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Vicenzaoro September 2021: Legislation to Bridge the Gender Gap

Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council - RJC – on creating equal opportunities and implementing a global infrastructure for safe conditions. Yesterday at the Women in Jewellery talk

  • Iris Van der Veken - Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council - RJC

    Iris Van der Veken - Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council - RJC

«When women are in positions of power, the community prospers. It is extremely important that every company sees its own business under a gender magnifying glass and it is a moral duty to make sure that this aspect becomes normality. I have been working in this sector for twenty years and I think that there is a lot of optimism now in terms of the gender question, which should be seen as an evolution of society, not a revolution. We need to understand what the prejudices, different cultures, policies and local behaviors are because there are so many countries these days that still have discriminating laws against women. Nobody can go it alone. This is the message that I want to give. We have to collaborate and unite in a transformative and evolutionary manner. We have to advance and progress and, in order to do so, we need female leadership. It’s fundamental. If there are companies whose management has important values, there will certainly be policies in favor of gender, but these must be made operative. Therefore, it is company policies that tell us what is happening inside a company, but these must be followed up by a significant managerial approach, not just greenwashing. For example, it is necessary to have partnerships and synergies with local governments, as Botswana is doing with the De Beers Group, and there must be communication so that equal opportunities really become a main topic. In order for women to be at the center of gender policies, a precise legislative framework is required. Only in this way will the gender gap be closed within 50 years, which is, in any case, a relatively short time. We must assume an enormous responsibility, awareness is required and we need to go faster, even if I would like to underline that we will always need more men and their support. This is the decade of actions because only talking about sustainability is not enough. We need to integrate it into management and include it in business strategies

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