We launched our innovative Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) program in 2007 to support the women in our supply chain with a practical education curriculum. Since then, we have expanded the program to community settings and more countries to unlock new possibilities for women and adolescent girls around the world with foundational life skills and technical training. Today, we collaborate with several partners to deliver P.A.C.E./RISE in two settings:
In 2023, we will begin transitioning our P.A.C.E. Workplace program to RISE. Founded in 2019 by Gap Inc., BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), HERproject™, CARE International, and ILO-IFC Better Work, RISE aims to drive collaboration across the apparel industry that will streamline multiple women’s empowerment programs in the factory setting to reduce duplication and expand reach and impact. The organization will support gender equality efforts through partnerships with local civil society organizations to improve workplace systems and practices, and encourage and influence leadership from brands, buyers, suppliers, and worker representatives. Our original program partners with suppliers to deliver P.A.C.E./RISE curriculum to workers in apparel factories, using a trainer-led model with tailored courses on topics such as communication, time and stress management, financial literacy, women’s health and hygiene, and more.
Together with industry partners, we are using the P.A.C.E./RISE curriculum to harness the power of collective action to deploy sustainable, systemic, and scalable programs that empower women workers, embed gender equality in business practice, and catalyze policy and systems change by aligning women’s empowerment training and skill-building efforts across the apparel industry.
At Gap Inc., we have integrated P.A.C.E./RISE participation as a factor of our International Sourcing vendor scorecard so that our vendors understand that this program is a strategic priority and an expectation of our commercial partnership with them.
In addition to P.A.C.E./RISE, we have Capability Building programs aimed at positively impacting the lives of women in our factories around the world. Together, these programs provide a comprehensive and holistic engagement model for facilities to improve labor standards, benefit workers—particularly women—and support business continuity and resiliency in our supply chain.
Our commitment to the women and girls in the P.A.C.E. program is equally as important as our commitment to creating partnerships that empower women and girls. As a global business, Gap Inc. has tremendous reach into communities around the world. In recognition of this opportunity, we expanded P.A.C.E. in 2013 by forming strategic partnerships with government, educational and other institutions to support women in community settings.
In 2016, we grew P.A.C.E. in the Community by introducing programming for girls ages 11–13 and 14–17. As a result, P.A.C.E. graduates have seen their own daughters gain access to training that supports better life skills that help girls be bolder, braver and able to negotiate their problems more effectively. To create a culture of gender equality, we have also developed a program for men and boys, offering them existing curriculum on topics like finance and adding a new curriculum to help them understand the experiences of women and girls.
Since gender inequality intersects with environmental issues like the water crisis, we created a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) curriculum in 2014, which is supporting our strategy to address water issues through the lens of people and human rights. In 2017, we leveraged the P.A.C.E. WASH curriculum to support the Women + Water Alliance.
Early in 2020 we signed a 3-year partnership with the Government of India (Ministry of Rural Development) to integrate and scale the P.A.C.E. life skills curriculum under the DDUGKY flagship program. Under this partnership, the P.A.C.E. curriculum will be scaled to all states across the country helping young adults gain necessary skills for employability. Since 2017 we have been partnering closely with the Apparel Training & Design Center (ATDC) in India to further support their mandate for the textile industry in the country.
Read our evaluation reports from P.A.C.E. work in Bangladesh and Tanzania.