Updated: Apr 19
As the rise in popularity of certification marks grows, we wanted to let you know why getting SHE Certified is the right move for any company that is practicing gender equality - whether in ownership, leadership and/or creative roles.
1. The SHE Mark is a third-party verifier of information that you and your customers or clients can trust.
Certification marks function by providing third-party verification of information about a company or product - and it's the best way to increase transparency while maintaining confidentiality. Having an outside company do the work of asking for the right evidence, reviewing and verifying the information, and ensuring ongoing compliance with the standards instills greater trust than internal auditing.
Companies that issue certification marks set objective standards that can pertain to how a product is made/tested, how a company operates, or how they actualize their values. At The SHE Mark, we look at whether gender equality exists in the ownership, leadership, and creative roles of a company; we verify that information with evidence submitted in accordance with The SHE Mark Program and with a review of the company’s operating structure. Certification through The SHE Mark allows applicant companies to keep their employees' gender breakdown and other submitted information private, while still showcasing the gender equity in their ranks.
When you see a SHE Mark, you (and all your potential customers) can trust that we’ve done the work of looking into and confirming your company’s gender equality.
2. SHE Marks help your company showcase pride in being women-led.
It's a great time to be a women-led business - as a business operating with gender equality, you deserve to be proud of your impact on the world and especially the economy. Historically, it's been (and remains) really difficult to hire and promote with gender equity. Women and people with gender-diverse identities have been systemically excluded from the economy, and gender inclusivity will impact the economy the world over. The fact that your business is already there in some way is something you deserve to be proud of! We know we're certainly proud of you! And we look forward to helping you showcase that pride by communicating it wherever others interact with your company, and providing additional digital assets and copy to help you communicate your pride and understand your impact.
3. SHE Marks help your company stand out wherever you are - in your own community, and even in crowded marketplaces.
What differentiates your company from your competitors? Is it your offering, your team, your brand, even you? On a figurative (or literal) supermarket shelf, what about your company’s communications make it stand out? A SHE Mark addresses all of these needs, allowing you to use visual markers to differentiate your company and/or products, and using your values to set yourself apart from the competition.
What’s great about certification marks is that they’re an easy way to inform customers, employees, and partners on a businesses’ practices, values, and operations. The vast majority of consumers across all demographics are belief-driven buyers, and with the rise in purchasing power of Millennials and Gen-Z, that representation will continue to grow. Now, more than ever, consumers and job seekers are looking to support and work for companies that care, and they want to have that information available to them at critical touch points - at point of sale, upon review of job openings, etc.
People can easily understand, process, and rely on SHE Marks to verify that a company operates in accordance with their stated values, and will consider that information when making their decision about you. And the logo-format in which that information is communicated makes it really easy to incorporate into your packaging, marketing, etc., communicating this information at the exact moment consumers want it - when they're choosing between your brand and your competitors - at point-of-sale.
4. By getting SHE Certified™, you join a community of other certified women-led businesses that share your values.
When a company is certified, they are welcomed into our SHE Certified Community - a growing group of women-led businesses that are proud of that fact. Our SHE Certified Community members gain access to a group of like-minded businesses and people, and can join our regular community calls and contribute to the SHE Mark’s decision-making, network with other members, use our library of digital assets and physical materials to market their certification status, and gain access to a growing list of other perks.
5. The application process is simple, straightforward, and affordable. (Plus, our certifications last for 2 years before needing to reapply!)
The SHE Mark application process was designed to be thorough yet efficient, ensuring the perfect balance between integrity and consumer reliability with ease of application, specifically so small businesses can afford the cost (in money and time) of applying to get certified. You can likely get your application for SHE Certification together in under an hour. We've even designed and provided pre-made evidence forms for each sub-mark application, and made available a printed application for applicants that struggle with digital forms.
Once your application has been reviewed and accepted, you will be notified of the term of your certification; for our SHEruns, SHEmakes, and SHEowns marks, that term can last up to two years - giving you more than enough time to incorporate your SHE Mark in your branding and communications, while still ensuring that the certification mark you're using is up-to-date. Some applicants are required to submit ongoing documentation throughout the certification term so we can ensure the reliability of our marks but don't worry, those submissions can be done using the same evidentiary forms we provide you in the initial application! You can find more details about the term of certification in our The SHE Mark Program.
6. The SHE Marks add gender equality to the list of important values to consider when you shop.
Shopping in alignment with your values has been growing in popularity over the last decade with the rise of the belief driven buyer. Marks like Certified Cruelty-Free and Certified Fairtrade allow consumers to shop ethically, while marks like 1% for the Planet and FSC Certified allow consumers to shop with the environment in mind. The SHE Marks are adding gender equality to that mix and allowing for businesses that are women-led to have mark(s) to indicate such.
Additionally, our marks were specifically designed to look good next to some of our favorite certification marks, like Certified BCorp (and the other mentioned above). We also make available several versions of each mark, so you can utilize it alongside your other certifications or however will best make your packaging, marketing, and/or website look great.
Are you interested in applying?
Do you have any questions about the certification process?
You can also email us with any questions at info@theSHEmark.com.