Our continual

At Girls on the Run, inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) are the guiding principles to our organizational work towards advancing our mission. Over the last decade, we have identified 5 main areas of focus for IDEA at GOTR: 

1. Intentional Culture Building
  • 2011
    Inclusive employee performance review process

    In 2011, an inclusive employee performance review process was developed where 50% of annual performance is based on individual behaviors that align with the core values.

  • 2013
    Equitable pay for all staff

    In 2013, the Board approved a Total Compensation Plan to fortify the organization’s commitment to equitable pay for all staff and committed to recruiting diverse board members who could strengthen board deliberations and decision-making.

  • 2016
    Staff trainings on IDEA

    In 2016, staff trainings on IDEA were initiated to deepen everyone’s knowledge and understanding of the organization’s commitment to an inclusive culture.

  • 2017
    Reinforce a culture of inclusion

    In 2017, the following sessions were held to reinforce a culture of inclusion: a ‘Strengthsfinder’ all-staff session grounded in  understanding the unique value of each employee, a leadership retreat for supervisors focused on culture and inclusion, and an all-staff retreat where everyone collaborated on the creation of key cultural imperatives. To ensure employment processes, recruitment, and hiring were inclusive and transparent, the organization also hired its first full-time HR Director.

  • 2018
    Culture Committee Established

    In 2018, a Culture Committee comprised of diverse staff from all levels within the organization was established to reinforce an inclusive and vibrant workplace that embodies our core values.

  • 2019
    Inclusive workplace sessions

    In 2019, a nationally recognized workplace culture consultant was retained to facilitate all-staff and leadership sessions to develop additional strategies to maintain and strengthen an inclusive workplace. The organization updated its performance management system by further clarifying behaviors aligned with core values and launched an ‘Own Your Growth’ individual development strategy. An internal communication strategy was created and launched to ensure all staff were informed on key initiatives.

  • 2020
    IDEA Commission

    In 2020, an IDEA Commission was established to develop and implement strategies that leverage the organization’s financial, intellectual and human resources to advance inclusion, diversity, equity and access.

  • 2021
    IDEA Strategic Imperatives

    In 2021, IDEA Strategic Imperatives were developed and communicated across the movement.

2. Accessible Programming
  • 2014
    Inclusive programming strategy

    In 2014, the program team worked with internal and external stakeholders and experts to develop a programming related access and inclusion strategy. This included the creation of a lottery system to ensure the program registration process was equitable.

  • 2015
    Timeline and vision for integrating IDEA

    In 2015, a timeline and vision for integrating IDEA into all program and evaluation initiatives was outlined and communicated to councils.  This included incorporating an access and inclusion lens in the creation or revision of all new curricula by 2018. The curricula development process was informed by diverse stakeholder input and each curriculum version has a girl-centered design that allows participants to bring their individually relevant situations and life experiences to the learning process. All curricula released from 2015 to the present has included parent-facing and girl-facing materials available in English and Spanish.

  • 2016
    National Coach Training launched

    In 2016, National Coach Training was launched to prepare coaches to provide a safe, positive, inclusive space for all participants. During the training, coaches engage in exercises which encourage them to reflect on their own contexts and identities and how these influence their interactions and coaching behaviors. They are also provided concrete tools and strategies to enable them to work with participants from all backgrounds. A multicultural agency was retained to better understand the barriers that prevent a more diverse group of people from volunteering as coaches and to develop a sustainable plan for reducing those barriers. Data was collected by the agency via surveys and focus groups from council staff as well as potential and existing coaches and solutions provided to engage more diverse coaches.  

  • 2017
    Collaboration with National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability

    In 2017, the organization formed a collaboration with the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability to develop a disability inclusion strategy. Resources and tools were released to councils to support the engagement of diverse coaches. Girl and site recruitment materials were updated to represent the diversity of girls served and showcase outcomes from an external evaluation of our program.

  • 2018
    Disability inclusion council training and guide

    In 2018, disability inclusion council training was piloted, and a disability inclusion guide was developed. A National Coach Ambassador program was launched to support diverse coach recruitment. End-of-season coach and parent surveys were developed and piloted to assess perceptions of belonging, impact and overall experience with Girls on the Run with the goal of investing in data collection instruments to measure inclusion across the network.

  • 2019
    Diverse families survey

    In 2019, a national parent/guardian engagement survey was conducted by an independent research firm to better understand the perspective of diverse families with children in the program. It found that 95% of Hispanic, 94% of Black and 92% of white parents/guardians felt like their child belonged at Girls on the Run. Additionally, 96% of Black, 95% of Hispanic and 94% of white parent/guardians said Girls on the Run had been a valuable experience for their girl(s). National Coach Training was updated to include disability inclusion, trauma sensitive coaching and sexual abuse prevention.

  • 2020
    Coach Training on Social Identity + Bias

    In 2020, in partnership with a DEI expert, coach training was expanded to incorporate required modules on social identity and bias.

