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WJA Releases Results of Gender Equality Survey

It focuses on workplace issues where gender could be a factor.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The Women’s Jewelry Association’s Gender Equality Project released the results of its first survey, which asked members of the gem, jewelry, and watch industries to comment on workplace practices where gender could be a factor.

WJA engaged MVI Marketing, a trade and consumer research company that works exclusively for the gem, jewelry and watch industries, to assist in designing a questionnaire intended to gather the most useful information on this topic. MVI conducted the survey in fall 2018, and ensured confidentiality for survey participants. It also designed the survey so that there were two sets of questions – one for owners and one for employees.

“The goal of the survey results is to help WJA better understand the most pressing gender-related issues people in the industry encountered, so we can create programming and initiatives tailored to those issues,” says WJA Executive Director Bernadette Mack.

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The survey results show overall that employees and owners report widely differing awareness regarding nearly every gender-related workplace topic, indicating the need for education and support for both groups. As well, employees are likely to think gender topics “extremely important” more often than employers do. Exacerbating the problem for employers is that many employees are reluctant to report occurrences of gender discrimination to their bosses because they fear a negative impact on their jobs – or other retaliation.

To address these results, WJA has several projects already underway and will initiate others.

  • The survey indicates an overall lack of understanding about employment policies that cover gender-related workplace issues. As a result, WJA will provide increased and improved training and materials to employers and employees alike. (Note: WJA has already provided seminars at trade events and an online webinar detailing the various laws and regulations governing gender discrimination, in partnership with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.)
  • Employees at smaller companies are far less likely than employees at large companies to understand gender-related company policies – 92% of employees in companies with over 1000 workers know their company’s policies, while only 48% of employees in companies with 1-5 workers know them. Thus, WJA will particularly focus on providing education and support to small businesses owners and employees.
  • Of the total employee respondents, 30% report they have been deprived of equal opportunities for advancement; and 38% say they have been affected by pay disparity. To counteract this problem, WJA will provide training on negotiation and self-advocacy skills.
  • Employees surveyed also do not feel comfortable reporting occurrences of gender-based workplace issues more than 50% of the time – most often due to concerns about how such reports will impact their employment and/or a fear of retaliation. As indicated above, WJA will offer employees training on self-advocacy skills. WJA will also explore with owners how to communicate to employees that they can report problems without risk of losing their jobs or retaliation.
  • Nearly half of employees responding to the survey say they have witnessed discrimination or harassment in the workplace. As a result, WJA will offer bystander training in the future, which involves teaching witnesses how to recognize, intervene, and help victims to report and seek support.

The survey was deployed world-wide and 586 individuals participated – 98% from the U.S. Of the respondents, 240 are employees and 346 are owners/executives/board members/major shareholders (called owners throughout the survey results). Two thirds of owners and 91% of employees who responded are women. A majority of both groups are industry veterans (10+ years) and a large number are over 50 (69% of owners; 42% of employees). Among owners, 93% manage companies with 15 or fewer workers. Retail is the largest specific industry sector that responded (45% of owners; 33% of employees).

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The association received a JCK Industry Fund grant that helped underwrite the cost of the WJA Gender Equality Survey, its seminars/webinars, and enhancements to its existing mentorship program. The grant will also assist the association in offering skills training in workplace negotiation.

“We are developing gender-equality-focused tools and programs that will contribute to the future overall health and image of the industry,” said WJA President Jenny Luker. “The work we’re spearheading is educating business owners and executives about the importance of maintaining a bias-free work environment.”

Gender Equality: Different Perspectives

Here are specific topics where gender discrimination awareness diverged between employees and owners in WJA’s gender equality survey:

  • 49% of employees report they have witnessed or are aware of gender-based discrimination; vs. 7% of owners.
  • 30% of employees say they are deprived of equal opportunity for advancement due to gender-related issues, but only 2% of owners report they have received complaints.
  • 50% of employees report being subject to a gender-related hostile work environment (including at trade shows), but only 9% of owners report they have received complaints.
  • 38% of participating employees say that they have been affected by gender-related pay disparity, but only 2% of owners say they have received complaints.
  • 23% of employees say they’ve experienced sexual harassment, but only 5% of owners report receiving complaints.
  • 16% of employees say they have been victims of unwanted sexual advances; but only 3% of employers have received complaints.

