Gap Inc. has been celebrating globally for weeks: in Japan for Rainbow Pride, in Toronto, and stateside from Chicago to Albuquerque. This past weekend, London kicked it off; and as employees in the New York City Pride parade marched past the 17th Street Gap store, San Francisco was gearing up for the walk ahead.
Before stepping off into the sunshine, Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck described to employees at San Francisco headquarters how the company's commitment to equality is woven throughout the business. Having recently visited the 34th Street Old Navy store in New York City's Herald Square, he was inspired by the store's diverse team.
"Our team was a mirror of the customers in the store. And to watch that team, with those customers, bring to life the brand and the experience in the stores, it reinforced how our values as a company interact with our business. What I ask of you is, every day, live our values, and reinforce them, and every day, reinforce with that intensity in our business, as well. Because they both stand together, and neither can stand separately. Our values inform our business, and our business informs our values."
If you couldn't make it — or even if you were there and want to relive the moment — check out the San Francisco celebration in the gallery above and through Gap Inc.'s Facebook Live post from the parade. The float and celebration were organized by GEAR (Gay Employees, Allies and Resources) — an employee-resource group that recently announced Gap Inc.'s partnership with the UN Foundation and the Free and Equal campaign.
The Pride celebrations came at a particularly poignant time, on the heels of the tragic shooting in Orlando, Fla., during which 49 were killed and 53 injured at Pulse, a gay nightclub. Gap Inc. joined millions of Americans rallying in support of LGBT equality, and has donated $50,000 to The Center in Orlando, a prominent LGBTQ organization offering counseling and resources to anyone affected by the tragedy. Employee donations of $25 or more made through BeWhatsPossible.com will also be matched.
As Art said: "Walk today and every day with that memory tucked away, but in defiance — in defiance of hatred, of bigotry, in defiance of violence. And, most importantly, in defiance of anyone or anything that would seek to deprive anyone from a safe, fair place to work; a safe, fair place to play; a safe, fair place to live; and a safe, fair place to love."