Division of Research at GC4W

The Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W) is an award-winning non-profit organization that connects, educates, and empowers women and girls globally. Through the Division of Research at GC4W, organizations will gain from an evidence-based quantitative research study to measure the progress of women in the workplace and the impact of their DEI agenda.

We use an award-winning scientific quantitative survey instrument to measure eight focal areas: diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, fairness, advocacy, shared values, and leadership. We work with small-to-large organizations, experienced leadership coaches, human resource professionals, and higher education institutions. Organizations work with us to better comprehend their company culture related to workplace barriers for women’s advancement, restructure their IDBEA agenda, reform their employee retention model, asses their current company culture, and measure the impact of their new DEI agenda. We have a 90 day research turnaround window that includes three main stages: 1) Research design, 2) Research Implementation, and 3) Research Findings and Recommendations.

Generation Equality means realizing women’s rights for an equal future.

According to UN Women, “the Generation Equality campaign demands equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, health-care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and decision-making in all areas of life.” Women’s full participation and leadership in all areas of business and society — drive profits and sustainability, enrich global economic advancement, and on the local levels, boost employee retention, promote the diversity of thought, and unites the organization’s shared values. 

We are committed to supporting organizations in their strive to expand the opportunities for women in the workplace amidst the Great Resignation, BLM Movement, and Global Pandemic. We guarantee that our evidence-based research conclusions will create a call-to-action that will help to inform organization’s decisions and strategies to promote IDBEA, improve talent retention, and further the organization’s mission for equity, equality, and fairness for all.

Meet the GC4W Research Team and Advisors

Dr. Sharon M. Ravitch, Ph.D. is a Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She is Principal Investigator of Semillas Digitales, a school-based education program in the coffee-producing regions of Nicaragua that cultivates a holistic model of educational innovation focused on pedagogical and curricular enrichment, intensive inquiry-based teacher professional development, technology integration, digital literacy and community partnership guided by active collaboration, mutual capacity building, and participatory engagement.

Dr. Ravitch has published seven books: Flux Leadership: Real-Time Inquiry for Humanizing Educational Change (with Chloe Kannan, Teachers College Press, 2022); Critical Leadership Praxis: Leading Educational and Social Change (with Katie Pak, Teachers College Press, 2021); Applied Research for Sustainable Change: A Guide for Education Leaders (with Nicole Carl, Harvard Education Press, 2019); Qualitative Research: Bridging the Conceptual, Theoretical, and Methodological (with Nicole Carl, Sage, 2016/2021); Reason and Rigor: How Conceptual Frameworks Guide Research (with Matthew Riggan, Sage, 2012/2017); School Counseling Principles: Diversity and Multiculturalism (American School Counselor Association Press, 2006); and Matters of Interpretation: Reciprocal Transformation in Therapeutic and Developmental Relationships with Youth (with Michael Nakkula, Jossey-Bass, 1998). Ravitch is currently working on two books, Um Kulthumism: A Decolonial, Intersectional, Post-binary, Praxis Methodology (with Reima Shakeir) and Criticalizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: From Incorporation Tactics to Healing Change, forthcoming in 2022.

Ravitch earned two master’s degrees from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and Education, mentored by Dr. Carol Gilligan, and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in an interdisciplinary program that integrates across the fields of anthropology and education.

Dr. Ravitch has the distinct honor of being designated as a GIAN Scholar of the Government of India. Ravitch has received a Fulbright Fellowship, through the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Fulbright Specialist Roster, to work with Dr. BMN College in Mumbai, Maharashtra on an applied research project focused on pluralism and wellness for first-generation minoritized female students and their teachers (2021-2022).  In 2021, she was selected as a faculty recipient of the Recognition of Outstanding Service Award to honor her dedication to providing a nurturing and supportive environment for students.

Dr. Ravitch’s scholarship integrates the fields of education, qualitative research, educational anthropology, human and organizational development, psychology, and business and has five strands: (1) Flux Pedagogy, teacher learning, inquiry, and professional development; (2) Practitioner and school-based research for sustainable professional and institutional development; (3) Leader education and professional development, communities of practice, applied research teams; (4) International development research using participatory, action, and ethnographic research approaches; and (5) Participatory research, evaluation, M&E, and assets-based assessment.

