Here’s How Gap Employees Give Back to Their LGBTQ Community

Gap
We are one. This is the message Gap shared this year in celebration and support of the LGBTQ community for Pride. Employees from across the brand rallied with one of our company groups here at Gap Inc., GEAR (Gay Employees, Allies and Resources), to support Pride festivities around the world. At our Gap HQ in New York City, leaders of GEAR – Bryan Bance, Sean Rhude, and Tyler Ray, helped bring Gap employees together to wave the rainbow flag throughout the month of June.
 
We sat down with Bryan, Sean, and Tyler to talk more about what they do here at Gap Inc., and how the work they do in GEAR fuels their everyday lives in and out of the office and helps make a positive difference for employees all over our company.

Can you each share what you do at Gap and what are you responsible for in your role?
Bryan: I’m the Senior Manager of Learning & Development, so I’m responsible for New Hire Immersion, a program for anyone who joins our product teams at Gap House NY. My background is in Merchandising, so I also support training across that function.
Tyler: As an Inventory Planner for Gap Specialty Japan, I bring to life the financial and product strategy for the market through pricing and allocation. My goal is to always make sure our customers find the product they need, in the right store, at the right time and for the right price.  
Sean: I am the Merchandiser for Boys Specialty Tops. In my role, I drive the product strategy, so I’m constantly trying to understand what the customer wants and needs, while also being aware of the what’s happening in the world and current trends. Truly a balance of art and science, so it’s super fun!


You’ve taken on extra responsibilities as a GEAR leader, in addition to your “day job.” Can you share what GEAR is and how you get other employees engaged?
SR: GEAR’s mission is to create an inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQ employees, while also embodying Gap Inc.’s purpose, values and behaviors. We organize community events to support and celebrate moments  like Pride month in June and World AIDS Day in December. These events give employees an opportunity to share their authenticity and gather together as a community.
 
What does Gap + GEAR have planned this month for Pride?
TR: Pride is definitely our busiest (and most spirited) month. Across North America, Gap will have marched in over 15 different Pride marches this year—more than ever! We also march in cities across the world including London and Tokyo where we have HQ offices. Here in NYC, we have events throughout the month, including a volunteer event with the Boys & Girls Club, a fitness event at Gap House and the Pride March. That's one of the most powerful and fun parts of the Pride celebrations – you’re surrounded by your friends and colleagues from the Field + HQ celebrating, diversity and love. 
 
How does it feel to work for a company like Gap that is so supportive of the LGBT community?
BB: Before I joined Gap in 2013, the brand ran an advertisement showing a same-gender couple, and that really resonated with me on a personal level. The fact that we received a perfect 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” Index for 13 consecutive years is nothing to sneeze at either. Next year will be even bigger, as we celebrate 50 years since the founding of Gap, and will mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the modern-day LGBTQ Civil Rights movement. It’s an incredibly empowering feeling to be a part of a company that let’s me be myself, and also isn’t afraid to put a stake in the ground on important diversity and inclusion matters.

TR: It means everything to work for a company like Gap Inc. who proudly says, "We see you, you matter, and we value you." I’m so proud to be part of a company where representation & diversity matter, where you can bring your whole self to work and truly feel like part of a community. 
 

How does Pride speak to the culture at Gap Inc.?
BB: Since I get to meet all of our new employees during New Hire Immersion, I’ve gotten to know a really amazing and diverse group of people. I proudly stand up and talk about our values and use my involvement in GEAR as a testimony to our culture. I’m originally from San Francisco and have marched in several Pride parades. I can’t describe how amazing it was to march down Market Street each year, and see the Gap Flood store completely decked out in rainbows, with field employees waving and cheering us on. It really speaks to who we are at every level of our organization.

TR: Gap’s culture is built on the foundation of always doing what’s right. To me, we live and breathe that in its fullest form during Pride month. Coming together during that time is natural for us because it’s embedded in our culture here to support and celebrate what makes each person unique. It’s what the company was founded on. But you also see it every single day at Gap because the core of who we are is built upon a creating a place where people are free to express themselves.


What does Pride mean to you?
TR: Pride to me is a celebration of the LGBTQ community – how far we’ve come from the riots at Stonewall, a reminder of the equality we still need to fight for around the world, and most importantly, for everyone to live their truth and treat one another with love and kindness. 


How do you #WearYourPride? 
BB: I like to be bold. I’m all about wearing tons of color and mixing prints whenever possible, which makes me the perfect Gap shopper. Outfits are my conversation-starter!

SR: I wear my pride by waking up every day knowing that I will be my true self. I’m never afraid to be me, whether it's through my outfits or my interests. I am who I am and I am proud to say that. And even prouder to work somewhere that’s just as proud to support me – all of me.
 
TR: I wear my pride by fearlessly being my authentic self in any situation. It's about being true to yourself no matter what the circumstances and being proud of who you are. When you're genuine and open to others, people tend to be more genuine and open to you in kind.


To see more about how we celebrated Pride this year, and meet more of the incredible people we celebrate all across Gap Inc., head here.

 

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