  • 2020
    Curriculum Adaptations

    In 2020, the Camp GOTR curriculum was adapted for girls with disabilities.

  • 2021
    Assess & Elevate Our IDEA Approach

    In 2021, a two-part strategy to assess and elevate IDEA within our curriculum, coach training, development/evaluation process and program model/delivery method launched. The goal of this initiative is to ensure all participants, across all intersecting social identities, have a meaningful and engaging experience with Girls on the Run. A self-study calibrated strengths, opportunities and data gaps. The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) is now conducting an equity-centered external review that includes an assessment of existing materials, completing secondary research and conducting a stakeholder evaluation. Findings from the MAEC external review will be used to determine priorities.

3. Staff Recruitment, Selection and Retention
  • 2013
    Compensation Benchmarking

    Since 2013, the organization has purchased and distributed compensation benchmarking data to ensure fair and competitive compensation for all employees. Councils report salary data annually to HQ with the goal of every employee being compensated at the 50th percentile or higher for their position, industry, location, and level of experience.

  • 2016
    Data Collection for Representative Leadership

    With the introduction of the organization’s CRM system, HQ enhanced standardized reporting in 2016 to easily monitor council staff and board member race, ethnicity, and gender data and stressed the importance of collecting this information to ensure representative leadership. HQ annually reports the collective data with all councils to showcase organizational progress in advancing this key leadership goal.

  • 2017
    Online Applicant Tracking System

    In 2017, the organization invested in an online applicant tracking system to ensure we are reaching, sourcing, attracting, and interviewing a diverse candidate pool when hiring at HQ. It provides real-time data to understand how applicants of color are accessing our postings and making their way through the hiring process. Where jobs are posted was intentionally expanded to include sites such as the Black Chamber of Commerce, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, DiversityJobs.com, and local HBCUs. Additional internal controls were implemented to mitigate bias during the recruiting and hiring process including standardizing the recruiting process, requiring at least two employees on every hiring team, critically assessing educational and experience requirements to democratize applications, interviewing templates, guidance on crafting job descriptions, and the development of a Recruiting and Hiring Guide that highlights how to mitigate bias.

    The organization has also participated in Quantum Workforce’s annual Best Places to Work employee engagement survey since 2017. In 2019, the statement ‘Everyone here is treated fairly, regardless of race, gender, age, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, or other differences’ was ranked in our top 10 most favorable responses.

  • 2018
    Paid Family Leave Extended

    In 2018, paid family leave of up to six weeks was added as a benefit for Girls on the Run International staff.  A flexible PTO policy was also implemented in recognition that some federal holidays do not represent inclusion and to allow employees to celebrate holidays that are personally significant in their lives.

  • 2020
    Benchmarking Results

    In 2020, 85% of all HQ employees and 93% of HQ employees of color were paid at or above benchmark.

  • 2021
    Council Leadership Initiative

    In 2021, the organization launched a national strategy and program with a targeted focus on increasing and elevating the representation of BIPOC individuals across the council network. This initiative has a goal of 50% of new hires identifying as BIPOC between 2021-2023.

4. Professional Development and Training
Professional Development and Training
Foundational and more complex IDEA training has been in place for HQ and council staff for seven years. In-person, virtual and on-demand topics over the years have included:
  • 2014

    • Creating Diversity Initiatives that Work

    • Realizing the Many Dividends that Come from Diversity and Inclusion

  • 2015

    • Inspiring Greatness through Diversity and Inclusion

    • Ensuring Diversity and Inclusion at Your Council

  • 2016

    • The What, Why and How of Diversifying Your Coaching Pool

  • 2017

    • Access & Inclusion 4-part Training Series (Self Identity, Bias, A&I at GOTR, and Goal Setting)

    • Serving Girls & Sites with Limited Financial Resources (training, resources and tools)

  • 2018

    • Go Where the Girls Are: Successfully Working with Community Based Organizations

    • Expanding our Definition of All: Curriculum Adaptations for Girls on the Run

    • What is Access & Inclusion – Really?

    • Beyond Diversity Rhetoric: Cultural Intelligence for our Global Village

    • The Art of Hiring Top Talent

  • 2019

    • Disability Inclusion – training, resources and tools

    • Conversations that Matter

  • 2020

    • New council director training was revised to elevate IDEA content

  • 2021

    • An assessment of existing IDEA council and coach training resources began to ensure relevance and deepen learning

    • An extensive three-part justice, equity, diversity and inclusion training for Girls on the Run HQ staff launched.

5. Information-Based Measurement
  • In 2021, baseline measures across the organization to track the impact of IDEA at GOTR initiatives will be reviewed and updated
  • Participant data will be utilized to support inclusion and accessibility within programming and evaluation
  • The organization will continue to analyze, update and expand council data to guide our IDEA focus areas