In an era of heightened scrutiny for corporate diversity, the EDGE foundation, a group that fosters equity in workplaces, is stepping up its campaign with a new certification program. On Thursday, it revealed the first company to receive the new certification worldwide will be L’Oreal USA, which it lauded for efforts to reach pay equity in “multiple dimensions of diversity”—across various race, ethnicity, gender identity, and age groups, as well as disabled and LGBTQ communities.
Dubbed EDGEplus, the foundation’s label hopes to serve as a gold standard for cultural inclusivity. That’s measured in concrete actions, as opposed to the familiar trope of companies making promises and then failing to deliver on them. “Data shows a gap” between the values companies publicly commit to and the moves they make to achieve them, the group writes on its website. It aims to help close that gap by designing tailored strategies for firms based on a marriage of statistical data, policies and practices, and employees’ experiences.
For L’Oreal, that meant developing an internal global wage-tracking tool to monitor equitable pay, and reviewing feedback from more than 3,500 employees on their perceptions of company culture, flexible work arrangements, and opportunities for career advancement. According to L’Oreal, 56% of its U.S. leadership is female.
Whereas EDGE’s previous programs focused mainly on gender parity, its new program includes a wide scope of diversity lenses, many of which have come into the spotlight as issues of racial bias roiled the nation this past year. Amid the collective reckoning, big companies from Nike to McDonald’s have scrambled to highlight diversity initiatives.