When Doris and Don Fisher opened the first-ever Gap store in 1969, they first also began to shape a culture of equality by contributing the same amount, and continuing to run the business as equal partners. This was in an era where less than 40 percent of women worked outside the home.
Fast forward to today, women now account for nearly 75 percent of Gap Inc.’s worldwide employee base and a majority of company management. From the field to headquarters, everyone truly has an equal opportunity to thrive.
Equal Pay Day highlights the lingering discrepancy in pay between men and women, as well as the progress being made toward closing the gender pay gap.
The good news is that every day is Equal Pay Day at Gap Inc., where women and men are paid equally for equal work.
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In 2014, Gap Inc. made history by becoming the first Fortune 500 company to publicly confirm it pays men and women equally for equal work.
Third-party analysis showed no significant gender wage difference between the women and men at Gap Inc., thus confirming “equal pay for equal work.” Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, yen for yen. There is no gender pay gap across our global organization.
Two years after the official announcement, we were honored to receive the Catalyst Award, which is given annually to the company or organization that best exemplifies progress for women and diverse groups through workplace inclusion. And that practice is still going strong in 2017. Our culture of equality is at the heart of our business.
But there’s still work to be done—and there’s a way to keep track.
Did you know Equal Pay Day has no set calendar date?
Instead, it’s dictated annually by how far into the new year women must work to earn what men earned on average the previous year. This year it falls on April 4, to represent the gender pay gap of 20 cents; it was last on April 12, 2016 (for a pay gap of about 21 cents) and the 14th in 2015 (22 cents pay gap). To go back even further, in 2005 it was held on April 19.
While this latest nine-day leap from 2016 to 2017 looks to be the most substantial one yet, we remain quite a ways away from our goal of total equality. Women on average still must work a little over three more months to earn what their male counterparts earn on average for the same job.
So, what a man makes in 12 months, a woman must work 15 months or more to earn the equivalent amount. The missing 20 cents or 20 percent adds up.
[SUSTAINABILITY: Working for Greater Equality and Opportunity]
Needless to say, this also impacts long-term earnings over the span of a career – adding up to nearly half a million dollars over the life of the average women’s career. Progress in the U.S. has been incremental, at best, but has continued to lag especially for women of color. And we’ll continue to underscore the unequal wage scale publicly in an effort to evoke change.
Our mission is to promote equality and provide real advancement opportunities for all.
At Gap Inc., we believe our business succeeds when everyone has the chance to stand tall as equals. By always striving to meet the standard of equality set by our founders, we can unlock possibilities—both for our company and for the people touched by our business.