Diamonds / Industry

De Beers Recommits To UN Women, Works Toward Gender Parity


Happy International Women’s Day!

One of the industry’s biggest global players, De Beers Group, has announced that it will extend its partnership with UN Women—the United Nations’ entity dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment—for another five years, and will commit a fresh $3 million to the organization. 

The company has also joined UN Women’s newly formed HeForShe Alliance, which was launched by UN Women global goodwill ambassador Emma Watson to engage “men and boys as allies to support the work of the women’s movement and ultimately create an equal world for all,” reads a statement from UN Women announcing the formation of the initiative, released just this morning.

De Beers Group is partnering with HeForShe Alliance to increase its representation of women in technical and leadership roles in the company, with the ultimate goal of achieving gender parity in its workforce by 2030. Global companies PwC and Vodafone are also partnering with HeForShe Alliance with similar commitments.

De Beers Group’s commitment is particularly focused on overcoming barriers to women entering and advancing in science and technology fields. And its five-year commitment will see De Beers Group “enhance talent development and succession programs, extend training and awareness activities to encourage dialogue and challenge stereotypes, conduct regular reviews based on metrics and ongoing feedback, and enable access to STEM careers and education,” according to a prepared company statement.

De Beers Group has partnered with UN Women since 2017. And since that time, representation of women in senior leadership overall within De Beers Group has increased from 17% to 30%. 

Katie Fergusson, senior vice president for sustainable impact at De Beers Group, said in the same statement, “We’ve made really meaningful progress on increasing the representation of women in leadership roles in our business during the past three years, but now we want to accelerate this momentum with a particular focus on technical roles, where women remain underrepresented globally.”

De Beers Group’s $3 million investment will extend its AWOME (Accelerating Women-Owned Micro-Enterprises) program in southern Africa, which it debuted in 2017 in partnership with UN Women.

The program has provided business training and mentorship to more than 1,000 female entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, and qualified over 50 local trainers. De Beers Group has committed to supporting 10,000 female microentrepreneurs by 2030.

Top: Senior diamond sorter Kemmonye Bakupi analyzing rough diamonds in Botswana (photo courtesy of De Beers Group)

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By: Emili Vesilind

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