Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Girl Scouts’ Fair Play, Equal Pay initiative?
After more than a century preparing girls to be leaders in our world, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is championing a new gender parity initiative, Fair Play, Equal Pay, that will engage businesses to take action now to help build a more equitable future for girls. One of the most comprehensive and solutions-oriented corporate gender parity programs to date, the initiative leverages the power and impact of the Girl Scout brand to encourage companies that work with Girl Scouts to take the pledge toward parity and equal pay for equal work.
The goals of the initiative are to:
2. Why is Girl Scouts launching a gender parity initiative?
Simply put, girls need to believe they can put the leadership skills they learn at Girl Scouts to work in the world they inherit. The concept that someone can’t be what they can’t see rings true for far too many girls. Girl Scouts is challenging current and potential vendors to walk the walk with us and help turn today’s girls into tomorrow’s leaders.
3. What must a participating company do?
This program challenges entities to complete four vital components: 1) sign a parity pledge in which they publicly commit to increase gender parity within their organization, 2) complete an assessment of their gender parity status, 3) achieve a Girl Scout gender parity certification and proudly promote their success, and 4) advance their gender parity status using expert-informed resources available through the initiative.
4. What is the Fair Play, Equal Pay Pledge?
The pledge is the first step of Fair Play, Equal Pay. By taking the pledge, an organization sends a clear message about its public commitment to achieve gender parity within its organization. After signing the pledge, the organization will receive a seal that it can proudly display on its internal and external communications to signify that it has taken this crucial first step.
5. What is the Fair Play, Equal Pay Assessment and Certification, and what part does Women in Governance play?
Girl Scouts is working with Canadian organization Women in Governance (WiG), an expert in gender parity whose assessment and analytical tools will be instrumental to informing GSUSA’s gender parity certification decisions.
6. What is the Fair Play, Equal Pay Enablement component?
Women in Governance’s best-in-class enablement tools and services, including customized support to address gap areas, will be critical in enabling companies to achieve higher targets and make meaningful progress towards gender parity. These services will be offered at a separate fee from the assessment and certification.
Women in Governance will offer three types of enablement services:
Tier 1: Interpretation. Providing participants with a facilitated interpretation of their assessment results and report. Further, WiG will facilitate the development of the short-term action plan to continue the journey to gender parity.
Tier 2: Roadmap. In addition to the services offered through interpretation, Women in Governance will work with participants to build a customized holistic roadmap to achieve gender parity in their workplace. Participants will also have access to the Women in Governance Parity Enablement Toolbox.
Tier 3: Referral services. Consulting service by Women in Governance’s preferred partners providing end-to-end support taking organizations from interpretation of results, through development and implementation of a comprehensive plan to close gaps, culminating in development and implementation of new or enhanced programs, policies, practices, and communications.
7. Will the certification results be released publicly?
The level of certification is communicated to each organization in a strictly confidential manner. GSUSA will announce only those organizations that achieve four-star certification. For others, GSUSA will reveal that the organizations are certified, but each company will decide if it wishes to make public its star level of certification. Certified organizations will receive both a seal indicating the it’s certified status, and a seal indicating the level of certification. The organization may choose to use either or both. GSUSA will not disclose the names of organizations that did not meet the threshold for certification (they may still proudly display their pledge seal).
8. Why is the certification annual, requiring yearly renewal, even for those that have already been certified?
The objective is to ensure that organizations sustain parity or make continuous progress toward parity. The only way to make sure that the certification remains valid is to conduct are-assessment on an annual basis.
9. How much time is necessary to complete the questionnaire?
This depends on each organization; however, average time for completion is estimated at 12 to 15 hours. If an organization has easy access to centralized information and required documents, the process will be faster.
10. What does the certification evaluate?
Women in Governance’s innovative assessment evaluates three dimensions.
To be certified on this dimension, an organization must demonstrate that, through its policies and practices, its strategic direction, culture and key decision making is inclusive of a progressively equitable ratio of women to men. Furthermore, the organization must demonstrate its commitment to achieving parity by setting clear objectives toward it. Finally, the company must demonstrate its intention to sustain parity through policies and practices that are building a pipeline of female talent.
To be certified on this dimension, an organization must demonstrate that its policies, practices, and actions are geared to facilitating the progress towards equitable representation of women at all levels of the company until parity is achieved and sustained.
To be certified on this dimension, an organization must demonstrate that its strategy and actions for gender parity have succeeded in the distribution of women to men in all levels of its hierarchy, in promotions and in hiring, and like pay for like work.
11. What are the advantages of being certified?
Certification allows organizations to reap the benefits that a better gender balance brings, including a diversity of perspectives, a strengthened brand image, and increased employee engagement. From a business perspective, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their peers and have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. At a purely practical level, certification allows an organization to thoroughly audit its values, priorities, policies, programs, and practices so that it can identify where it has opportunities to improve and where it’s on the right track.
12. Will the questionnaire change over time?
Yes. The questionnaire will incorporate adjustments as needed to maintain relevance and stay on top of trends in gender parity.
13. Does GSUSA protect organizations’ information?
14. What kinds of questions does the questionnaire ask?
The questionnaire evaluates a company based on 25 various dimensions, from entry-level positions to decision-making bodies, as well as the succession planning and means that allow women from all levels to advance their professional careers.
15. Which kinds of documents can partners provide to fulfill the requirement for supporting evidence?
Memoranda, official policies, program descriptions, meeting minutes, and other documents containing data that supports parity in elements such as hiring rates, promotions, compensation, senior management composition, etc., may all be used as supporting evidence.
16. Following the assessment, what information will be included in the report detailing participant results?
The customized report will contain benchmarking data and a comparison between your level of certification and the threshold for each level of certification. In addition, the report suggests some of the best practices that the organization may consider implementing to progress in the different levels of certification.
When the certification year is concluded the participant will be provided with a second report showing analysis of the entire cohort which will allow them to compare their results.
17. What if our organization does not have 400 employees?
Women in Governance will launch an assessment specifically designed for small- to medium-sized organizations in late 2020. We invite you to register as soon as it launches!
18. If we do not achieve a certification level, why participate in the certification process?
There is tremendous value in participating in the assessment, no matter what an organization’s status is. Your organization will get a report containing recommended actions to take to help you achieve certification. All participants receive this report, which allows them to determine the gap between their current level and the next certification level. Organizations can also participate in a gender parity forum to discuss best practices and hurdles to overcome to move toward parity. Therefore, organizations will be supported in this process and be able to act quickly and in a targeted way on their most significant areas for improvement.
19. Is it possible to see sample questions to understand what to expect?
The questionnaire’s content is proprietary property belonging to Women in Governance. We encourage partners to contact us at email@example.com to answer your specific questions.
 Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince, Diversity Matters (McKinsey & Company, 2015) https://tinyurl.com/y2feo28o