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Survey Highlights Gender Bias in Jewelry Trade

Some 38% of employees say pay disparity has affected them.
Apr 30, 2019 10:08 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The industry still has its work cut out for it in terms of gender equality, a survey published by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) indicates. The results of the study showed widely differing awareness between business owners and employees on nearly every parameter related to the topic.

Some 62% of employees ranked equal opportunity for advancement between genders as their most important issue, while only 46% of employers thought it mattered most, according to the survey conducted by the WJA and MVI Marketing. While 66% of workers felt pay disparity headed their list of concerns, only 39% of owners rated it a top issue.

A total of 38% of employee respondents — all female — reported they had been affected by pay disparity, whereas none of the male participants said they were impacted by a discrepancy in their salaries. However, only 2% of owners said they had received complaints about this issue, as a majority of employees stated they did not complain, fearing negative repercussions.

Meanwhile, 22% of respondents reported having been asked about marital status when interviewing for a job, and all were women, the data showed.

When it comes to sexual harassment, 23% of employees stated they had been a target, but only 5% of owners said they had received complaints. Approximately two-thirds of workers who experienced sexual harassment did not report it. Respondents were primarily concerned the complaint would affect their employment, while others kept quiet because the owner of the business was the perpetrator, the survey revealed.

“The goal of the survey results is to help WJA better understand the most pressing gender-related issues people in the industry encountered, so we can create programming and initiatives tailored to those issues,” said WJA executive director Bernadette Mack.

MVI conducted the survey in the fall of 2018 among 586 individuals in the jewelry industry worldwide. Some 98% of respondents were from the US, while 240 were employees and 346 owners. Two-thirds of owners and 91% of the employees who responded were women. 

Read more about women in the diamond and jewelry industry in the upcoming May issue of Rapaport Magazine.

Image: Business people in a work environment. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Bernadette Mack, gender-disparity, MVI Marketing, Rapaport News, wja, Women’s Jewelry Association
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