Gap Inc. Takes Home Catalyst’s Top Prize
You knew they were great at making basic t-shirts, but did you know they’re doing great things for women as well? Congratulations are in order for Gap Inc., winner of the 2016 Catalyst Award.For those who are unfamiliar, the Catalyst Award is given out annually by Catalyst Inc., a nonprofit focused on women’s inclusion in the workplace, in recognition of “innovative organizational initiatives that address the recruitment, development, and advancement of all women, including diverse women.” It’s a big honor, and one that Catalyst doesn’t award easily; top contenders undergo a thorough vetting process that involves intensive research and a rigorous on-site evaluation. You can bet that companies that win really are the ones doing something big and impactful around women.Gap won for its Women and Opportunity initiative, a “global initiative and strategy to align all efforts related to women.” The initiative includes a Diversity and Inclusion Council that spans all levels of the organization, hyper-tailored recruitment and training programs, flexible work arrangement programs with proven results, and activities that extend the company’s inclusive ethos into the community.In a statement, Catalyst explained the rationale behind its 2016 Award Winner: “Gap Inc.’s initiative leverages the company’s long-standing culture of equality and inclusion as a business tool to attract top talent, advance women’s representation globally, increase employee engagement and retention, and drive business results. It highlights how Gap Inc.’s leaders have become more intentional in their work, sharpening the strategic focus on gender and increasing programming that promotes women’s leadership across regions. And, it shows how existing diversity and inclusion efforts were reorganized and integrated more systematically across the organization to make a positive impact on employees’ lives and the business.”Catalyst has given out the award to 85 organizations since 1987, but Gap is the first company in the fashion industry to be recognized.