The following email was sent to Gap Inc.'s employees on June 17, 2020.
As a leadership team, we’ve spent the past several weeks ensuring that we live up to the values we were founded on and ‘do more than sell clothes.’ That means not settling for the good we do today.
It starts with listening. To those who have engaged in real talk with us and asked tough questions – in some cases, questions we did not have answers to – we are grateful. To those who shared feelings of isolation as the only black person on your team or instances where you felt you needed to conform to fit in – we hear you, we see you, and we are committed to change. It’s because of the honest and direct feedback, most especially from our Black employees, that we understand more deeply what it means to be an ally. We believe Black lives matter, and we are committed to doing more.
Across Gap Inc., we can – and we will – do more to be a force for good and break down the centuries-old systems that have held back our black and brown communities. Today, we are sharing the next steps in this journey, starting with these commitments to drive systemic change and enable a culture of belonging for our teams, our customers and future generations:
Transparency: Since 2013, we have publicly reported annually our global employee gender data and overall U.S. race and ethnicity data. Starting today, we will begin to regularly share additional data of how our employees identify their race and ethnicity, including at the store and HQ levels. We’ll also expand our annual reporting to create a dedicated Equality & Belonging report, mapping our progress as well as contributing to industry learnings.
Representation: Being an inclusive company isn't optional, it's a business imperative. Gap Inc. operates some of the world's most iconic brands and, while we are proud to employ 76% women globally as well as 55% who identify as people of color in the U.S., we have work to do across levels and functions to fully represent the many communities we serve. To close the gap between our employee diversity today and the diversity of the U.S. population, we will double the representation of Black and Latinx employees at all levels in our U.S. HQ offices by 2025 to mirror our customers, with a particular focus on functions that make and market our products to ensure we are creating for all, with all. And, as we strive to operate stores that reflect the local communities we serve, we plan to increase representation of Black employees by 50% in our Store Leader roles in the U.S. by 2025. Even then, hiring the right talent isn’t enough. We will continue to focus on cultivating a deep sense of belonging throughout our end-to-end employee experience.
Racial Pay Equity: In 2014, we were the first Fortune 500 company to validate with an external firm that we pay women and men equally, and since then, we’ve conducted annual reviews of our pay data by gender. Building on this, last year we again worked with an external firm to additionally assess our pay data across race and ethnicity for employees based in California, where we are headquartered. This independent review concluded by finding no meaningful pay disparity by gender or race. Starting this year, we’ll have an external firm assess our pay data by race for all U.S. employees, and we’re committed to fixing any disparities we find.
Create for All, With All: Customers are wearing their values, now more than ever, and inclusion is an integral part of purchase decisions – from design concept to marketing to the online and in-store experience. As we push for change within the fashion industry, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone feels seen in the products we make and sell. This starts with having decision-makers who reflect the diversity of our customer base and help us reach new customers in the future. Our brands will build and expand initiatives, such as True Hues, to create dedicated product inclusion strategies with a particular focus on Black and diverse consumers. This includes upcoming capsule collections featuring Black designers and artists for Fall 2020 and beyond, as well as formalizing Color Proud Council engagement as a critical and necessary step in brand inclusive product and marketing creation.
Amplify Black Voices: We’ll thoughtfully and intentionally find ways to amplify diverse voices in our creative and marketing. This means featuring and working with more Black and Latinx talent and partners.
Online and Store Experiences: Our brands do not stand for the few -- they are Open to All. Our stores are the heart of our brands, and we’ll continue to find ways to show up and stand up in a bigger way to authentically serve all of our customers and communities. This includes anti-racism trainings as part of our ongoing employee and customer belonging initiatives.
Civic Engagement: Participating in our democratic process is a vital right, yet one of the most common reasons people give for not voting is that they’re too busy with the demands of work and life. We’re committed to removing roadblocks so that employees don't have to choose between voting and work. We’ll promote early voting and vote-by-mail options, our store leaders will work well in advance with store associates to accommodate shift coverage and provide up to 3 hours of paid time off, and our HQ managers will encourage a day without meetings so that all employees have flexibility to vote on or before Election Day. We’ll also amplify the importance of completing the 2020 Census and continue to share information about voter registration.
Access and Pipeline: We’ll achieve diverse representation in our pipeline programs through internships and our longstanding This Way Ahead program, with a concerted effort to increase representation of Black talent by 2021. We’ll continue our partnership with Harlem’s Fashion Row as one way to champion the next generation of designers and create access for designers of color to careers in fashion.
Policy and Advocacy: We’ll use our platform to support and influence work to end racial inequality. We’ll optimize our relationship with partners like Open to All, the NAACP, and EmbraceRace to engage with our customers, schools and communities on the topic of racism and social injustice.
While inclusion and equality have guided Gap Inc. in our more than 50-years of decisions, priorities and practices, our work is never done. We must ensure that the commitments we make today are the beginning of a movement, not just a moment in time. Now is our chance to write the next 50 years – a future that we and the next generations can all be proud of.
We are relying on all of you to keep sharing your thoughts and asking the hard questions. We’ll set aside some time in the coming week to continue this conversation. We also want to acknowledge the importance of Juneteenth this Friday and will share more information on our Intranet about how you and your teams can use this day to listen, learn, educate and activate as we all move toward positive change. Together we can do more, and we will.
- The Gap Inc. Leadership Team