Charters and labels

One of our missions is to enlighten you. The difficulty in finding one's way around the field of diversity is sometimes due to the proliferation of stakeholders and the specific systems they offer.
Here are our little tips to point you in the right direction!

Charters in France

Charte de la diversité (Diversity charter) 

This is a covenant created in 2004 by two businessmen, Claude Bébéar and Yazid Sabeg, following the publication of the "Les oubliés de la République" (The Republic's forgotten ones) report by the Institut Montaigne. It encourages companies to guarantee respect for diversity among their workforce. It was originally limited to the notion of ethnic, cultural and social origin. Since then, the notion of diversity has broadened, and the charter with it.

It consists of six articles, and has been signed by almost 3,500 employers. The charter secretariat makes only one stipulation - that employers complete a questionnaire for a diversity assessment, which provides an annual review of the practices and initiatives undertaken by the signatory organisations. The results are published on an annual basis. The cost of signing up to the charter ranges from €200 to €1,500, depending on the size of the organisation.  Only the CEO may sign his or her company up to the Diversity Charter.

Charte d’engagement LGBT (LGBT charter of commitments)

Launched in 2013 by L'Autre Cercle and Accenture, it encourages companies to include the themes of sexual orientation and gender identity in their diversity policies.

The charter contains 15 articles designed to promote an inclusive work environment, equal rights and treatment, support for employees who are the victims of discriminatory comments and actions, and the need for continuous improvement through, among other things, the introduction of tools to measure the effectiveness of actions. As of January 2018, more than 75 organisations had signed the Charter of commitments. There is also a club which signatories can join to discuss their practices. Signatories to the charter pay a small fee

Charte de la Parentalité (Parenthood charter)

The Charte de la Parentalité en Entreprise was launched in 2008 by L’Oréal, SOS Préma and Jérôme Ballarin. Its objective is to encourage businesses to provide employees who are parents with an environment which is better suited to their family responsibilities. Signatories must implement concrete actions in four areas: work organisation, awareness-raising for managers, employee services and financial support. The cost of signing up to the charter ranges from €60 to €1,200, depending on the size of the organisation. More than 500 companies and organisations have signed up to it.

The Observatoire de la Parentalité en Entreprise assists signatory companies in putting their commitments into practice.

These three charters were drawn up with input from companies, and it was France which led the initiative in Europe.


The AFMD is a signatory to the Diversity Charter, the L'Autre Cercle's LGBT Charter of commitments and the Parenthood Charter.

Labels in France, Europe and the rest of the world

Label Égalité Professionnelle (Gender equality in the workplace label)

Created in 2004, and supported by the State and social partners, the Égalité Professionnelle label meets particular specifications and is based on expert opinion. It is designed to promote gender equality and gender balance in the workplace, and can be awarded to any company, organisation or authority, regardless of size or sector. There are several assessment criteria which fall into three categories:

  • the actions taken by the company to promote equality in the workplace;
  • human resources management and leadership;
  • support for parents in the workplace.

AFNOR Certification examines the application and assigns an assessor to produce a report on your practices and results. It is primarily a documentary audit of your company's internal processes. A labelling committee made up of equal numbers of representatives of the State, employee trade unions and employer organisations then delivers an opinion by majority vote, in the light of which AFNOR Certification decides whether to award the label for a period of four years, or to reject the application. A mid-term review is also arranged.

As of January 2018, more than 80 organisations hold the label. The cost varies, depending on the size of the organisation.

Label Diversité (Diversity label)

Introduced in 2008 by the Ministry of the Interior and the ANDRH (National Human Resources Association), and now managed by the Ministry of Labour, the Label Diversité demonstrates an organisation's effective and voluntary commitment to promoting diversity through the prevention of discrimination. It does not hold up an organisation as a perfect example, but recognises work already undertaken, and obliges the holder, through regular on-site audits, to make progress in tackling discrimination. The organisation's internal processes are examined, along with all those which involve stakeholders, especially customers and suppliers.

After the on-site audit, the evaluation report is examined by the Commission nationale de la diversité (National Diversity Commission), which is made up of social partners, government officials and a panel of experts (HR managers). The label is awarded by AFNOR Certification for a period of four years and its retention is subject to a mid-term review. A test to help you situate your organisation in relation to the eligibility criteria is available on the AFNOR website.

As of January 2018, more than 350 organisations hold the label. The cost varies, depending on the size of the organisation.

Since 24 December 2015, it has been possible to submit a joint diversity/workplace equality ("Alliance") application, which has a number of advantages: streamlining of the labelling process, with modified and common specifications, and a reduction in the duration and cost of the audit. The application must still be assessed by the labelling committees for both labels.
The AFMD has produced a handbook and a tool to assist organisations which want to apply for the Diversity label

GEES and GEEIS Diversity labels 

The Gender Equality – European Standard (GEES) label was launched by the Arborus Fund for gender equality in the workplace in Europe and its founder members at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels in April 2010. It was the first European gender equality label.

Certified by Bureau Veritas Certification, its remit is to promote the development of a shared culture of gender equality in the workplace and greater uniformity in career paths. The idea is to provide organisations with management tools to enable them to achieve real and effective gender equality wherever the organisation operates (parent company and at least one subsidiary).

The GEES label is valid for three years. The label is awarded and retained subject to regular audits held every 18 months.

In 2016, Arborus broadened its scope by launching the international label: GEEIS.

EDGE Certification

Economic Dividends for Gender Equality Certification (EDGE) was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January 2011. The label was created by a dozen or so experts from various countries and different fields. They created a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative system for measuring the results of an equal opportunities policy, and one which could also be used to evaluate the process itself. An evaluation tool is available to help companies prepare for certification.

Five areas are assessed by DNV-GL, a third party certification body: pay, recruitment/promotion, leadership/mentoring training, flexibility of working arrangements and company culture. EDGE offers three levels of certification: ASSESS, MOVE and LEAD. Certification is valid for two years and a minimum of 200 employees is required.

In 2018, 170 organisations in 48 countries hold the label.