This partnership brings together the global leader in DE&I independent certification with lifelong equality champion Billie Jean King to challenge organizations to move from talk to concrete results.
New York, NY and ZUG, Switzerland, 30th March, 2023 –Today, EDGE Certification, the leading independent third-party certification for workplace gender and intersectional equity, announced a partnership with sports icon and equality champion Billie Jean King to call for organizations to significantly accelerate their progress in diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). This collaboration will elevate awareness of the need for and benefits of moving beyond promises to taking meaningful and sustained action and towards accountability for results in advancing DE&I. Combining EDGE’s decades of global experience guiding organizations on their DE&I journey with King’s established leadership for making change happen, the partnership will be a dynamic catalyst for lasting change in workplace equity.
Through their partnership, EDGE Certification will work with Billie Jean King and Billie Jean King Enterprises to actively engage with leading US-based companies and global institutions to shift the focus from commitment to increased transparency, accountability, and impact in DE&I through objective measurement, standards of excellence and independent-third party verification.
“Billie Jean King has always been a powerful role model for me and a source of inspiration for the work we are doing with EDGE Certification. Her tireless advocacy for equality, and her legendary accomplishments both on and off the tennis court are concrete proof that glass ceilings can and ought to be shattered,” said Aniela Unguresan, Founder of EDGE Certification & EDGE Certified Foundation.“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to join our voices to push for increased transparency and accountability, and to spark organizations to create meaningful change in workplace equity through intentional, measured, and prioritized approaches in DE&I.”
The gap between rhetoric and action remains substantial. A recent Stanford University study lays out that diversity-washing is alive and well and calls for “real numbers, real data, as opposed to kind of really loose discussion around it.” And according to the 2023 WBC DEI Snapshot – Women Business Collaborative, 70% of CEOs made a public commitment to DE&I, only 32% conduct pay equity analysis, and a mere 7% tie executive pay to DE&I.
The widening gap between DEI commitment and impact is not going unnoticed by employees. Of global jobseekers, 39% have turned down or decided not to pursue a job opportunity because of a perceived lack of inclusion (source: WEF Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023).
“The relentless pursuit of diversity, equity, and inclusion benefits everyone,” said Billie Jean King, Founder, Billie Jean King Enterprises. “The time is now for leaders to be bold and take the actions necessary to finally deliver real world change and sustainable success. EDGE Certification is there to help organizations, from measuring where they stand in DE&I today, to charting the path to a more equitable future.”
EDGE utilizes its complete and integrated software-based DE&I solution – EDGE Empower® – to streamline, track, measure, accelerate, and prepare organizations to become EDGE Certified at different stages of their DE&I journey. Using qualitative and quantitative data, EDGE’s software produces analytical insights and action plans tailored to specific organizational needs and objectives. Backed by a proven track record and experience spanning a wide range of industries, these plans have the credibility to pave the way for meaningful organizational change.
2023 marks the 50th year since King founded the Women’s Tennis Association on the principle of equal pay and equal opportunity and won the historic, groundbreaking Battle of the Sexes match. Known as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, King is the first female athlete to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US.
Link to CNBC Article: Company diversity goals need to start with managers
About EDGE Certification
EDGE Certification is an independent third-party certification launched by the EDGE Certified Foundation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Initially designed for workplace gender equality, EDGE Certification’s aim is to encourage organizations to measure, be transparent and be accountable on where they stand and how they progress in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). In 2020, EDGEplus Certification was added to cover the full spectrum of DE&I at the intersection between gender with gender identity, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, age, nationality and working with a disability status.
For more than a decade, EDGE Certification has given 250+ global organizations in 56 countries and 27 different industries their employees, customers and investors a universally recognizable symbol of commitment and progress in DE&I. In order to prepare themselves to become EDGE Certified, organizations use a complete and integrated software-based DE&I solution – EDGE Empower® – which enables them to bring the same discipline and rigor to DE&I as they would to other business-critical missions.