by Charu Sharma
Originally published: January 29, 2017
Senator Scott Weiner kicked off The 2017 Gender Equality Challenge Forum this past Friday at the Gap Inc HQ in San Francisco. The Department on the Status of Women celebrated 10 private companies for their diversity initiatives to create equal opportunity for all genders and income levels. Gap executive David Hayer welcomed the attendees, and shared their own founding story.
Husband and wife Dawn and Doris Fisher started the first Gap store in 1969 on the principle of equal investment and equal earnings. They each invested $1,500 to open the first store on Ocean Avenue in San Fracisco, and stayed equal partners as they scaled their business to operating 5 brands and over 3,000 stores around the world. Four of these five brands, namely Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix, are lead by women, and Gap became the first of the Fortune 500 companies to announce equal pay for equal work, in 2014. Last year, their commitment to diversity was acknowledged by the prestigious Catalyst award.