Gap Inc. Announces Landmark 2025 Goals to Drive Women’s Empowerment in its Supply Chain

gap-womenAs part of celebrating Women’s History Month, Gap Inc. is pleased to highlight the significant milestone that over 800,000 women and girls have completed the P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) program. Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. program was founded in 2007 on the belief that all women deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Today, it is on track to achieve the ambitious goal of reaching 1 million individuals by 2022, operating in communities and factories in 17 countries where our clothes are made.

Participants in the P.A.C.E. curriculum often say that the life skills taught in the coursework have an immediate and tangible positive impact on their lives. Thi Thu Ha Ngyuen, who lives in Vietnam and is employed at the Vina Kyung Seung factory’s finishing division, said that the life skills learned through P.A.C.E. helped her to express herself more confidently in daily life. “When I started to feel more confident as a woman, my life changed,” Nguyen said. Through P.A.C.E., Ha learned to better communicate with her family and express her need for assistance from her husband while establishing her career, managing a household, and raising two young daughters in a rural community. This is one story among thousands that demonstrates how P.A.C.E. gives women who make our clothes the knowledge and tools to change their lives.

Building on the momentum and success of P.A.C.E., Gap Inc. is joining forces with Business for Social Responsibility, ILO-IFC Better Work, and CARE to launch Empower@Work. This shared platform leverages its knowledge, skills, and networks to drive collective action to benefit women workers and gender equity in global supply chains. Empower@Work will focus on building and deploying sustainable, systemic, and scalable programs that promote gender equity in global supply chains.

“Gap Inc. is proud to be a founding member of Empower@Work, recognizing the opportunity it presents to reach millions of women with proven programming and tools they can use to uplift themselves and their families for generations to come,” said Mary Beth Laughton, President and CEO, Athleta. “To reinforce this commitment, Athleta and Gap brand are taking steps to have all the factories from which they source participate in Empower@Work women’s empowerment training by 2025.”

One of the most devastating impacts of COVID-19 has been that working women worldwide are more likely to lose their jobs and bear the burdens of family support during the global pandemic. In the strategic factories where Gap Inc. clothes are produced, most positions are held by women and people of color, the same segments of the population most impacted by COVID-19. That’s why Gap Inc. is committed to investing in the women who make our clothes through landmark goals focused on women’s empowerment and gender equity.

Gap Inc. is announcing its broader investment strategy in women’s empowerment, committing that by 2025:

  • 100% of our strategic factories are participating in Empower@Work.
  • Athleta and Gap brand have also committed 100% of their factories to participating in Empower@Work by 2025.
  • 100% of our strategic factories have achieved gender parity at the supervisor level.
  • 100% of workers employed in our strategic factories will have their voices heard through gender-equitable workplace committees.
  • 100% of our factories will have prevention and response management systems and training to address gender-based violence.

These goals build on our longstanding collaboration with expert stakeholders to support gender equity in the apparel supply chain and are supported by Gap Inc.’s Supplier Sustainability programs. Our goal of achieving gender equity at the supervisor level in all of our strategic factories will be driven by our Supervisory Skills Training program. Similarly, our goal of having workers’ voices being heard through gender-equitable and representative workplace committees will be managed through our Workplace Cooperation program. Both programs were developed in partnership with ILO-IFC Better Work.