Mercer joins EDGE initiative to improve diversity of workforce

22 January 2018 2 min. read

Consulting firm Mercer has joined a programme to improve the diversity of its workforce. The EDGE Assess certification aims to support companies with their efforts for diversification by independently analysing their efforts.

Diversity has become an increasingly important issue at companies seeking to attract talent from all backgrounds. Numerous studies have highlighted the broad positive effect of diversity on business performance, while governments have sought ways to improve representation of a wide array of difference across businesses.

However, businesses continue to fall prey to difficulties. Some of these are implicit biases which are hard to shift or are discriminatory practices that continue to be used covertly; while others are related to perceptions from staff of differences between what is on offer, such as various work-life balance offerings, and what may also be actively discouraged or discriminated against by those who use such programmes. A recent McKinsey & Company study of law firms, for instance, found that while women (and men) were offered various programmes, they believed that using them would negatively affect their career prospects.

Mercer gains EDGE Assess certification

In a bid to tackle various difficulties faced by employees seeking to navigate the visible and invisible limitations of environments controlled by employers, a number of pressure groups have resorted to issuing certification for employers with equality in their long-term plans. One example of this is the EDGE Assess Certification, which offers businesses across the globe with an assessment methodology that will allow businesses to ‘not only create an optimal workplace for women and men, but also benefit from it.’ The stamp of approval is applied to businesses to critically assess how to bridge the diversity gap. So far, more than 170 organisations, in over 48 countries and 23 industries, including consultancy firms, Capgemini, and Mercer, which joined most recently.

Fiona Dunsire, Mercer’s UK CEO, commented, “We are proud of the progress we have made on gender equality and obtaining this certification demonstrates our commitment to diversity. At Mercer, providing everyone with equal opportunity for development and advancement is paramount, and we are determined to do more to ensure all our employees thrive. Promoting gender equality is not only the right thing to do, it is also a good business strategy.”

Aniela Unguresan, Co-Founder EDFE Certified Foundation, added, “Mercer is a true example of authentic commitment and organisational alignment as highlighted in their own When Women Thrive research. It is clear from leaders and colleagues in the company who walk the talk and understand the link to business success and sustainable change.”