SGV & Co. Chairman and Managing Partner Itos Cruz holds SGV’s EDGE certification with (from left): SGV Learning & Development Head Clair Mangangey; SGV Assurance Head Vivian Ruiz; SGV Brand, Marketing & Communications Head Marlu Balmaceda; Investing in Women CEO Dr. Julia Newton-Howes; Australian Embassy Counsellor Nardia Simpson; PhilWEN Chairperson & PBCWE Co-Chairperson Boots Garcia; Karol Villaluna and Duane Sabado of the SGV EDGE Core Team.

SGV& Co. was recently presented with the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Assess-level certification, making it the first professional services firm in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region to receive an EDGE certification.

EDGE Certification was developed by the EDGE Certification Foundation based in Switzerland. It is the world’s leading assessment methodology and business certification standard for gender equality. It is an evidence-based process designed to help organizations identify problems, set benchmarks and develop solutions to create an optimal workplace that will benefit both men and women. It is currently working with more than 170 organizations, in over 48 countries and 23 industries.

SGV & Co. Chairman and Managing Partner J. Carlitos G. Cruz says, “SGV has always supported empowering women and institutionalizing gender equality in the workplace. However, we need clear numbers to properly track our status in achieving gender parity and to measure our progress.”

The certification documents SGV & Co.’s long-standing policy on meritocracy, diversity and inclusiveness. As early as 57 years ago, SGV already admitted women into partnership. Today there is a strong-gender balance across the talent pipeline with women comprising 48% of SGV’s leadership.

SGV & Co.’s EDGE certification involved a rigorous review and process that took five months, culminating in an EDGE certified standard audit conducted by Intertek, an independent, EDGE Foundation-approved auditing firm. The EDGE Assessment Framework was used to correctly measure the data gathered from the organizational statistics, policies and practices, and employee survey.

SGV & Co.’s EDGE core team worked with representatives from the Philippine Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (PBCWE) during the various stages of the certification process. As one of the seven founding members of PBCWE, SGV & Co. is dedicated to driving positive change for women’s rights and gender equality in the workplace by closing the gender pay gap, increasing workplace female participation and helping women advance into leadership roles.

“We take pride in a multi-industry Business Coalition, who have all backed up their workplace gender equality commitment with concrete action. This is how you walk the talk,” PhilWEN Chairperson, PBCWE Co-Chairperson and SGV alumna-partner, Ma. Aurora “Boots” D.

Geotina-Garcia said. “With the present need and the workplace of the future in mind, it is our hope that more Philippine companies will follow suit,” she added.

PBCWE received a grant from the “Investing in Women” initiative of the Australian Government for its founding members to undergo the EDGE certification process. The initiative aims to accelerate women empowerment and drive inclusive economic growth in the ASEAN region.