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Diamond Empowerment Fund Now Doing Business As Diamonds Do Good

The change will be celebrated at DDG’s signature event June 1 in Las Vegas.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Seizing on the simplicity, significance and resonance of its “Diamonds Do Good” tagline, the Diamond Empowerment Fund announced that it will evolve its business name to Diamonds Do Good. In keeping with the change, the non-profit organization has reimagined its logo and will be doing the same to its signature Las Vegas event held on the eve of the opening of the JCK Show.

Inspired by Nelson Mandela in 2007, over the past 12+ years the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s mission has supported programs that develop and empower people in diamond communities around the world. In recent years, its mission expanded to exemplify and tell the stories of the good that natural diamonds do for people in the communities where they’re mined, cut, polished, and sold. Those stories have resonated with consumers and the trade alike: consumers have a better image of the natural diamond industry, and are more interested in purchasing a natural diamond after reading the ‘do good’ stories hosted on diamondsdogood.com. Likewise, members of the industry now identify their own sustainability programs under the ‘do good’ banner and use #diamondsdogood in their social media outreach, further building on the message and ensuring that diamonds continue to be a source of sustained economic development around the world.

Having created and trademarked the Diamonds Do Good name in 2014, the organization will now identify itself under this moniker moving forward, and has rebranded itself with a fresh, new look to mark this evolution. It will be celebrated at DDG’s signature event June 1 in Las Vegas, as a reimagined evening and experience that draws the industry’s top global leaders.

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Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair to Be back in February 2020

Respond by February 14th, 2019 to get special free privilege for Trade Missions.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Apart from showcasing extravagant collections of jewelry and offering an international trading platform twice a year, the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair has become a place where trust is established, and where business partners have turned into friends from long years of trading.

With quality products from manufacturers, traders and designers, lasting relations could be enhanced at the 65th edition of the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair from February 25 to 29, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand.

For the pre-registration form, click here. Email the form back at ttclausa@att.net or FAX: 323 466 1559.

Respond by February 14th, 2019 to get special free privilege for Trade Missions.

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Jewelers Mutual Donates $500,000 to Three Organizations in Charitable Campaign for 2019

The amounts donated to these organizations were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI — In honor of Giving Tuesday, Jewelers Mutual Group announced the culmination of its charitable campaign for 2019, resulting in $500,000 in donations to three deserving organizations. Funds were distributed this week to Feeding America, the Kids In Need Foundation and Special Olympics. The amounts donated to these organizations were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.

“It is important to have our policyholders be a part of our give back efforts because we share a mutual passion to help others in need. By encouraging them to vote, they made their voices heard, and were able to support the causes they are passionate about,” said Scott Murphy, Jewelers Mutual president and CEO. “Together, we really can do more, and we’re thrilled with the interest, engagement and the results this campaign has received both locally and on a national level.”

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More than 40,000 votes were made by Jewelers Mutual policyholders during the five-month voting period. Based on policyholder votes, Feeding America received $178,300, Kids In Need Foundation received $169,500, and Special Olympics received $147,200. Donations will also be made to Canadian organizations with similar missions.

How policyholders’ votes and corresponding Jewelers Mutual donations impacted the three organizations:

  • Feeding America
    The donation of $178,300 helps provide at least 1,783,000 meals.*
  • Kids In Need Foundation
    The donation of $169,395 supplies over 820 classrooms and 21,000 under-served students with supplies and resources. Additionally, Jewelers Mutual became the first national sponsor of GiftATeacher.org, a program which funds and provides enough school supplies to supply an entire classroom for a full semester.
  • Special Olympics
    The donation of $147,200 by Jewelers Mutual helped train approximately 2,450 Special Olympics athletes and provide a significant and life changing impact for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Jewelers Mutual encourages and supports its employees to be socially responsible and involved in their community. In addition to the dollars being donated, employees volunteered their time to assist all three organizations in 2019– sorting meals and stocking food for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, a member of the Feeding America network; taking part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics; and, packing and distributing 2,000 backpacks for the Kids In Need Foundation.

Jewelers Mutual looks forward to continuing its philanthropic pursuits in 2020 to support charitable organizations important to its employees and policyholders. For more information on how Jewelers Mutual gives back, visit JewelersMutual.com/social-responsibility and check out this video and infographic highlighting the past year.

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

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