Creating possibilities in the communities where we live and work is in our DNA. Our co-founders Doris & Don Fisher built a business that has created many opportunities – not just for employees and partners of Gap Inc., but for the communities where we do business. Their spirit is a part of who we are and inspires all of us to reach our full potential. We call it Be what’s possible.
We believe that businesses and communities need to work together to thrive, so we focus our community programs on areas that line up with our business expertise. We think we can make the biggest difference by advancing women, teens, and young adults and supporting volunteers.
About 80% of garment workers worldwide are women, and we’re deeply committed to creating opportunities for them.
Their hands touch our products – they sew the buttons on our jeans and collars on our jackets – and we’re deeply committed to creating opportunities for them.
In 2007, we launched a program called Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) to provide the life skills education and technical training female garment workers need to advance at work and in life – skills and training they might not otherwise received.
As of January 2015, P.A.C.E. is in 10 countries, and more than 30,000 women have participated in the program, gaining new skills, more confidence, and a greater ability to contribute at home and at work.
Participants go through two phases of P.A.C.E. training over 1-2 years.
PHASE 1 introduces life and professional skills like communication, problem solving, decision making, time- and stress-management, health, legal and financial literacy, and gender equality.
PHASE 2 of the program, designed and led by our partner garment factories, offers opportunities for enhanced technical training. The content aligns with workers’ learning desires, abilities and technical
More than 750 million people around the world lack access to clean water, and women
are disproportionately impacted. In 2014, a new module of learning (WASH – Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) was incorporated into the P.A.C.E. program. The WASH curriculum provides women knowledge on safe water practices that lead to a healthier life.
In addition, through our partnership with Swasti Health Resource Centre, Gap Inc. is providing funding for the building of water filtration plants in India to provide families access to clean water in communities where P.A.C.E. participants live.
It takes a village to make P.A.C.E. possible, from the trainers who teach
the courses to the nonprofit partners who develop the curriculum.
Meet the people who are proud to be part of our P.A.C.E. community.
“After graduating from P.A.C.E. in 2012, I became a trainer for the program. It’s made a big difference in my work. I communicate with my manager and workmates more effectively, and my productivity has increased by more than 30%.”
Ngoc Bich Truong
“My life has been improved very much through P.A.C.E. I save more money, have better communication skills, and can better manage stress. The relationships in my family are more in harmony. I also have better talks with my factory leader.”
“My favorite part about working on P.A.C.E. is being able to see women that produce our clothes fulfill their potential and change themselves positively. Each story that I hear in every classroom really moves me personally and keeps me feeling motivated to do the work.”
“CARE has been honored to partner with Gap Inc. on various programs for nearly 15 years. With the P.A.C.E. program, CARE has (and is!) implementing programs that have had high impact on female garment workers and their families. While the structure of the program is relatively set, success depends upon taking the program and ensuring it meets the needs of each unique factory or community.”
“In the workplace setting, P.A.C.E. has proven successful in positively impacting the lives of female garment workers. In 2014, this success encouraged us to expand the program to community settings where the potential of positively impacting the lives of women, their families and the community is even greater.”
have participated in P.A.C.E. since the program launched in 2007
Gap Inc. launched P.A.C.E. in 2007 in partnership with vendors and global and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It’s these partnerships that help P.A.C.E. succeed every day.
Swasti Health Resource Centre and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) supported the design and development of the program. CARE was also a key implementing partner. Our vendors also play a critical role; without their support the program wouldn’t be sustainable.
In partnership with CARE, ICRW, and Swasti, P.A.C.E. expanded into communities in 2013 to support even more women, outside of the factory setting.
The independent International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) evaluates the P.A.C.E. program around the world. In September 2013, ICRW released a report summarizing findings from program evaluations they conducted from 2009 to 2013 at six separate factory sites where P.A.C.E. is implemented: two in India and one each in Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China.
A few highlights:
Evaluations demonstrate that program participants feel they have greater confidence, stronger communication skills, and have learned the importance of goal setting and practical financial practices.
Factory managers report improved efficiency, increased professional advancement, and lower rates of absenteeism from P.A.C.E. graduates.
On a global level, self- esteem rose 49% at the end of the program
P.A.C.E. women in Cambodia were promoted three times faster than other female garment workers at the same factory
In India, there was a 45% increase in women who did something recently at work that made them feel good about themselves