Ravitch’s approach to sustainable, assets-based organizational development and applied research is grounded in her decades-long experience serving as a collaborator with and advisor to educational leaders and practitioners, government, business, non-profit, and non-government organization leaders and policymakers working to foster equitable change and transformation at the individual, community, state, and national levels around the globe.

Ravitch’s U.S.-based work focuses on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) and Flux Pedagogy facilitation with educational leaders and teacher teams in schools and districts, corporate leaders and teams, education boards, and higher education programs. Focal areas include anti-racist pedagogy, implicit bias/dysconscious racism, racial literacy and navigating identity-based stress, brave space pedagogy/organization and team norm development, critical inquiry stance and equity-focused theories of action, culturally responsive SEL pedagogies and leadership approaches, emergent design professional development, transformational and crisis leadership, healing-centered engagement, radical compassion and radical self-care in schools.

  • Ph.D. (Education, Culture, and Society) University of Pennsylvania
  • Ed.M. (Human Development and Psychology) Harvard University
  • Ed.M. (Risk and Prevention) Harvard University
  • B.A. (Religion and Women’s Studies) Temple University

Dr. Lilian Ajayi-Ore, Ed.D., is an award-winning Chief Learning Officer, Data Scientist, and Digital Marketing Executive with over 17 years of relevant industry experience working with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. She has +10 years of experience in learning and talent development. Founder of an award-winning 501c3 non-profit organization, Global Connections for Women Foundation. Member of Marshall Goldsmith’s Top 100 Coaches. An executive coach, international keynote speaker, and an economic empowerment advocate for women who have spoken in over 50 cities worldwide and invited as a keynote speaker by the United Nations, UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, the World Bank, Toronto World Leaders Conference, TEDx American University of Paris, Harvard Business Publishing, to name a few.

She is a Research Scholar and University Faculty at Columbia University and NYU SPS teaching Digital Marketing, Big Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship, and Digital Communication Strategy. She has designed and managed new course development, entrepreneurship programs, executive leadership programs, real-world corporate-partnership courses, and investment readiness programs for various learners domestically and internationally. Her passion for education has allowed her to give lectures with other institutions, including St. John’s University, Baruch College-CUNY, UBS Investment Bank, Female Founder Collective, University of Pennsylvania GSE, and the International School of Management, in a wide range of certified programs, Undergraduate programs, and MBA programs.

Rated Top #10 Marketing Professional in Academia on LinkedIn, Nominated for Teaching Excellence Award, named Inspiring Mind in Academia by Harvard Business Education Publishing and ranked multiple times as Top #100 Women in the World and Top #50 Female Leader. She has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, The Harvard Business Publishing Education Journal, and is a Member of Forbes Nonprofit Council.

She is a Harvard Graduate, holds a Master’s in Education and a Doctorate Degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education – Ranked #1 Education Program globally. She received Double Distinctions Merit on her mixed-methods Dissertation Research on Pedagogical Effectiveness and Teaching Prowess. A copy of her dissertation research can be found at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. She is Harvard Graduate with a concentration in International Relations, and upon graduation, got to work for the United Nations (Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN) as their youngest Chief Social Economic Policy Negotiator.

Dr. Ryan Baker, PhD. is an Associate Professor at Pennsylvania University, GSE. He researches how students use and learn from educational games, intelligent tutors, and other educational software. Drawing on educational data mining, learning analytics, and human-computer interaction, he develops methods for mining the data that come out of the interactions between students and educational software. He then uses this information to improve our understanding of how students respond to educational software and how they influence their learning.

Dr. Baker is currently serving as Director of the Penn Center for Learning Analytics. In recent years, Dr. Baker and his colleagues have developed automated detectors that make inferences in real-time about students’ affect and motivational and meta-cognitive behaviors, using data from students’ actions within educational software (without using any sensor, video, or audio data). Areas of focus include gaming the system, off-task behavior, carelessness, “WTF behavior,” boredom, frustration, engaged concentration, and appropriate use of help and feedback. They use these models to make basic discoveries about human learning and learners. Many of these models are developed using data collected through the Baker Rodrigo Ocumpaugh Monitoring Protocol (BROMP)—an electronic coding procedure developed by Baker and Ma. Mercedes R. Roderio—as well as the HART Android app.

Prior to joining Penn GSE, Dr. Baker was an associate professor in the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Teachers College, he taught the “Big Data and Education” MOOC twice, with a total enrollment of more than 50,000 students. He has served as founding president of the International Educational Data Mining Society, where he currently serves on the board of directors. He has been a co-author on nine award-winning papers. He serves as co-lead of the Big Data in Education spoke of the NSF Northeast Big Data Hub.

