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The Building Blocks of an Inclusive Economy

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An inclusive economy allows all workers, regardless of their place in the supply chain, to enjoy the benefits of that system.

Kindley Walsh Lawlor, Vice President of Global Sustainability for Gap Inc., puts it this way in a Q&A with the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility:

"An inclusive economy is about what an employee essentially deserves. This doesn't change with location or if they are a direct or indirect employee in the supply chain. All employees have the right to good jobs, safe jobs, education, and the opportunity to do better than the previous generation."

In the Q&A, Walsh Lawlor and Wilma Wallace, both VPs of Global Sustainability at Gap Inc., shared how they think the apparel industry can be stewards of a more inclusive economy.

Gap Inc.'s P.A.C.E. program, which is a life-skills education and training program that provides opportunities for women to gain the skills and confidence they need to advance at work and in life, was one way. Another is Women and Water, another Gap Inc. program, which focuses on providing women access to clean water — as women are usually the ones gathering the family supply.

As Wallace noted, Gap Inc., which was co-founded by a woman and whose workforce is 73 percent female, has an important and established role in women's active participation in the economy.

BSR works with a network of 250-plus companies to develop sustainable business strategies. As part of BSR's Business Leadership for an Inclusive Economy initiative, the organization is running an interview series with thought leaders from business, government and more.

Read the whole BSR.org Q&A here.