IFC to Offer EDGE Gender Equality Certification as an Impactful Instrument to Close the Workplace Gender Gap

Posted on October 24th, 2018


3 minutes


Switzerland, October 24, 2018—IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with EDGE Gender Equality Certification, the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality, to offer to IFC clients and partners in emerging markets EDGE Gender Equality Certification as an impactful instrument to close the workplace gender gap.

As an accredited licensing partner for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Certification, IFC will offer EDGE Gender Equality Certification as an integral part of its comprehensive investment and advisory service. EDGE-certified companies are evaluated according to global and industry benchmarks through a third-party audit of four pillars: gender balance at all levels, equal pay for equivalent work, effective policies and practices to ensure equitable career flows, and an inclusive culture.

“In 2016, IFC, along with the World Bank, became the first international financial institution to obtain EDGE certification, and we were successfully re-certified in 2018,” says Henriette Kolb, Head of IFC Gender Secretariat. “We want to invest in and work with other companies that are committed to inclusive workplaces for women and men. EDGE-certified companies have greater transparency, accountability, and business impact, and that makes people want to work there, do business with them, and invest in them.”

IFC’s commitment to advancing gender equality is anchored in client demand for gender-smart solutions that generate opportunities for women while also contributing to companies’ bottom line, productivity, and growth. Research on corporate gender diversity shows that gender-balanced workforces exhibit one or more indicators of high performance, including higher share prices, increased profitability, and reduced risk. In emerging markets, over one in three industry leaders have reported that efforts to empower women led to increased profits. In countries around the world, companies with strong gender diversity are 15% more likely to report financial returns above their national industry averages.

Aniela Unguresan, Co-Founder of the EDGE Certified Foundation, said, “This joint effort will accelerate progress towards workplace gender equality with a focus on emerging markets. We are already witnessing heightened activity amongst institutional investors who want to see their portfolio companies apply the same rigor, discipline, transparency, and accountability in pursuit of gender equality as they do for their other business-critical goals. As an investor in private-sector companies and accredited licensing partner for EDGE Gender Equality Certification, IFC is sending a strong signal that workplace gender equality is fundamental to sustainable business success, improved governance, and an increased ability to adapt to shifting market trends.”

About EDGE Gender Equality Certification
EDGE is the leading global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. It measures where organizations stand in terms of gender balance across their pipeline, pay equity, effectiveness of policies and practices to ensure equitable career flows as well as inclusiveness of their culture. Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011, EDGE Gender Equality Certification has been designed to help companies not only create an optimal workplace for women and men, but also to benefit from it. EDGE stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality and is distinguished by its rigor and focus on business impact. EDGE Gender Equality Certification is currently working with 200 global organizations, in 50 countries and 23 sectors. For more information, visit www.edge-cert.org or follow EDGE on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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