Gap Inc.’s Supplier Program Builds on a Legacy of Inclusion
by Christopher Cooney, Gap Inc. Communications
Gap Inc. is a big company. With multiple brands and over 3,000 company-owned stores around the world today, it’s easy to forget that it started as just one store, launched in San Francisco by a husband-and-wife team on equal terms.
Nearly fifty years later, equality and inclusivity are as much a part of business at Gap Inc. today as they were on day one. Doris and Don Fisher made sure that as their company expanded, a culture of equality and empowerment grew with it.
Gap Inc.’s Supplier Inclusion Program works hard to diversify the company’s supply chain and hire businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ small businesses, and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs. The success of Gap Inc. is tied to the strength of the diverse communities we work with every day, and together we can develop a stronger economy with the broadest possible spectrum of stakeholders.
Although the program just launched in 2018, Gap Inc. has been including diverse suppliers in our supply chain for years. They contribute to the work of every company department, including marketing, technology, construction, dining, staffing and more.
Besides being the right thing to do, there are a ton of other benefits that come along with maintaining an inclusive supply chain:
- Statistics show that companies who embrace diversity are more profitable than those that don’t.
- Diverse business segments are the fastest-growing segments in the U.S. economy.
- Working with more diverse suppliers can positively expose Gap Inc.’s business to people with different opinions, perceptions, ideas and needs, which leads to progress and improvement on a multitude of levels.
At a recent event, the Golden Gate Business Association — the world’s first LGBTQ business association — honored the late Don Fisher for being an LGBTQ ally and supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses in the Bay Area. Former GGBA president Paul Pendergast recalled that, in the early 1990s, Don Fisher was one of the first of a small group of San Francisco CEOs who insisted there be representation of more diverse coalitions when making important policy decisions about jobs and business in the Bay Area.
“It was because of Don Fisher's vision and commitment to inclusion that the GGBA had a full and equal seat at the table in advocating for LGBT businesses,” Pendergast said.
Remy Fisher, Doris and Don’s granddaughter who accepted the GGBA legacy award on behalf of the Fisher family, said her grandfather was forward-thinking and always advocated on behalf of others.
Photo by Christopher Dydyk
“My grandfather believed in total equality,” Remy Fisher said. “It was always about who was the best person to do something no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation or beliefs.”
Through the Supplier Inclusion Program and forward-thinking leadership, we can be sure that a culture of equality and inclusion will continue to prosper at Gap Inc. for generations to come.
Read more about the GGBA event in this Bay Area Reporter story, which highlights remarks from the UN Free & Equal campaign and its efforts to fight homophobia and transphobia around the world. In 2017, Gap Inc. was the first and only apparel company to sign on to a new set of global business standards protecting against discrimination, led by the United Nations Human Rights office.
Gap Inc. is open for business and seeking diverse suppliers to provide products and services for key categories. If your company or one you know is interested in details on how to work with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.