Gap Inc. Announces Commitment to Advance the Lives of One Million Women
Through Expansion of Its Award-Winning, Signature Education Program
By sharing its proprietary P.A.C.E. program with other organizations, company seeks to harness collective action for the advancement of women throughout the world.
NEW YORK - September 28, 2015 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Art Peck, chief executive officer of Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), announced today a significant Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to advance the lives of one million women by 2020 by expanding the company’s award-winning life-skills education program, Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement).
“The new curricula will give girls the skills, confidence and technical abilities they need to change the trajectory of their lives and empower women to lead their communities. We believe in advancing women to advance the world.”
To achieve this ambitious goal, Peck outlined plans to continue scaling the P.A.C.E. program within Gap Inc.’s global supply chain and in communities around the world. Additionally, P.A.C.E. will broaden into a suite of learning programs with new curriculum to reach adolescent girls in their communities as well as a women’s leadership program for P.A.C.E. graduates or women in communities who have demonstrated leadership ability. And, for the first time, Gap Inc. will offer access to this signature proprietary program to global partners and other corporations to further broaden the program’s reach.
“From Phnom Penh to Pittsburgh, women share in common an ambition to advance. What some lack are opportunities, particularly access to education,” said Peck. “We are committed to advancing the lives of one million women by expanding our P.A.C.E. program, and we hope others will join us. We know that with the right opportunities, women become powerful agents of change in their families and in their communities.”
Launched in 2007, P.A.C.E. delivers tangible change in women’s lives. Designed as an education program offering life-skills classes to female garment workers, the holistic curriculum includes up to 80 hours of classes in as many as nine subject areas, such as communication skills; financial literacy; time and stress management; and problem solving and decision-making.
P.A.C.E.’s evaluation results have demonstrated that the program improves the lives of women and their families by developing women’s knowledge, skills and confidence. The program also has a strong business impact by reducing turnover and absenteeism. Among the awards P.A.C.E. has received is the 2014 Empowerment of Women Award by the Global CSR Summit & Awards.
P.A.C.E. caught the attention of President Bill Clinton in 2012, at which time the former president encouraged Gap Inc. to consider expanding the footprint of P.A.C.E. to benefit more women globally. It was therefore fitting that Peck delivered the company’s commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, held this week in New York.
To date, P.A.C.E. has reached more than 30,000 women in ten countries. Gap Inc. initially offered the program in factories manufacturing its products. In 2012 the company expanded the program into community settings. With this announcement, the curriculum can now be leveraged in a variety of settings with a broad set of partners.
Today’s announcement will further expand P.A.C.E.’s reach by:
- Collaborating with new and existing partners, including others in the garment industry, corporations, development agencies, and NGOs, to reach one million women in both manufacturing and community settings.
- Opening the proprietary program to select partners, through a no-fee, franchise-type model. These new partners will receive extensive training on the P.A.C.E. curriculum in order to replicate the program’s success.
- Expanding the scope of the P.A.C.E. curriculum to create a suite of learning programs, including a new educational program for girls in the community, ages 13-18, and a new women’s leadership curriculum.
“P.A.C.E.’s newly expanded life-skills education program is designed to meet the needs of women and girls wherever they are in their lives,” said Dotti Hatcher, Gap Inc. Executive Director, P.A.C.E. Global Programs. “The new curricula will give girls the skills, confidence and technical abilities they need to change the trajectory of their lives and empower women to lead their communities. We believe in advancing women to advance the world.”
Longtime P.A.C.E. partners Swasti Health Resource Centre, an international organization focused on public health outcomes for the poor; the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), a global institute dedicated to empowering women; and CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization, will continue to play pivotal roles in the program’s expansion.
To mark the call to action to educate one million women, hundreds of Gap Inc. employees will gather in Times Square on Wednesday, September 30 to build a pop-up artistic representation of just one of the incredible women who have graduated from the P.A.C.E. program.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering product collections and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2014 net sales were $16.4 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,300 company-operated stores, over 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
Gap Inc. strives to make a positive impact in the communities where it does business. The company partners with community organizations to focus on programs that align with its business expertise, believing it can make the biggest difference by advancing women, teens and young adults and through supporting volunteers. For more information please visit www.bewhatspossible.com.
Launched in 2007, Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. program creates opportunities for women to advance in their careers and personal lives. For more information on Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. program and other community investments, please visit www.gap.com/pace.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) - an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation - convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made nearly 3,200 commitments, improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
SOURCE Gap Inc.