The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has announced the launch of its first-ever Advocacy Task Force, designed to “explore and ultimately create actionable tools, training, education, workplace coaching, and mentorship that can be utilized by WJA members to advance women’s roles in the jewelry industry workplace,” according to a statement issued by WJA.
The task force has been charged with “defining the scope and goals of WJA’s advocacy efforts toward the development of resources for women, men, and companies to get smarter on gender-related issues,” the statement continues.
Topics the group will explore include the number of qualified women in professional leadership positions and women serving as directors on jewelry industry boards in the industry; gender-related biases in the jewelry industry workplace, including “policies related to caregiving, advancement, and compensation”; and other gender-based jewelry industry workplace issues, including discrimination and sexual harassment.
Bernadette McGovern Mack, WJA executive director, said in the release, “Though our mission has always been to promote the professional interests of women in the jewelry and watch industries, we hope to become an even greater resource to our members by offering focused programming on professional development and work-related topics. Ultimately, our goal is to foster systemic, lasting progress in the areas of leadership and representation.”
The task force is comprised of current WJA members Ashley Chan of Lei Lee Jewels; Jen Cullen Williams of Luxury Brand Group; writer Peggy Jo Donahue; Anna Martin of the Gemological Institute of America; Susan Posnock of Jewelers of America; Maren Rosen of Stuller; Laurie Watt of Mayer & Watt; WJA president Brandee Dallow; WJA president-elect Jenny Luker; and Cecilia Gardner, former president, CEO, and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.
The association plans to deploy a series of surveys to its members, as well as to the industry at large.
“My most sincere hope is that by exploring, discussing, and understanding the issues facing our members today, WJA can create a road map that will help companies recognize the value of fully empowering women,” said Brandee Dallow, WJA president. “I am extremely proud to be a part of an organization that has, and will continue to have, such a positive influence on women’s roles in the jewelry and watch industries.”
Photo: Members of WJA’s Houston chapter at a recent event (courtesy of WJA)