The time is now: Global jewellery industry calls for immediate action on gender equality as report unveils the urgent need for stronger commitment to SDG 5 implementation
The global jewellery industry has called for collective and immediate action on gender equality, a crucial building block in developing a strong and responsible supply chain that contributes to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 5. This resounding call for action was made by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the world’s leading standard-setting organisation for the global jewellery and watch industry, with the unveiling of its ground-breaking report, ‘The time is now to accelerate SDG 5, achieve gender equality, and empower all women and girls.’
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap report, it will take 257 years to close the economic gender gap. While all industries have the responsibility to address this gap, the jewellery industry is taking tangible action, underpinned by the efforts of RJC, which has rallied all stakeholders to promote gender equality across the supply chain. For many years, RJC has been resolutely working towards addressing gender equality in the industry and has actioned a series of ‘Generation Equality SDG 5 in Action’ roundtables and workshops to raise awareness amongst RJC members and the broader industry of the importance of addressing gender equality. The findings and recommendations for paving the way forward from these efforts are outlined in the report, which was exclusively unveiled today at the VicenzaOro 2021 Tradeshow – an event that gathers the most influential leaders and stakeholders in the global jewellery industry.
The report presents four key themes: commitments and business policies; talent attraction, training and retention; creating a culture of inclusion; and value-chain initiatives. Underlining the importance of the commitment from leadership coupled with business policies, the report calls for creating a structure for employees to understand the parameters that address critical imperatives in promoting gender equality. These are valid for all organisations, irrespective of size. The report further underpins the need for specific practices to attract and retain female talent and remove any barriers that exist.
Published in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility and other key stakeholders, including the World Jewellery Confederation, the thoroughly researched report was announced by Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of RJC at the ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Meeting Their Challenge’ seminar, organised by CIBJO, and hosted by the Italian Exhibition Group. The seminar is part of a series that aims to promote the principles of sustainability, responsible sourcing and social engagement in the jewellery and gemstones sector and is endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. It was co-presented by the Responsible Jewellery Council.