Third-party assurance that a certification body formally demonstrates its competence to carry out conformity assessment tasks, e.g., audit and certification processes, against the requirements of a specified standard.
An organization that determines whether or not certification bodies are competent to carry out audits and certification processes against specified standards.
A written plan created by the client containing objectives, intended actions, milestones and outcomes, budget and people responsible for implementation, designed to result in the client achieving a higher EDGE Certification Level or qualifying for recertification; approved by a senior leader with the remit for the actions in the plan.
See also ‘Gender and Intersectional Equity Assessment Methodology’ definition. Standardized framework, owned by the EDGE Certified Foundation, which is designed to assess gender and intersectional equity in the workplace, enabling client organizations to track and benchmark progress in the application of relevant policies, practices and outcomes. The Assessment Methodology forms the basis of the EDGE Standards, and clients must have applied it before certification and recertification.
Systematic, documented process for obtaining records, statements of fact or other relevant information and assessing them objectively to determine the extent to which the requirements of the EDGE Standard are met.
Systematic, documented process for obtaining records, statements of fact or other relevant information and assessing them objectively to determine the extent to which the requirements of the EDGE Standards are met.
Person who performs the audit.
Formal training aimed at broadening people’s perceptions and increasing their understanding about potential gender bias in the workplace and how to avoid or eliminate such bias.
Within an organization (e.g., a parent corporate entity), a segment, division or functional department that may or may not be responsible for its own profitability.
The process by which auditors and personnel involved in preparing clients for audit, audit and certification processes exchange knowledge and learn from each other and from the EDGE Certified Foundation, so as to achieve consistent interpretation and application of the EDGE Standards.
A group of individuals considered for a specific position, may be internal to the organization and/or external to the organization.
Tasks, projects or roles that are deemed essential to an employee’s professional development because they expose him or her to the organization’s primary sources of revenue, strategic markets, key products (including services) and key leaders.
A formal, numbered document issued by a Certification Body as evidence that the client named on the certificate conforms to the requirements of the EDGE Standards and has been awarded the relevant EDGE Certification Level.
Process by which a third party gives written or equivalent assurance that the client conforms to the requirements of the EDGE Standard.
Third party, accredited and EDGE-approved organization that performs audits and certification processes in relation to the EDGE Standard.
Decision made by a Certification Body, based upon the outcomes of a certification audit, which may include the granting, maintaining, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing of a certificate.
Mandatory and optional procedures and provisions applicable to auditors and certification bodies conducting certification audits against the EDGE Standards.
A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Any variable that may be used to differentiate individuals and/or groups from one another. Some describe organizational diversity as social heterogeneity.
EDGE is the leading global assessment and certification that can be applied across industries and regions to measure, accelerate and certify gender and intersectional equity. The certification process involves a rigorous third-party review of representation across the pipeline, pay equity, effectiveness of policies and practices, and inclusiveness of an organization’s culture.
EDGE Certification Levels
The three (3) categories of certification that may be awarded under the EDGE Standard:
- First level of engagement: EDGE Assess
- Second level of conformance: EDGE Move
- Third level of conformance: EDGE Lead
EDGE Certification Scheme
System related to the requirements, rules, processes, procedures and management that enable certification to be carried out against the EDGE Standards.
EDGE Certification Seal
Logo or label awarded to successfully certified organizations; EDGE registered trademark. Also referred to as the EDGE Certification Mark.
EDGE Certified Foundation
The EDGE Certified Foundation is the guardian of the Assessment Methodology and the EDGE Standard; accredits, approves and trains the independent Certification Body auditors and Scheme Managers; oversees the quality, consistency and robustness of Certification Body performance; and oversees the use of the EDGE Seals, labels and logos by certified organizations.
EDGE Documentation System
Set of documents and texts that define, describe and explain the EDGE Certification Scheme. Includes the EDGE Standards, EDGE Certification Requirements and associated guidelines, specifications, procedures, instructions, and templates.
An integrated SaaS-based DE&I solution, incorporating the Assessment Methodology, providing Insights, Knowledge, Connections and Certification, used by clients of EDGE Strategy or of one of EDGE Strategy’s Licensing Partners. The solution is used by clients before certification and recertification.
EDGE Scoring Grid
The specifications for each certification level that may be awarded under the EDGE Standard.
The requirements, specifications, and the EDGE Scoring Grid set are reproduced in EDGE Empower®, against which conformance is audited.
An enterprise with which EDGE clients contract to access the EDGE Empower® solution, which helps them prepare for EDGE Certification audits, and consults on gender and intersectional equity related employment and governance matters.
