Women play a crucial role in the apparel industry, comprising a majority of the world’s garment workers. ICRW and Gap, Inc. are collaborating to help female garment workers fulfill their potential through education. Gap, Inc.’s Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) is an innovative, factory-based education program that provides training for life skills, such as problem-solving and financial literacy, as well as workplace skills to help women advance beyond entry-level positions. ICRW partnered with Gap, Inc. on the initial development and implementation of the program, which was piloted in India, one of Gap, Inc.’s largest sourcing markets.
ICRW evaluates the program’s impact on participants in all countries where the program is being implemented. Initial results are promising. Women demonstrate more willingness to take on responsibilities and assume leadership roles; communicate better and more effectively at work and in their homes; show improved ability to solve workplace problems; and are better able to support their peers. In addition to gaining more respect from their family members, women also value themselves more.
Based on the success of the initial pilot programs, Gap, Inc. has expanded P.A.C.E. to additional factories in India and Cambodia. Development and implementation strategies for additional countries are currently underway.