RCJ calls for ‘immediate industry action’ amid gender equality report

The report, published in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility and other key stakeholders, aims to call for `’collective and immediate action on gender equality” in the industry

The Responsible Jewellery Council has called for “collective and immediate action” in regards to the jewellery industry’s fight for gender equality, amid the unveiling of its new report.

The report, titled: ‘The time is now to accelerate SDG 5, achieve gender equality, and empower all women and girls’, has been published in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility and other key stakeholders, including the World Jewellery Confederation.  

The report was revealed 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.

It details “four key themes”: commitments and business policies; talent attraction, training and retention; creating a culture of inclusion; and value-chain initiatives. 

The report calls upon the industry to create “a structure for employees to understand the parameters that address critical imperatives in promoting gender equality”. 

Iris Van der Veken, executive director of RJC, said: “In some areas of the supply chain women make up 70% of the workforce, but that is not reflected in higher paid skilled positions and in the boardroom.

“If the business case for gender equality is widely accepted, why are some CEOs not taking action? This is the question we wanted to answer, and to create a meaningful benchmark for the entire supply chain to monitor progress in the Decade of Action towards SDG 5.”

Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO, added: The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and vulnerable groups has brought to light the need for greater focus on sustainable and resilient businesses to implement a people-centred approach that empowers women and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Elisa Niemtzow, vice president, consumer sectors and global membership, BSR, said: “BSR is excited to work with the Responsible Jewellery Council and its members to realise their commitment to SDG 5 across the industry value chain.”

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