EDGE Unexplained Gender Pay Gap Methodology
The method prescribed by the EDGE Certified Foundation to determine whether there are unexplained pay gaps between women and men in an organization.
A quantitative approach using ordinary least squares (OLS) linear regression allowing an organization to assess the extent to which an employee’s salary or pay is influenced by gender after accounting for a set of other explanatory factors.
EDGEplus is an extension of the EDGE Assessment and Certification Methodology, which provides the possibility for certifying organizations to deepen their understanding of gender-related matters and to measure and analyse the intersectionality of gender and other aspects of diversity, for example, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, working with a disability and nationality.
Anyone on the payroll of the Client (e.g., the country-level entity) undergoing certification, who is employed on a work contract of longer than six months during the reference period; including employees of acquired organizations, where the acquired organization has been fully integrated on a legal basis into the acquirer, who are employed on the same policies and practices as the entity undergoing certification.
Supporting functions carried out to facilitate the core business functions. These could include but are not limited to communications, marketing, human resources, research, and development.
Equal Pay for Equivalent Work
Principle, according to which, individuals who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions within the same organization, should receive the same remuneration, including base salaries and other benefits.
The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
Fair treatment for all while striving to identify and eliminate inequities and barriers.
Extreme or Exceptional Circumstances
Significant events in the client organization that result in major changes that materially affect gender and intersectional equity-related issues and outcomes. In the event of such extreme and exceptional circumstances, certification bodies have some discretion to determine eligibility for certification and/or relevant consequences at recertification.
Practices that give employees choices about how long, where and/or when they work.
Formal Mentoring Programs
Institutional mentoring programs with established goals, measurable outcomes, and explicit connection to a strategic or business objective of the organization.
The four principles that define equitable workplaces under the EDGE Standards: 1. Representation at all levels of the organization. 2. Pay equity. 3. Effectiveness of policies and practices to ensure equitable career flows in terms of equal pay for equivalent work, recruitment and promotion, leadership development training and mentoring, flexible working, and organizational culture. 4. Inclusiveness of the culture, as reflected in employees’ ratings in terms of career development opportunities.
Concept referring to the social expectations applied to different gender identities, which are changeable over time and have wide variations both within and between cultures.
Gender and Intersectional Equity Assessment Methodology
The proprietary methodology, owned by the EDGE Certified Foundation, used under licence by EDGE Strategy or one of EDGE Strategy’s Licensing Partners, and incorporated into EDGE Empower®.
One’s innermost concept of self as a man, a woman, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.
Certification that may be granted to a global organization when 80% or more of its workforce is employed by certification client/s at the country (national) level that are already certified. Certification may be granted only at the lowest shared level for all certified entities in the global organization.
Global Company/Global Organization
A corporate entity that is located and operates in several countries and markets products using the same coordinated image and/or brand in all markets. There is usually one corporate office that is responsible for global strategy.
Employees who demonstrate the potential to possess and exhibit the characteristics most valuable to an organization and may be identified as part of a formal talent management programme or strategy.
A state of being valued, respected and supported. It implies that organizational policies and practices focus on the needs of every individual and ensure conditions are in place for each person to achieve their potential.
Inclusive Language and Visuals
Written, auditory and visual communications that use forms, words, and images representing people of all genders (feminine, masculine, and non-binary/diverse), who are racially and ethnically diverse, of all ages and of different levels of ability.
Quantitative and qualitative measures in the EDGE Standards used to determine the EDGE Certification Level attained by a client entity.
An employee who is a team member; frontline staff member; a solo operator like a consultant, lawyer, researcher, literary agent, software engineer; and so on: an employee who is not responsible for managing or supervising any other employees.
The date on which a client is first certified to one of the EDGE Certification Levels under the EDGE Standards.
International organizations include but are not limited to inter-governmental organizations/multi-lateral organizations, international non-governmental organizations, international federations or associations, or international financial institutions. For the purposes of EDGE Certification, international organizations that operate in different countries may be considered single entities provided they contract all employees, regardless of country of operation, to a centralized organization, share management and governance systems, and share policies and practices across all countries of operation, thus effectively operating like a single jurisdiction, regardless of individual countries of operation.
Intersectionality operates under the premise that people possess multiple, layered identities, including race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and ability, among others. Intersectionality refers to the ways in which these identities intersect to affect individuals’ realities and lived experiences, thereby shaping their perspectives, worldview, and relationships with others.
Key Leadership Positions
Positions or posts that are crucial for an organization – too critical to be left vacant or filled by any but the best qualified people.
