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The GO (Gender Optimization) Certification is managed by the Seneca Council, founded in 2016 to support and reward companies who take seriously the undertaking of becoming gender optimized.
GO Certification indicates companies’ level of commitment to gender optimization through four levels of award. The Certification provides a company with a public, standardized indication of its current state of gender optimization and its dedication even greater equanimity. The Seneca Council then supports the awarded company by advocating on behalf of the company to media outlets, recruiters, job seekers and professional networks.
The Seneca Council is committed to managing the most competitive, trusted and valuable certification for gender optimization, applicable across industries and regions. The Seneca Council’s GO Certification is the national standard for gender optimization in the workplace, and a must-have for any company wanting to recruit the top talent, investors, clients or partners.
Assess practices. Advertise successes.
Aspire to optimization.
At the Seneca Council, we believe that gender equality means more than just having the same numbers of men and women at every level of workplace structure. In fact, we believe that what we are striving for is better described as “gender optimization,” rather than gender equality. “Equality” inherently suggests women need to stretch to grab hold of something men already have; that women need to be lifted up from an inferior position to a level on par with men. “Gender optimization,” on the other hand, suggests that there is an ideal that is currently not being met for either men or women, and that adjustments can be made to the workplace that benefit workers and the bottom line alike. We reject the notion of shoehorning women into a male competitive model. Rather we look forward with optimism to the day that the workplace can be optimized for both men and women to advance in their careers and nurture themselves and others in a way that’s beneficial to all.
The Seneca Council believes that, while women have embraced more competitive pursuits over the past 50 years, they are still the ones expected to provide needed care to children and the elderly. The door leading to men’s opportunity to care for others has not yet swung wide open. The answer, we believe, is in adapting the 21st century workplace so that women and men can nurture both their competitive and caregiving drives equally, in the words of scholar Anne-Marie Slaughter, by having equal access to flexible work policies and individualized career paths. The Seneca Council wants to reward companies that allow both women and men to successfully manage a caring role as part of their time commitments, and still be challenged, rewarded and fulfilled in the workplace.
three areas that can be improved in the modern American workplace:
Keep women in the workforce & reward their work fairly
Create & promote customized career paths
Engage men in customized career paths
Christine Whelan is an author, speaker and professor at the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is the author of The Big Picture: Producing a Purposeful Life in Your 20s and Beyond (2016), Generation WTF (2011), Marry Smart (2008) and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women (2006). She is also a Thought Leader at the Life Reimagined Institute. She is a graduate of Princeton and Oxford Universities.
Davis Smith is the founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company with a humanitarian mission. Davis was previously the founder and Co-CEO of Baby.com.br and Dinda.com.br, Brazil’s leading e-commerce retailer in the baby space and “Startup of the Year 2012.” A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Davis is a Global Entrepreneurs Council Member.
Dee Poku-Spalding is a social entrepreneur who was born in the UK and raised between London and Accra. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of WIE Women Inspiration and Enterprise), a leadership network whose mission is to support women in their career ambitions by providing real world learning via unique access to established business leaders. A former Hollywood studio executive, Dee held senior marketing roles at Paramount Pictures and Focus Features (a division of Universal Pictures).
Chandra Turner is the executive editor of Parents magazine. Before Parents, Chandra was the executive editor of CosmoGirl. Chandra has been an editor at Ladies’ Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, YM and Glamour. Chandra is also the president of Ed2010, a networking and mentoring organization for Millennials in magazine media. Chandra has a journalism degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Neylan McBaine (Founder and CEO) was most recently the CMO of educational technology company Brain Chase. As a best-selling author and speaker, she is also one of the premier voices in the interfaith religious community in advocating for greater integration of women. A graduate of Yale University, Neylan is mother to three daughters.
Jane Schuchert Walsh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh for her doctoral work on the organizing structure that launched the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a small farmworker organization in southwest Florida, into a national Fair Food movement. She and her husband, Matt, live in Pittsburgh, PA with their daughters, Josephine and Iris.