  • Ph.D. (Human–Computer Interaction) Carnegie Mellon University
  • M.S. (Human–Computer Interaction) Carnegie Mellon University
  • Sc.B. (Computer Science) Brown University

Dr. Oscar Arias, Ed.D. is a Research Scholar, transformational leadership, and learning expert who works with organizations, universities, and emerging entrepreneurs to release their full potential through peak performance and human development technologies. He is a highly sought-after Learning and Development Consultant and holds a Masters in Organizational Learning and Leadership with a focus on Transformative and Positive Learning Systems.

He has traveled to 834+ cities in the United States and conducted more than 3,000 workshops and seminars in eight countries. Witnessing first-hand the disastrous effects of poor leadership, and the phenomenal success that follows excellent leadership has inspired him to dedicate his life to developing high commitment and peak performance teams.

With every endeavor, Oscar pulls from his extensive educational background, experience working as a Peak Performance Strategist for Tony Robbins, and working with over 65 Corporate Universities. He has become a driving force of change for Fortune 500 companies, executives, sales managers, and entrepreneurs in the areas of peak performance leadership, organizational behavior, and self-leadership.

Through his Train the Trainer and Coaching Certifications, curated educational series, corporate trainings, and leadership development coaching program, he excels in teaching others how to dominate an apex business mindset while simultaneously elevating teams.

When he’s not researching new methodologies, you can find him facilitating one of his custom-designed transformational workshops and corporate research on DEI initiatives to individuals and organizations across South Florida and internationally.

  • Ed.D. (Learning Agility and Emotional Intelligence) University of Pennsylvania, GSE
  • M.S. (Learning Science and EQ) University of Pennsylvania, GSE
  • M.S. (Human Resource Development) Barry University
  • Sc.B. (Institutional Behaviors) Rutgers University

Dr. Carolyn Kissane, Ph.D. serves as the Academic Director of the graduate programs in Global Affairs and Global Security, Conflict and Cybercrime at the Center for Global Affairs and is a Clinical Professor where she teaches graduate-level courses examining the geopolitics of energy, comparative energy politics, energy, environment and resource security, and climate change and security. She is the NYU representative for the University Consortium on Diversity and Inclusion in International Affairs – representatives from around the country participate in quarterly meetings on new developments in the DEI space. 

She is Director of the SPS Energy, Climate Justice and Sustainability Lab, Coordinator of the Energy and Environment concentration at the Center, and is faculty adviser to the Energy Policy International Club. Dr. Kissane was awarded the esteemed NYU Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007, the SCPS Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009, and nominated for the NYU-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, 2009, 2016, and 2021. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, member of the National Committee on US-China Relations and she serves on the boards of the New York Energy Forum, New York Energy Week, and the Clean Start Advisory Board.

She was named Breaking Energy’s Top Ten New York Women in Energy and Top Ten Energy Communicator. She hosts Fueling our Future, an energy series she moderates which bring in energy and environment experts for conversation and debate. Dr. Kissane received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Dr. TJ Lintz, Ed.D., Senior Vice President of Learning and Organizational Development. With over 16 years of sales and talent development experience with Hilti North America, Lintz will lead the development and execution of training curriculum for more than 3,500 Groundworks team members across the country.

TJ has held multiple roles across North America; ranging from sales and sales leadership, strategic marketing, talent and leadership development. More recently, TJ was the sales director for Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, where he led a diverse, high-performing sales division from the San Francisco Bay Area before joining the L&D Team 18 months ago. His passion throughout his career has been rooted in people, culture & team member development. TJ leveraged his various business and academic experience when he was asked to redesign Hilti’s learning curriculum for the North American Region. The focus was to examine and redesign the various programs offered at individual contributor, manager and director levels. A life-long learner himself, TJ obtained his masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s, PennCLO program. His research focused on ways in which resilience can be developed during non-crisis moments by focusing the attention on identifying behaviors and characteristics of resilient leaders, and their responses during disruptive & crisis events, and how it changed over time. His dissertation and research was awarded with distinction by the University of Pennsylvania. His professional journey started in Chicago and has led him to Sarasota, Boston, Tulsa, Dallas, San Francisco, Tulsa, and back to Virginia Beach where he now lives with his wife and two dogs.

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