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New hub for equality, thought leadership and research opens at UC Berkeley’s business school

ValuesDebbie Felix, Gap Inc. Global Corporate AffairsComment
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Not only is advancing diversity and gender equality in the workplace the right thing to do, the business case for it has never been stronger. In fact, companies with women in leadership roles and with one or more women on the board tend to have higher environmental, social, and business performance, across the board.

With this in mind, in response to the need for more research, thought leadership and actionable solutions, the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business today opened its new Center for Gender, Equity & Leadership. And Gap Foundation is the Center’s first corporate foundation donor.

The Center will engage leaders from diverse political and corporate backgrounds, host leadership seminars and action labs on change strategies, conduct and disseminate cutting-edge research, integrate modules on equity into existing courses in all Haas degree programs, and produce case studies of companies that are leaders in equality and diversity.

“Women, underrepresented minorities, and the LGBTQ community face systemic structural, cultural, and individual barriers to opportunities and advancement. We will work to identify and tackle these problems and develop an evidence-based playbook,” said Kellie McElhaney, the Center’s founding director and Associate Adjunct Professor at Haas.

Gap Foundation and Gap Inc. are early supporters of the new Center.

“We’re incredibly proud of Gap Foundation’s achievements over the past 40 years, and we’re honored to continue to champion the values instilled by Gap Inc. founders and equal partners, Don and Doris Fisher. Discrimination and disparity hampers us all – not only in the business community, but society as a whole – and these obstacles require diverse perspectives and voices in decision making,” said Art Peck, chairman of Gap Foundation and president and CEO of Gap Inc.

Nancy Green, who serves on the Gap Foundation Board of Trustees, will join the Center’s board. Nancy is also the President & CEO of Athleta.


Art Peck recently signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge, furthering the company’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

This year, Thomson Reuters recognized Gap Inc. as second out of 6,000 global companies reviewed in its latest Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Index. Read more