SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today former President Bill Clinton recognized Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) for its commitment and model approach to addressing challenges in Economic Empowerment through the Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) program. The recognition took place during Wednesday's closing plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative, held in New York City. Bob Fisher, son of Gap Inc. founders Doris and Don Fisher and a Gap Inc. Board Member, accepted the honor on behalf of the company.
"We are deeply honored by this recognition. Investing in improving women's lives is a natural fit for Gap Inc. and our company values"
P.A.C.E. is a comprehensive workplace education program that provides life skills and technical training for female garment workers, and is currently implemented in six countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The program asks both workers and management in garment factories to view the welfare, potential, and success of female line workers as keys to business success.
"We are deeply honored by this recognition. Investing in improving women's lives is a natural fit for Gap Inc. and our company values," said Bob Fisher. "The program is innovative, scalable and sustainable. Thousands of women across six countries have already participated."
Launched in 2007, Gap Inc.'s P.A.C.E. program creates opportunities for women to advance in their careers and personal lives. The garment industry is one of the world's largest employers of low-skilled women workers. Despite their large numbers in the workforce, relatively few female garment workers advance to management positions, as many do not have access to the education and training that will propel their professional advancement. Research shows that P.A.C.E. graduates are more productive, have lower rates of absenteeism, and advance faster in the workplace than factory workers who do not participate in the program. Not only do the women participating benefit from the program, but the factories also benefit by developing a more skilled and reliable workforce.
P.A.C.E. was designed and developed in partnership with Swasti Health Resources and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). CARE International is a key implementing partner. Gap Inc.'s vendor partners also play a critical role. One of these vendors in India that employs more than 60,000 workers has committed to extending P.A.C.E. to all workers by the year 2020. To date, more than 7,500 female garment workers have participated in the program.
"Education of female garment workers is a distinct way our company can support positive, lasting benefits for workers and their communities. Our deep knowledge of the apparel world, our partnerships with manufacturing vendors and local NGOs have allowed us to help make meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of women," said Gap Inc. Chairman and CEO, Glenn Murphy.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal year 2010 net sales were $14.7 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,100 company-operated stores, about 200 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information on Gap Inc.'s P.A.C.E. program and other community investments, please visit www.gapinc.com/socialresponsibility
Angela Leung Wasmer, 415-427-2577