As International Women’s Day approaches, it has made me think about what it means to me?
As someone who has always been passionate about gender equality, I really love the motto for this year – Embrace Equity - which encourages a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
For me, that means taking action with regard to supporting young women in navigating their careers, as well as creating awareness around unconscious biases and why a more diverse workplace (not just with regard to gender, but also culture and diversity), creates better outcomes overall.
In the earlier part of my career, in the male-dominated field of Investment Banking, I gave a lot of my time to mentoring, speaking on panels about my own experiences in juggling a busy career with motherhood, flexible working and lobbying senior management about hiring women into senior positions.
Moving into the world of retail three years ago, I reflected on how I could continue to encourage the empowerment of women. I am pleased to say that even though the world of jewellery traditionally involves a man purchasing a ring or a gift for a woman, Fairfax & Roberts has a diverse customer base which we are committed to continuing to grow. We work closely with the LGBTQIA+ community, but also have a significant percentage of female customers who proudly purchase gifts for themselves - whether it be to commemorate a significant milestone, or just because.
At Fairfax & Roberts, I have worked to build a balanced workforce, albeit a small team, I am especially proud of the number of women we have working in our Workshop – young women learning the craft of handmade jewellery, so that we can create the next generation of artisans in what is an aging population.
I was the daughter of old-fashioned immigrants, but they always encouraged me to reach for the sky – study, work, achieve – and that is something I will always be grateful for. I am definitely a feminist at heart, who also loves sparkly pieces of jewellery and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Managing Director, Fairfax & Roberts