dave Clarke, Head of Gap Finance
Dave is the Executive Sponsor for the AAPI Equality & Belonging Group, ASIA (Asian Supporting Inclusion and Awareness). The experience has been incredibly insightful for him as a Senior Leader in the organization and an ally. He made space for others to educate him on the Asian-American community's issues and concerns, the insidious implications of the Model Minority Myth, and the opportunity to increase Asian representation at higher levels.
“More recently, our group has become more and more concerned with the dramatic increase in harassment, hate crimes, and violence directed toward Asian-Americans. As an ally, it was important for me to stand by this community and create space for employees to feel safe and share what they are going through. ASIA hosted a Safe Space Conversation with the AAPI community and their allies, a platform to build meaningful connections and create unity across all communities. I expressed my horror and concern for the safety of my colleagues and their families. As a leader, I have an obligation to create awareness and a sense of belonging among our teams and the communities we serve. Being an Executive Sponsor for ASIA means I am committed to supporting ASIA and all of our Equality & Belonging groups."
Maria Febre, Head of Employee Belonging
Maria is one of the founding members of ASIA and now serves as the head of Employee Belonging overseeing all Equality & Belonging Groups (EBGs) at Gap Inc. and workplace inclusion. As an immigrant who moved to the United States to live the American dream, the attacks on the Asian American communities hit home for her personally and professionally.
“In moments like this, we are faced with the reminder that racism continues to exist – whether visible or invisible, it exists. And though we can choose to ignore what we see and move on with business as usual, we simply can’t and must do more and at Gap Inc. we did just that. To further support the AAPI communities, Gap Inc. and our brands donated a total of $100,000 to two community initiatives: Stop AAPI Hate and National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD). Each organization uses its platforms to provide advocacy and deliver direct services to the most vulnerable AAPI community members. Beyond the donation, we will also be working with each organization to build a long-term partnership to help support the AAPI community.”
A culture of inclusion, belonging, and equity requires transformation: an exhaustive and profound 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.
Learn how one employee's voice, Trudy Calder, shifted the mindset of our entire Store Development Team, opening the doors to be better together and creating real change, like joining ACE Mentoring, a nationwide organization that mentors high school students in Architecture, Construction, and Engineering, and creating ambassadorships with college students pursuing degrees in these same disciplines.
Head of New Store Construction
There are a few defining moments in one’s life. George Floyd’s murder was a defining moment for all, but for me, it was the time where my personal and professional lives intersected in an unprecedented way.
I reflected on all that was said that week, from Gap’s position to the support offered, in search of the best way to begin to voice the angst of the moment, as it was palpable. I felt compelled to do more.
Our Head of Store Development, Katie, and I had a meaningful discussion where the conventional conversation of race in the workplace was subverted. We agreed that more was required. More required of those with the privilege and access to enact change. If we could play a small part in moving the needle, we had an obligation to do so.
Unsure of the specific path that would be taken, I pushed for a definitive way forward and offered my thoughts on a framework; and they responded.
From the first conversation to the present day, the discussions have been organic and authentic. Katie and Jonathan have pushed me, themselves, and an entire department to think differently and lean into an uncomfortable conversation. This journey was made possible by their sincerity, humility, and leadership.
Head of Architecture, Construction
Trudy’s courage, passion, and initiative were the spark that ignited us. What began as a courageous conversation evolved into weekly discussions and brainstorms. It was clear that we needed to act, not only to support Trudy but also to support all of our Team Members struggling with the question: ‘What can we do?’
Open, honest, and frank conversations about an uncomfortable topic allowed Trudy and I to share perspectives, learn from each other and create a powerful bond of like-mindedness. We asked ourselves during the initial planning, ‘Are we doing enough?’, ‘Are we doing it fast enough?’ ‘Will team members be on-board?’ Doing enough and doing it fast enough will be answered in the coming months and years. Will, the team, be on-board, was a resounding ‘YES’ from the first ‘conversation.’
The alignment came easy. The path forward felt right. A plan was created to provide insight into our career paths, our business, and our industry…for the Black Community.
Head of Store Development
Leadership is both a privilege and responsibility. With that comes the need to listen, support, and act. The events of 2020 were profoundly impactful and personal to me, and I knew I could not stand idle anymore. Yet, I did not have answers. I realized if I was struggling, others were too. And that is when I reached out to Trudy.
What was intended to be a simple check-in turned into a deeply emotional conversation. Trudy spoke with candor, courage, and passion. She spoke from her heart. I listened and better understood how her voice, different than mine, needed to be amplified. And in that conversation, clarity and focus began to take shape. I still didn’t have answers, but I knew taking action was non-negotiable. And thus, a journey of listening, learning, and understanding across our organization began.
