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White House Summit to Showcase EDGE Global Standard for Workplace Gender Equality

23 June 2014 Washington, DC (USA) – The White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, DC will showcase the EDGE certification system, a ground-breaking tool for effectively measuring and advancing corporate gender equality.

The EDGE (“Economic Dividends for Gender Equality”) certification system is the first and only global certification for workplace gender equality. It is an official seal that tells employees, consumers and investors a company has policies and practices that reflect the needs of today’s dual income families.

“Measurement against a global standard is a critical step in closing the corporate gender gap,” said Megan Beyer, External Affairs for EDGE Strategy. “Just as LEED Certification for buildings shrinks the carbon footprint, EDGE Certification breaks the glass ceiling.”

Studies show companies with gender-balanced leadership outperform those without women in top management. Companies often recruit the best and brightest women, but lose them in middle management. Just as the market demanded companies to prove their environmental values fifteen years ago, today stakeholders are demanding gender -balanced leadership.
“Pink is the new green,” Beyer said. Consumers, workers and investors demand to know if companies are taking advantage of the competitive edge women in leadership represent. “It is not only an issue of values—it is a bottom line concern.”

EDGE is a tiered certification system recognizing the commitment and progress of companies through 3 different stages of certification – ASSESS, MOVE and LEAD – in their journey to achieve excellence in workplace gender equality. The EDGE Certification system is an independent, third party certification program offering the highest level of assurance that gender equality is authentic throughout the workplace.
With specialized software EDGE companies triangulate what is happening in their workplaces. They cross check workforce data, company policies and employee feedback. Results of the assessment can reveal specifically what is holding women back from ascending through the pipeline in a given workplace.

EDGE assessment provides a clear picture of a company’s commitment and progress on gender equality. It examines equal pay for equivalent work, recruitment and promotion, leadership development training and mentoring, flexible working, and the company culture. At the end of the assessment, a third party certifier verifies the findings, and companies receive a customized roadmap for moving their workplace to a global standard in gender equality.

Already, 55 top companies around the globe, including the Swiss offices of Deloitte and IKEA, and L’Oreal, use the EDGE Strategy and certification process to ensure talented women are able to rise into leadership and management positions.

President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will join EDGE and other companies and thought leaders at Monday’s White House Summit to explore how our workplaces must change to better support working families, boost businesses’ bottom lines, and grow America’s global economic competitiveness over the coming decades.



Download the pdf  White House Summit to Showcase EDGE Global Standard 


So Why EDGE?

The EDGE certification provides corporations a much needed tool to guide them in their goals of enhanced diversity and gender equality. It helps organizations identify the headwinds that slow them down and block progress. In ways not previously available, they can now use the certification to capture the tailwinds and speed up their ability to make more rapid progress on these important initiatives. Companies now have the necessary information and measurements to focus on the key drivers of change.
Laura Liswood, Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders and Member of the Global Advisory Board of EDGE Certified Foundation