Alternative for EDGE Certification Seal or Certification Mark
A change in job without a vertical promotion, e.g., same level transfer
An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer” with a “+” sign to recognize the limitless sexual orientations and gender identities used by the members of the community.
Organizations that have a signed agreement or contract with EDGE Strategy and are licensed to market, use, and apply EDGE Empower® to help companies prepare for EDGE Certification.
Large discrepancies between the data and/or information locked into the EDGE Empower® software and the objective evidence audited by the certification body that prevent validation of the data/information inputs and prevent a certification decision / result being determined. Examples might include: • The reference period and the data do not match up for any of the data tables. • The employee survey was not administered within the required timeframe.
Positions in an organization from junior management to top management, as classified within EDGE Empower® for the purposes of certification, not a requirement for client organizations to change existing hierarchies: • Top management – reporting formally and directly to the CEO. • Upper management – reporting formally and directly to the top management. • Middle management – reporting formally and directly to the upper management. • Junior management – reporting formally and directly to the middle management.
Quantitative factors used in conjunction with indicators in the EDGE Standards to determine the EDGE Certification Level attained by a client entity.
Small discrepancies between the data and/or information locked into the EDGE Empower® software and the objective evidence audited by the certification body that do not prevent a certification decision / result being determined. Examples might include: • The occasional number in some of the data tables appears to be transcribed incorrectly or a number appears to be transposed.
Non-fulfilment by a certification body or one of its auditors of EDGE accreditation criteria, requirements, or conditions. Examples may include: • Documentation not conforming to requirements. • Procedures not conforming to requirements. • Auditors not competent in performing tasks under the EDGE Certification Requirements. • Lack of document traceability. • Management system breakdown. • Ineffective quality assurance/control procedures.
Equal treatment of an individual or group, irrespective of their particular characteristics.
The portion of the audit that involves meeting with the client representative/s to inspect and verify objective evidence offered in support of the data and information entered into EDGE Empower®. The on-site portion of the audit is traditionally conducted remotely via video conferencing platforms.
Measurement and analysis of gender pay equity that is aimed at detecting anomalies or gaps related specifically to equal pay for equivalent work for employees on a case-by-case basis.
Paid Parental Leave
Maternity, paternity and/or parental leave paid to the equivalent of 80% or higher of an employee’s base salary through payment by the organization, or social security payment (i.e., statutory payment by government), or a combination of the two. Paid leave entitlement shall be dedicated to parental leave and shall NOT include combining vacation/holiday leave, sick leave or other leave entitlements.
The right to time off work for employees, following the birth or adoption of a child, to enable them to take care of that child.
Assessment of the difference in pay between groups of employees within the same organization, on the basis of their gender, race/ethnicity, or nationality.
An employee in a supervisory role, responsible for managing one or more people; may include line managers, performance managers, project or team leaders, section, division or department heads, and so on.
A written document specifying principles or rules that guide decisions and the pursuit or achievement of specified outcomes; and/or a written statement of intent about implementing practices in an organization.
Behaviours, programmes or activities implemented within an organization; may include the actual implementation of organizational policy but can exist in the absence of policy.
Proactive Management of Gender Pay Equity
A structured framework which involves regular measurement, analysis, reporting and decision-making, including remediation, of gender pay equity.
Skills and knowledge attained for career advancement.
Race – A social construct used to differentiate and categorize seemingly distinct populations based on physical characteristics, such as skin colour and hair texture. Since race is a social construct and not a biological fact, race designations are fluid, and have changed over time as a reflection of different power dynamics and context-specific social hierarchies. Ethnicity – A dynamic set of historically derived and institutionalized ideas and practices that allows people to identify or to be identified with groupings of people based on presumed (and usually claimed) commonalities including language, history, nation or region of origin, customs, ways of being, religion, names, physical appearance and/or genealogy or ancestry. ‘Race/Ethnicity’ is an intersectional dimension part of EDGEplus Certification.
A new certification that follows immediately after an earlier certification period, which uses data and information relevant to a new 12-month reference period. A gap of no longer than 24 months between reference periods is permitted.
A continuous period of 12 months for which data are entered into the EDGE Empower® software and specified in the Audit Report.
Table with indicators and metrics that determine the EDGE Certification Level attained by a client entity.
EDGE Label or Certification Mark.
A systematic approach to: • Building an internal leadership pipeline or talent pool to ensure leadership continuity. • Developing potential successors in ways that best fit individuals’ strengths. • Identifying the best internal candidates for categories of positions.
Certification activity that is performed by a person or body that is independent of the client seeking certification, and of user interests in that client’s products, processes or services.
Unexplained Gender and Intersectional Pay Gap
Unexplained Gender Pay Gap