Certification FAQs

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Who created the GEN Certification?
The GEN Certification Assessment Methodology and the GEN Certification Standard were created in partnership with award-winning data analysts and a team from the University of Washington. Findings from a national survey on workplace experience, a comprehensive review of current research on behavioral science and institutional bias, subject matter expert interviews, and case studies all formed the foundation for the standard. Please refer to the ‘Methodology’ section of our GEN Certification Reference Guide to learn more about the creation of the GEN Cert.

Is there a minimum number of employees a business must have to be GEN Certified?
GGEN has created a certification model for small businesses of under 50 employees, in addition to its standard certification model. There is no minimum headcount for the GEN Certification.

How long does the certification last?
Businesses that are GEN Certified maintain that status for three years. They may then be audited for re-certification at approximately 45% the cost of the original certification fee.
GEN is committed to updating its criteria to keep pace with evolving knowledge around gender equity best practices. If GEN’s criteria have changed since a business was last certified, the organization will be audited for re-certification according to the newest criteria.
The re-certification requirement acknowledges that gender equity requires ongoing commitment, and ensures that certified businesses take a long-term approach to intentionally fostering inclusive cultures.

Who issues the certificate?
An approved third-party auditor issues GEN Certifications. These are trained certification specialists who have gone through a GEN Certification Auditing program to ensure integrity, competence, and consistency.

We’re not sure we’re ready for certification. Should we still go through the assessment process?
Even well-intentioned companies can lack evidence-based action plans for changing their culture. That’s why we provide a diagnostic analysis and other advising services to un-bias businesses at any stage of gender equity maturity. You don’t have to start the Certification Assessment process to start making meaningful changes today. By identifying the business practices proven to promote gender equality, GEN takes the guesswork out of attracting and retaining the balanced, fully talented workforce critical to success. Visit our Equity Systems page to learn more about our consulting processes.

What resources are required from the organization?
Your organization should expect to be responsible for the following:
  • Distributing the employee survey to your staff for completion. Expect the survey to take approximately 15 minutes for each employee to complete. (We’ll provide a sample introductory e-mail with a secure link to the survey.)
  • Access to a focal point for the processes audit. This point person will complete a separate survey regarding your policies and may need to provide documentation of practices. This person may be needed for as many as seven hours of total coordination and response time.
  • Access to your leadership for interviews, typically by phone, which will last approximately 30 minutes each.
  • Completion by your lead(s) of a feedback survey, so that we can continue to improve our processes.
For more questions about getting started on the Certification Assessment process, please contact us.

Is it possible that an organization participating in an assessment finds that it does not qualify for certification?
Yes, and the GEN Certification Assessment fee does include a retest option for organizations to redeem within 18 months. GEN’s initial assessment includes a diagnostic overview of your organization and recommendations for improvement. Our experts can work with you to create and follow an action plan to ensure you’re tracking the most effective gender equity targets. The results of your assessment process are completely confidential.

What is the assessment fee?
The assessment fee depends on the total number of employees in the organization. Please contact us to receive specific details for your organization.

How long from the start of the assessment to the granting of certification?
The timeframe depends mainly on the responsiveness and pace of the organization being assessed. The assessment process typically takes 6-8 weeks, and GEN certifies only organizations that meet the criteria.

What exactly is the organization paying for?
  • Administration of the employee survey and the processes audit.
  • Analysis of survey results and an audit summary, benchmarking against GEN’s performance metrics.
  • A summary of GEN Certification Assessment results.
  • Recommended next steps and an action plan.
  • Advice and support in creating and distributing the internal and external communications on the results of the GEN Certification Assessment.
  • An image file to be used if certified.
  • An invitation to join GEN’s case studies of Gender Equity Leaders.