Requiring the fair and equal treatment of workers.
We are committed to ensuring that the people who make our clothes are not subject to any form of discrimination. Our COVC prohibits any form of discrimination during hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination, or retirement based on race, color, gender, nationality, religion, age, maternity status, marital status, indigenous status, ethnicity, social origin, disability, sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status, or membership in worker organizations, including unions or political affiliation.
We conduct assessments of all branded apparel suppliers on a regular basis to check for any signs of discrimination in hiring or promotion decisions, contract terms, labor practices, payroll records, or tests or medical exams workers may be asked to take. We know that enforcing our discrimination standards requires significant time and attention, especially because the majority of garment workers are women, while the vast majority of supervisors and managers are men.
Our team also identifies common risks and best practices for pregnant or nursing women, including rearranging working hours, adjusting overtime hours and offering greater flexibility for break times.
Women, who comprise the majority of the global garment workforce, face challenges in the workplace, especially regarding harassment. Over the years, we have conducted regular assessments of the facilities with which we work and have found serious violations related to gender-based discrimination and harassment. These issues require all relevant stakeholders in our industry to invest more time and resources to address.
To do our part, in 2018, Gap Inc.’s Supplier Sustainability team worked with our suppliers in India. We helped them build an environment where they clearly define and implement policies on Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) and create an Internal Complaints Committee, both of which are required under local law. Our aim was to help our suppliers raise awareness about this issue and the rights and responsibilities of male and female employees, including managers.
Given the urgency and importance of this issue in other key sourcing countries, we have taken our learnings and expanded these trainings to address gender-based discrimination and harassment in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Nicaragua and Vietnam. We are working with partners in these countries to implement the training.
By the end of 2019, we had conducted training for more than 500 facilities in our global supply chain—about 70% of all facilities. To review progress, Gap Inc. assessments include components on POSH and determining areas for improvement, if needed, within a remediation plan.
Looking ahead, we will build on this program to focus on women’s empowerment, which we will link to Empower@Work, our collaborative effort with BSR HERproject, ILO Better Work, CARE, ICRW and Walmart. It aims to use common curriculum and best practices to advance women’s empowerment and gender equity in global supply chains.