I have always made it a priority to build my business to be inclusive and equitable. Although I talk about it regularly, I have never truly understood whether or not the practices, policies, processes, and culture truly back up what I am saying and support.
The GEN Certification is the national gold standard for gender equity in the U.S. workplace. Businesses that are GEN Certified meet standards of excellence across five tenets of workplace culture - Bias Neutrality, Accessibility, Gender Perception Gap, Employee Resonance, and Visible Advocacy. A composite assessment of employee experience and employer policies provides a data-driven standard of equity-centered work environments. The GEN Certification rewards business leaders who go beyond talk to meaningful action.
When I learned of this certification, I made it a priority to put myself and my company through the assessment so we could see how equitable and inclusive we truly are as a business.
The certification process took about 75 hours over the span of 5 weeks, involvement from every single person in our company, and a level of vulnerability we had not yet experienced as a team.
Evia did not pass the certification, so we now have 18 months to improve our systems and be reassessed. I am so motivated to get this right so I can feel honest about my commitment building an inclusive and equitable business. This is so important to me and my team, that we are working with the GEN team to be certified by 2020. It requires a lot of work, in a short amount of time, but with huge reward for every single person that works for me. My hope is by doing this, we can inspire other organizations in our community to do the same. THIS is the type work that activates true positive change.
A lot of leaders are talking about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity. I am excited about this shift in the business world because I think it helps raise awareness. The next step these leaders need to take is to look at what they are actually doing to activate change, measure these behaviors, admit to their reality, and make improvements where needed.