How important is it to be your whole self at work?
A recent statistic showed that only 7 percent of millennials entering the job force for the first time feel comfortable coming out at work. It’s a statistic that makes it more important to foster a work environment where you can be exactly who you are.
“What I think about is just how much energy it takes to be in the closet and not be your whole self. If you don’t have to invest energy in that, you can invest energy into doing the best job that you can possibly do when you’re here,” Dan Henkle, senior vice president of human resources, said during a June Pride Month event. “If you can be your whole self, you’re going to be your best self.”
It is that long-standing commitment by the founders and leadership that has driven Gap Inc. to create a workplace that not only embraces individuality but shares it, celebrates it and has policies to support it.
Gap Inc. is being recognized for the 10th year in a row by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. It scored 100 percent on the annual HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which serves as a road map for major U.S. businesses’ adoption of inclusive policies, practices and benefits for LGBT employees.
Gap Inc. was the first retail company to offer domestic partner benefits in 1994 and established Gap GEAR in 2006, an employee resource group that has been instrumental in creating an inclusive and supportive environment for LGBT employees. Gap Inc. also filed an amicus brief in support of overturning the Defense of Marriage Act in 2012.
“We are lucky that we get to come to work every day knowing that we are valued for who we are fully,” said Melissa Valentine, Gap GEAR president. “The fact that Gap Inc. has received a 100 percent rating for the past 10 years is a testament to our core values and commitment to doing what’s right.”