Initiatives to close the corporate gender gap gaining attention and momentum

Diverse work group

EDGE Certified Foundation made the news in September 2014 as the first US-based Fortune 500 company, L’Oréal USA, achieved certification to the EDGE standard.

The standard measures a company’s commitment to and progress on closing the gender gap in the workplace. Based on the idea that “what gets measured, gets done”, the EDGE standard focuses on assessing key drivers of change and metrics that enable analysis of the gender mix in a client company, unexplained gender pay gaps and career development opportunities within the business. The principal idea behind this is that closing the gender gap in the workplace will yield economic dividends for companies.

So when L’Oréal USA celebrated their success at achieving EDGE certification there was considerable interest generated in the online press:

The Washington Post wrote about EDGE’s ‘seal of approval’ in their “On Leadership” pages.

Fast Company made the connection between EDGE and LEED, the certification scheme in the US that certifies the green credentials of buildings.

A few weeks later, EDGE Certified Foundation was back in the news with the announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative by none other than the President of the World Bank Group of a new initiative called She Works – a collaboration between the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, EDGE Certified and ten global companies to focus on closing the corporate gender gap and provide opportunities for some 300,000 working women.

And finally, just this week at an event in the US, global consulting company Mercer released a major report in collaboration with EDGE Certified Foundation which analyses what drives gender diversity in organisations and explores what works and does not work in the quest for workplace gender equality. Called ‘When Women Thrive: Businesses Thrive’, its results challenge the conventional wisdom about implementing standard practices and puts forward ideas about what will create breakthrough results on the gender equality front.

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