From Girl Scouts of the USA
On February 27, 2020, Girl Scouts of the USA announced Fair Play, Equal Pay™, a new gender parity initiative that will engage businesses to take action now to help build a more equitable future for girls. Industry leaders and major corporate partners of GSUSA, including Accenture, Ernst & Young, and SAP, have already committed to the initiative to increase female leadership and equal pay in their organizations by 2030. One of the most comprehensive and solutions-oriented corporate gender parity programs to date, GSUSA’s Fair Play, Equal Pay 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.
Girl Scouts is working with Canadian organization Women in Governance (WiG), an expert in gender parity whose assessment and analytical tools will be instrumental in informing GSUSA’s gender parity certification decisions. GSUSA’s certification will use a scaled 4-star system with each level of certification coming with a unique Girl Scouts’ Gender Parity Certification Seal. WiG’s best-in-class enablement tools, including customized support to address gap areas, will be critical in enabling companies to achieve higher targets and make meaningful progress towards gender parity. The initiative is sponsored in large part thanks to a generous grant from The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, a national foundation which supports initiatives in four main areas, by invitation only, including gender parity.
For Girl Scouts, creating a more equitable working world in which girls and young women can see themselves fairly reflected in organizational leadership and receive equal pay for equal work, dovetails seamlessly with GSUSA’s mission to develop girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
“Girl Scouts has helped build the leadership skills and potential of girls for over a century, but the world they inherited wasn’t always prepared to meet them where they were: ready to lead and expecting to be valued and paid on par with men,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Through our gender parity initiative, we’re not only working to develop girls with the capacity to lead but also create a world ready for their talents. We want our vendor partners to know that working with Girl Scouts means a commitment to girls’ leadership—both now and in the future—which means committing to gender parity between men and women.”
Based on GSUSA’s research, Girl Scouts is the only organization in the United States to create a program that 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) advance their gender parity status using expert-informed resources available through the initiative, and 4) achieve a Girl Scout gender parity certification and proudly promote their success.
“We’re making progress around all aspects of women’s and girls’ lives, but we can set the bar even higher,” said Jennifer Morgan, Co-CEO of SAP. “We can always be doing more – and this is a critical and necessary step towards raising that bar and putting more young girls and women in positions of leadership. We are expanding our commitment to engage more girls and women in the conversation by sponsoring the Gender Parity Forum this October at G.I.R.L. 2020, GSUSA’s national convention. SAP’s support of GSUSA’s gender parity initiative aligns perfectly with our commitment to empowering women through technology, disrupting what it means to be ‘ready to lead,’ and making sure we have everyone at the table for the tough conversations.”
Transforming the workplace is foundational to making progress toward gender parity. Only 4.8% of CEOs on the 2018 Fortune 500 list are women. And studies by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company show that women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, even while companies’ commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high, proving that turning commitment into practice has been a challenge.
“Women in Governance is moving the needle in a very concrete fashion in corporate Canada, encouraging women to develop their leadership and advance their careers and supporting organizations in their quests to increase the number of women in decision-making bodies as well as in traditionally male-dominated industries,” said WiG President and Founder Caroline Codsi. “After four years of great success with our Parity Certification across Canada, we are now thrilled to partner with GSUSA to get corporate America aligned and ready to welcome the next generation of female leaders among its ranks, not only because it is the right thing to do but because it is the smart thing to do.”
As the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, Girl Scouts is uniquely positioned to ensure that a focus on gender parity is given priority consideration among its collaborators and vendor base. With an estimated $1 billion in potential purchasing power nationally, Girl Scouts does business across industries, geographies, and disciplines. Contractual relationships with Girl Scouts and alignment with the iconic brand are highly regarded assets.