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Glossary Of Terms

Explore our glossary of specific terms related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and commonly used terms within the
EDGE Certification process.

Action Plan

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Asexual

Often called “ace” for short, asexual refers to a complete or partial lack of sexual attraction or lack of interest in sexual activity with others. Asexuality exists on a spectrum, and asexual people may experience no, little or conditional sexual attraction.

Human Rights Campaign

Audit

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Awareness Training

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Bias

Prejudice in favour of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in an unfair or negative way.

HARVARD HUMAN RESOURCES

Bisexual

A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one gender or gender identity, though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with pansexual.

Human Rights Campaign

Certification

Process by which a third party gives written or equivalent assurance that the client conforms to the requirements of the EDGE Standard.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Certification Body

Third party, accredited and EDGE-approved organization that performs audits and certification processes in relation to the EDGE Standard.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Cisgender

From the Latin cis-, meaning “on this side.” A person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth. For example, a person identified as female at birth who identifies as a woman can be said to be a cisgender woman.

HARVARD HUMAN RESOURCES

Customized Regression Analysis

EDGE-compliant regression analysis that measures salary and pay against a common set of explanatory variables described in the EDGE Unexplained Gender Pay Gap Methodology, and additional organization specific variables.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Disability

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.

HARVARD HUMAN RESOURCES

Diversity

Any variable that may be used to differentiate individuals and/or groups from one another. Some describe organizational diversity as social heterogeneity.

EDGE Certified Foundation HARVARD HUMAN RESOURCES

EDGE Assess

First Level of EDGE Certification. A certifying organization attaining EDGE Assess is rewarded and recognized for making a public commitment to aspire to a strong gender representation across the talent pipeline, to proactively manage gender pay equity, to create an effective framework of policies and practices that ensures equitable career flows, and to foster an inclusive workplace culture for all employees.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGE Assessment Methodology

Standardized framework owned by the EDGE Certified Foundation which is designed to assess gender and intersectional equity in the workplace, enabling client companies to track and benchmark progress in the application of relevant policies, practices and outcomes. The Assessment Methodology forms the basis of the EDGE Standard and clients must have applied it before certification and recertification.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGE Certification

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 Certified Foundation

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 Certified Foundation

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

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 Certified Foundation

EDGE Empower®

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 Certified Foundation

EDGE Lead

Third Level of EDGE Certification. A certifying organization attaining EDGE Lead is rewarded and recognized for successfully demonstrating strong gender representation across the talent pipeline, for proactively managing gender pay equity, for effectively implementing a framework of policies and practices that ensures equitable career flows, and for fostering an inclusive workplace culture, as revealed by the (gender-disaggregated) ratings of employees about career development opportunities. An EDGE Lead Certified organization is celebrated for achieving gender equity as part of a sustainable business model.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGE Move

Second Level of EDGE Certification. A certifying organization attaining EDGE Move is rewarded and recognized for achieving certain milestones in their pursuit of gender equity in the workplace, such as a strong gender representation across the talent pipeline, proactively managing gender pay equity, creating an effective framework of policies and practices that ensures equitable career flows, and fostering an inclusive workplace culture for all employees.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGE Scoring Grid

The specifications for each certification level that may be awarded under the EDGE Standard.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGE Standard

The requirements, specifications, and the EDGE Scoring Grid set are reproduced in EDGE Empower®, against which conformance is audited.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGE Strategy

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 Certified Foundation

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

EDGEplus

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Equality

The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Equity

Fair treatment for all while striving to identify and eliminate inequities and barriers.

HARVARD HUMAN RESOURCES

ESG Investing

The consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance factors alongside financial factors in the investment decision-making process.

Morgan Stanley Capital International

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.

Markus, H.R. (2008). Pride, prejudice, and ambivalence: Toward a unified theory of race and ethnicity. American Psychologist, 63(8), pp. 651-70

Flexible Working

Practices that give employees choices about how long, where and/or when they work.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Gay

A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Men, women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.

Human Rights Campaign

Gender Identity

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.

Human Rights Campaign

Gender Inclusive Language and Visuals

Written, auditory and visual communications that use masculine, feminine and undifferentiated (neutral/non-binary/diverse) forms, words and images.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Gender Pay Gap

The difference between the average remuneration for working men and women within an organization.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Gender Pay-Gap Assessment

Assessment of the difference between men and women’s pay within the same organization.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Heterosexual

Person who is attracted to someone of a gender other than one’s own.

European Institute for Gender Equality

Inclusion

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Intersectional Equity

Intersectionality brings our understanding of systemic injustice and social inequality to the next level by attempting to untangle the lines that create the complex web of inequalities. It is also a practical tool that can be used to tackle intersectional discrimination through policies and laws.

Center for Intersectional Justice

Intersectionality

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.

Racial Equity Tools Glossary

Intersex

Intersex people are born with a variety of differences in their sex traits and reproductive anatomy. There is a wide variety of difference among intersex variations, including differences in genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, internal sex organs, hormone production, hormone response, and/or secondary sex traits.

Human Rights Campaign
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Lesbian

A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women. Women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.

Human Rights Campaign

LGBTQ+

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.

Human Rights Campaign

Licensing Partners

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation
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Non-Binary

Non-binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or as falling completely outside these categories. While many also identify as transgender, not all non-binary people do. Non-binary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer or gender-fluid.

Human Rights Campaign

Non-Discrimination

Equal treatment of an individual or group, irrespective of their particular characteristics.

EDGE Certified Foundation
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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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Pansexual

Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender, though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Sometimes used interchangeably with bisexual.

Human Rights Campaign

Parental Leave

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Policy

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Practice

Behaviours, programmes or activities implemented within an organization; may include the actual implementation of organizational policy but can exist in the absence of policy.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Queer

A term people often use to express a spectrum of identities and orientations that are counter to the mainstream. Queer is often used as a catch-all to include many people, including those who do not identify as exclusively straight and/or folks who have non-binary or gender-expansive identities. This term was previously used as a slur, but has been reclaimed by many parts of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Human Rights Campaign

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.

Racial Equity Tools National Geographic

Recertification

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Reference Period

A continuous period of 12 months for which data are entered into the EDGE Empower® software and specified in the Audit Report.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Sexual Orientation

An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people. Note: an individual’s sexual orientation is independent of their gender identity.

Human Rights Campaign

Standard Regression Analysis

EDGE-compliant regression analysis that measures salary and pay against a common set of explanatory variables described in the EDGE Unexplained Gender Pay Gap Methodology.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Third-Party Certification

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.

EDGE Certified Foundation

Transgender

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from the cultural expectations attached to the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation.

Human Rights Campaign

Transitioning

A series of processes that some transgender people may undergo in order to live more fully as their true gender. This typically includes social transition, such as changing name and pronouns, medical transition, which may include hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries, and legal transition, which may include changing legal name and sex on government identity documents. Transgender people may choose to undergo some, all or none of these processes.

Human Rights Campaign

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias, also known as implicit bias, refers to associations we hold, outside our conscious awareness and control, including attitudes and stereotypes that influence judgment, decision-making, and behaviour.
Unconscious bias comes in many different forms. Please see this Catalyst article to find out more about forms of unconscious bias that are often encountered in the workplace.

HARVARD HUMAN RESOURCES Imperial College London
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