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EDGE Certified Foundation Welcomes G7 Leaders’ Commitment to Gender Equality and Certification Systems to Close Gender Gaps

EDGE Certified Foundation welcomes the recent commitment by G7 leaders to advancing gender equality and supporting the adoption of gender equality certification systems for enterprises. This commitment, made during the 50th G7 Summit held in Apulia, Italy, from June 13-15, 2024, underscores the critical role of gender equality in driving economic growth and sustainable business success.

In their concluding statement, the G7 leaders emphasized the importance of the full economic empowerment of women and girls, particularly in decision-making roles, including the STEM sector. They committed to addressing harmful gender norms, eliminating structural barriers, and closing the gender pay gap through enhanced collaboration with the private sector and supporting gender equality certification systems.

This commitment is timely, as the World Economic Forum estimates that closing the global gender gap could take 134 years. This prolonged timeline comes at a significant cost to economic participation and growth. According to a McKinsey report, advancing women’s equality could add $12 trillion to the global GDP, benefiting everyone. David Pritchett, Managing Director of EDGE Certified Foundation, remarked: “We are pleased to see gender equality prominently featured on the G7 Summit agenda. Recognizing the value of certification schemes is crucial as they serve as objective and effective instruments to drive sustainable change and progress. Closing the gender gap is essential not only for inclusive economic growth but also for sustainable business success.”

David highlighted the advantages of third-party certifications like EDGE: “EDGE Certification provides organizations with a pathway to drive commitment, compliance, and competitive advantage through objective measurement, robust standards of performance and independent review of current status and progress over time. It also positions them to stay ahead of regulatory requirements and visibly uphold their commitment to gender and intersectional equity.”

The broader impact of certification schemes was also emphasized by David: “Implementing gender equal practices in the workplace creates positive ripple effects. It transforms the lives of employees and their communities and influences how organizations engage with business partners, invest, build supply chains, and promote greater opportunities and shared prosperity.”

Founded in 2009, the EDGE Certified Foundation is the custodian of EDGE Certification, the leading global standard for diversity, equity, and inclusion, focusing on gender and intersectional equity. Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011, EDGE Standards and Certification are based on objective and measurable evidence, fostering fair workplaces that attract, develop, motivate, and retain high-performing, diverse talent. To date, 750 EDGE Certificates have been awarded to large organizations in 65 countries across 41 industry sectors, delivering genuine ESG value to the investor community.