GENEVA, Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Firmenich UK, an affiliate of the world's largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, today announced it is the first in its industry to be certified as a gender equality employer by EDGE. With this endorsement, Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE), the leading business certification standard for gender equality, is officially recognizing Firmenich UK for driving a diverse and inclusive workforce. Worldwide, Firmenich is one of only seven companies to be globally certified as a gender equality employer, with the UK standing out for its inclusive culture and career advancement opportunities for all.
"I am very proud that Firmenich UK is the first in our industry in the UK to be certified by EDGE for our commitment to gender parity. With women representing 56% of our management positions we are well beyond the national median of 31%," said Gary Nelson, General Manager of Firmenich UK. "This outstanding recognition not only positions us as an employer of choice for the men and women who work at Firmenich UK, it also makes us a trusted and reliable partner for our customers, as diverse teams deliver superior results."
"We congratulate Firmenich UK on being the first in its industry to earn EDGE Certification," commented Aniela Unguresan, Co-founder of EDGE Certified Foundation. "Firmenich scored exceptionally well in the areas of inclusive culture and career advancement. Particularly notable was the high share of women in the workforce and in management positions, as compared to their industry peers."
"I want Firmenich to be the best place to work in our industry globally. That's why we pursued global EDGE certification, supported by flexible work arrangements to ensure all our colleagues have an optimal work-life balance," said Mieke Van de Capelle, Chief Human Resources Officer at Firmenich. "Globally, our female colleagues represent 40% of our senior management and workforce. This recognition confirms we are making gender balance a priority, going far beyond equal pay. We will not stop here, as we remain determined to achieving the highest level of excellence in this area."
Firmenich UK emerged from the rigorous assessment as an employer clearly dedicated to gender equality, with policies in place for pay equity, an inclusive company culture, and high ratings from its colleagues on equal hiring opportunities. In particular the UK affiliate has an exceptional maternity leave retention rate of 80% of women remaining with the company 12 months following their return from maternity leave. Committed to helping its colleagues balance their professional and personal priorities, this best-in-class result is testament to the success of its parental leave program, coupled with flexible work arrangements upon return to Firmenich.
Advancing its commitment to diversity and inclusion, Firmenich UK collaborates with the Middlesex Association for the Blind to enable professional opportunities for its visually impaired graduates, recruiting them as "sensory panelists" to assess flavors and fragrances. Building on the EDGE certification, gender equality will remain a major focus for Firmenich UK and the wider Firmenich Group.
Firmenich is the world's largest privately-owned company in the perfume and taste business, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895. Driven by its purpose to create positive emotions to enhance wellbeing naturally, Firmenich has designed many of the world's best-known perfumes and tastes, bringing delight to over four billion consumers every day. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, each year, Firmenich invests 10% of its turnover in R&D to understand and share the best that nature has to offer responsibly. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.7 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2018. More information about Firmenich is available at www.firmenich.com
About EDGE 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 Certification has been designed to help companies not only create an optimal workplace for women and men, but also benefit from it. EDGE stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality and is distinguished by its rigor and focus on business impact.
EDGE assessment methodology was developed by the EDGE Certified Foundation, which continues to act as the guardian of the EDGE methodology and certification standards. Its commercial arm, EDGE Strategy, works with companies to prepare them for the EDGE Certification. EDGE Certification is currently working with more than 200 organizations, in 50 countries and 23 industries.