Women’s Equality Day, celebrated annually on August 26, provides a valuable opportunity to take stock of the progress that has been made and where there is room for improvement.
I’m deeply proud to say that Gap Inc. has stood for opportunity and equality for more than 46 years. At Gap Inc., we believe what’s good for women is also good for business.
Our company was co-founded by a woman, Doris Fisher, and today women make up 74 percent of our global employee base and the majority of our customers around the globe. We see the opportunity to honor the commitment of equality to women – as our employees and consumers – not only as the right thing to do, but also as a competitive advantage.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
We announced, one year ago today, the longstanding practice of equal pay for equal work across our global organization. This translates to pay equality across our major geographies, whether dollar for dollar, pound for pound, yen for yen, or euro for euro.
This analysis was validated by an external firm that specializes in gender and diversity strategies.
One year later, Gap Inc. remains the first and only Fortune 500 Company to disclose and validate our pay equality practices. We’re encouraged by the fact that other leading companies have articulated a desire to improve their own gender pay practices. We encourage other business leaders to join this movement.
Creating Opportunities for Career Mobility
As a company that puts inclusion first, Gap Inc. has also created an environment where women can get ahead and advance their career mobility.
Starting with our co-founder Doris Fisher, we have enjoyed a proud tradition of women leaders. Women serve as a majority of our global store managers (73%), and compose a majority of our HQ leadership. At Gap Inc., nine out of 14 senior officers are women. I’m proud to serve as the President of Banana Republic, and to stand with two other Brand Presidents, our Global General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Head of Talent and Sustainability, Head of the company’s Global Supply Chain and Product Operations, and Head of China.
Improving Scheduling Practices
At Gap Inc., we also believe that work-life integration enables all employees to reach their full potential and thrive both personally and professionally. We recognize that flexibility, inclusive of consistent and reliable scheduling, is important to all of our employees.
Over the past year, each of our brands has evaluated their scheduling practices to determine where we may be able to improve scheduling stability and flexibility for our employees, while continuing to drive productivity in stores. This work has complemented the Hourly Scheduling Pilot our company launched in July 2014 with Gap brand and Professor Joan Williams of UC Hastings’ College of Worklife Law.
Over the past several weeks, Heads of Stores have informed their organizations of their shared commitment to eliminate the use of on-call shifts across our global organization. This work began earlier in the summer; and all five brands have aligned on a complete phase-out of this practice by the end of September 2015.
Additionally, each of our brands has committed to improving their scheduling policies to provide their store employees with at least 10 to 14 days notice. The majority of brands will be rolling out these new policies in September, and all Gap Inc. brands are committed to phasing in advanced schedules by early 2016.
This commitment to improved scheduling policies follows on the heels of our decision in 2014 to increase the hourly minimum pay to $10 by 2015, ultimately benefiting more than 60,000 U.S. employees.
We know we have more to do, but we are committed to addressing these issues. The commitment to “do more” was the path Doris and Don Fisher began when they opened the first Gap store in 1969, and every day we strive to do more and to do better by our employees, and in the communities where we live and work.