L’Oréal USA is the first company in the U.S. to be certified with the EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) global standard for workplace gender equality, the company announced today in honor of Women’s Equality Day. The EDGE assessment is the only business certification for gender equality in the workplace that is universally applicable across industries and countries.

Developed by the EDGE Certified Foundation and launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011, the EDGE assessment methodology is the only global assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality and is distinguished by its rigor and focus on business impact. The methodology uses a business, rather than theoretical, approach that incorporates benchmarking, metrics and accountability into the process. EDGE Certification has received the endorsement of business, government and academic leaders from around the world.

For the past six months, L’Oréal USA has been participating in EDGE’s certification process, which includes a comprehensive review of the company’s gender policies and practices and a deep analysis of gender data across the entire U.S. workforce of 10,000 employees.   As part of the evaluation, L’Oréal surveyed more than 3,000 employees on gender equality as it pertains to recruitment and promotion, leadership training and mentorship, flexible work, company culture and equal pay for equivalent work.

“L’Oréal understands that gender equality is critical to our success across all areas of business and also gives us a competitive edge.  The EDGE certification brings us a new level of accountability, transparency and a clear understanding of how to benchmark our progress,” said Angela Guy, L’Oréal USA Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion.  “We’re committed to taking leadership on this issue and will continue to develop innovative solutions toward achieving ongoing gender balance.”

Since its launch at the World Economic Forum in January 2011, more than 60 companies in 29 countries use the EDGE assessment methodology and certification process to create an optimal, balanced workplace for men and women. The methodology and standard enables a company to accurately assess how it performs both at a country and a global level.  The EDGE Certification was granted to L’Oréal USA after an independent verification of the findings by a third-party auditor.

“L’Oréal USA is a pioneer in their industry and in the U.S. by achieving certification,” said Aniela Unguresan, co-founder of EDGE Certified Foundation. “The process is very rigorous and requires a high level of transparency. As a result of their certification, L’Oréal is showing consumers, investors and employees alike that they are genuinely committed to an issue that is crucial to success in a global marketplace.”

As a result of the certification, L’Oréal USA created a customized roadmap towards continued progress in gender equality, which includes a broader adoption of flexible work arrangements and continued development of leaders across both genders. At the global level, L’Oréal is in the process of certifying operations in seven other countries.

Recently, L’Oréal USA reinforced its commitment to gender equality at the White House Summit for Working Families in Washington, D.C. The company was one of the signatories of the White House Summit’s business pledge for building a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans and improves business competitiveness on a global scale.

More information on EDGE can be found at edge-cert.org.