Women play a crucial role in the apparel industry, comprising a majority of the world’s garment workers. In 2006, ICRW and Gap, Inc. began a collaboration to help female garment workers fulfill their potential in their personal and work lives. Gap, Inc.’s Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) is a 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 of the program, which was piloted in India, one of Gap, Inc.’s largest sourcing markets.
ICRW evaluated the impact on participants in all countries where the program was implemented. Results from the multi-country evaluation funded by Gap Inc. demonstrated that P.A.C.E. is an effective, sustainable and scalable model that yields high returns for women, their families and the businesses where they work. Women report 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.
In this initial phase of work, the program reached seven countries and directly impacted over 20,000 women.