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JA and National Jeweler Release Diversity Survey Results

Employer and employee survey results show opportunity for improvement.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Jewelers of America (JA) and National Jeweler have released the results of a jewelry industry survey on diversity and racial inequities.

The survey, deployed in the wake of the protests for racial justice, was created by the organizations to better understand the experiences of black professionals in the fine jewelry industry as well as learn about inclusion policies and experiences related to racial discrimination.

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The survey was open from September 23 to October 14, 2020 to all individuals working in the jewelry industry for companies based in the United States and the responses were completely anonymous. A total of 814 individuals responded to the survey. The survey questions were segmented into three groups: employers (473), employees (200) and self-employed individuals (141). Out of the 814 individuals that completed the survey, 71.5% were white, 5.3% black or African American, 4.9% Asian, 4.6% Hispanic or Latino, 2.9% multiracial or biracial, .7% American Indian or Alaska Native, 2% other and 7.3% elected “prefer not to say.”

National Jeweler reported on the employer survey results on January 14, 2021 and will be reporting on the Employee survey in a future article. The full quantitative survey results can be found on Jewelers of America’s website, jewelers.org.

“Jewelers of America and National Jeweler conducted this survey to gain a better understanding of black professionals’ experiences in the U.S. fine jewelry industry, and to gauge what needs to be done to foster more diversity, equity and inclusion. I hope members of the industry take the time to read National Jeweler’s analysis of the survey results and examine the full survey results posted on Jewelers of America’s website,” says National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff.

“The survey was not a destination but rather a starting point. The jewelry industry has to continue to push for racial equality and ensure that every company throughout our supply chain is taking important steps toward racial inclusivity,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.

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The survey results show that while the jewelry industry is open-minded to change, there is much work to be done. To take immediate action, the industry is encouraged to join Black in Jewelry Coalition, a Black-led group of gem, jewelry and watch industry professionals. BIJC is the first nonprofit association dedicated to the inclusion and advancement of Black professionals in the industry. Learn more at blackinjewelry.org.

Visit National Jeweler’s website at nationaljeweler.com to read the analysis or visit Jewelers of America’s website here to see the full survey results.

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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