12 June 2023

Promoting Gender Equality: UNI/PdR 125 Certification for Inclusive Workplaces

Gender equality is a fundamental principle that ensures fairness, equal opportunities, and the elimination of discrimination between men and women. Achieving gender equality in the workplace requires a concerted effort from organizations and society as a whole. The certification according UNI/PdR 125:2022, issued by certification bodies as Kiwa, in Italy, plays a significant role in promoting gender equality in various contexts. This certification aims to eliminate gender discrimination, ensure equal opportunities in work and pay, promote gender balance in decision-making and leadership positions, and create an inclusive environment where all individuals can contribute and develop their potential.

Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equal Opportunities

Discrimination based on gender is a persistent issue in many workplaces. The UNI/PdR 125 standard recognizes the importance of eliminating such discrimination and promoting equal opportunities for men and women. By adopting inclusive policies and procedures, organizations can create an environment that values diversity and ensures that all employees are treated fairly and with respect.

Daniela Armani, Sales Manager of the Management System Division at Kiwa Italy, emphasizes the significance of the UNI/PdR 125 certification, stating, "The certification against UNI/PdR 125 is a powerful tool that empowers organizations to foster gender equality and create inclusive workplaces. It provides a framework for eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all employees."

Meeting Requirements for Certification

Organizations seeking the UNI/PdR 125 certification must meet specific requirements to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality. These requirements include adopting clear policies and procedures that promote gender equality in various aspects of the organization, including recruitment, remuneration, and promotion. Collecting and monitoring gender data to identify any disparities is also an essential requirement. Achieving gender balance in decision-making and leadership positions, as well as implementing policies that support work-life balance, are crucial steps towards obtaining certification.


Benefits and Incentives of Certification

Organizations obtaining the UNI/PdR 125 certification through Kiwa can reap both economic and non-economic benefits. Economically, certified companies may receive incentives such as contribution bonuses on their social security contributions and eligibility for state aid to co-finance investments. These incentives provide tangible financial benefits to organizations committed to gender equality. Non-economically, certification enhances an organization's reputation, improves productivity and performance, attracts and retains top talent, and fosters a better corporate culture based on mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion.

The Certification Process

The certification process consists of two stages: stage 1, an initial audit assessing the organization's gender equality management system, and stage 2, verifying the implementation of gender equality policies and measures. Upon successfully passing these stages, Kiwa issues the UNI/PdR 125 certificate, certifying the achievement of gender equality according to the established standards. Annual surveillance audits are then conducted by Kiwa to ensure the maintenance and continuous improvement of the gender equality management system.

Key Areas Assessed in Certification Audits

Certification audits conducted by Kiwa evaluate various areas to assess an organization's commitment to gender equality. These areas include policies and procedures, gender balance, fair pay, training and development, organizational culture, and monitoring and reporting. The presence of policies promoting gender equality, gender representation at all levels of the organization, equal training opportunities, and the establishment of monitoring and reporting systems are crucial aspects evaluated during the certification process.

Daniela Armani explains the significance of these assessments, stating, "Through certification audits, we assess the organization's commitment to gender equality and identify areas for improvement. We help organizations develop action plans to address gaps and create a more inclusive work environment. The certification process is a comprehensive journey towards gender equality."

Challenges and Overcoming Resistance

Implementing gender equality measures and obtaining certification can face challenges and resistance within organizations. Resistance may stem from various factors such as traditional gender roles, biases, and a lack of awareness regarding the benefits of gender equality. Overcoming these challenges requires strong leadership commitment, employee education and engagement, and the continuous promotion of the business case for gender equality. Organizations must invest in training programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives that foster an inclusive culture to address resistance effectively.

The Future of Gender Equality in the Workplace

The UNI/PdR 125 certification issued by Kiwa is a significant step towards achieving gender equality in the workplace. However, it is essential to recognize that certification alone is not enough. Organizations should view certification as a starting point and continue to prioritize gender equality by embedding it into their core values, strategies, and practices. Collaboration between organizations, policymakers, and civil society is crucial to drive systemic change and create a future where gender equality is the norm. With collective efforts, we can create a future where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive, regardless of gender.