Fast forward, and I am deeply proud of how the entire Store Development team’s work is making a difference. We are a united, connected, and concerned team, each contributing in our own voice, in our own way, leaning in towards a better tomorrow.
I believe everything is in our control. It’s simply about taking action, big or small. It’s about leading, regardless of role or position, and being responsible together. And when we do, anything is possible.
Across Gap Inc., we are committed to being leaders in breaking down the centuries-old systems that have held back our black and brown communities. We are committed to showing up in those communities by investing in programs and initiatives that tie directly into our commitments and become multipliers for good. Together, we can do more, and we will. We are excited to create partnerships with various organizations as we learn from them and, together, create sustainable opportunities for these communities. Below are a few of the newest partnerships that are evolving.
National CAPACD will be working with Gap Inc. to collaborate on educational initiatives about community impact in partnership with the coalition. Our first activation will engage the coalition and its members in educating our company around economic opportunities and equitable action to develop further support about challenges in housing, small businesses, and the preservation of Asian-American and Pacific-Islander neighborhoods.
Learn more about National CAPACD
Gap Inc. actively participates in two national programs through BRT: The Multiple Pathways Initiative and the Workforce Pipeline Initiative. Both are opportunities to build inclusive outreach and talent development strategies among a network of over 85 companies committed to sharing progress and company-specific metrics and milestones, along with supported learning and building of best practices.
Learn more about Business Roundtable
Harlem's Fashion Row and Gap Inc. are proud to enter into their third year of partnership together. ICON360, the non-profit arm of Harlem's Fashion Row, and Gap Inc. are partnering to curate 'Closing The Gap.' An initiative supporting HBCU Fashion Departments Funded by Gap Inc., "Closing the Gap," provides financial awards to deserving HBCUs that encourage black students to innovate and push the needle forward in the world of fashion.
Learn more about Harlem's Fashion Row
Gap Inc. will be partnering with CFDA as they launch their new IMPACT platform. A new, multi-faceted initiative to create opportunities for historically underrepresented and unsupported communities to identify, connect, support, and nurture Black and Brown creatives and professionals in fashion, furthering CFDA’s mission to advance American fashion by including diverse talent in every facet of the industry’s ecosystem. Additionally, 50% of the proceeds from our subscription to the platform will build paid internship opportunities for creatives entering the fashion industry.
Learn more about CFDA
Students Rising Above invests in low-income, first-generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education. Gap Inc. will be sponsoring CODEversity, an 8-week summer program that will expose students to basic coding skills and better understand the multitude of career paths in the tech industry. Students will create their portfolio website with the skills they learn from the program.
Learn more about Students Rising Above
LESGC and Gap Inc. are excited to launch a 2021 STEM summer camp – a program bridging fashion technology and maker robotics. The program will support 30 female-identifying and gender-expansive young people ages 10-20. These classes will introduce students to entrepreneurship, art, design, engineering, and various media and content creation modes to work with interactive LED lighting to create reactive wearables.
Learn more about LESGC
As we continue our journey to "Create For All, With All" across our brands, we are dedicated to ensuring that all products and customer experiences are designed with inclusion in mind. This means not just offering momentary product launches or campaigns but creating an evergreen approach to driving inclusivity within our entire product-to-market process (from concept through to in-store and online). As we chart our path to fostering a sense of belonging for all who shop our brands, the collections below are a fantastic reflection of our industry's future – making sure all customers, no matter who they are, feel seen and valued throughout the pipeline.
Athleta introduced their most inclusive range yet, featuring over 500+ favorite styles, now available in sizes XXS to 3X, online and in all stores. Expertly crafted. Perfected fit. Unmatched quality. Ultimate comfort.
Shop the collection
To celebrate and honor Black Future, Gap is featuring artists from around the global and within their own community for Gap Collective, an ongoing product collaboration celebrating the spirit of activism and the energy of forward movement.
“I’m here to tell Black stories. To represent everyone. And to show that that Black artists matter.” — Tatiana Hill, Multidisciplinary Artist, Dancer & General Manager, and Designer Behind Gap Collective
Shop the collection
Banana Republic’s True Hues capsule began with a commitment to provide carefully considered, authentically inclusive essentials in a diverse range of shades and sizes. Originally launched in 2019, True Hues is a result of the work of its Color Proud Council – Gap Inc.’s first product inclusion initiative. The newest True Hues campaign proudly features women who reflect a diverse community committed to self-acceptance, self-love and self-determination –– redefining what it means to be beautiful, celebrating beauty as a reality, not an ideal.
Project WE, is an ongoing series within Old Navy of graphic tees designed by diverse artists to imagine a more inclusive world through art. Project WE kicked off in honor of Black History Month with artist and author Reyna Noriega. For International Women’s Day, Old Navy partnered with Jade Purple Brown to create a tee in the good name of all the sisters, besties, girl groups, and lady communes.
Shop the ongoing collection