STANDARDS – Advancing gender equality through gender responsive procurement in the watch and jewelry industry


Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 joins hands with UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact to shift gears on the 2030 Agenda and accelerate action

NEW YORK – A C-driven roundtable was hosted earlier this month at the United Nations 78th Session of the General Assembly by the Belgian Mission to the United Nations, UN Women, and Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 (WJI 2030) in collaboration with the UN Global Compact.

STANDARDS  – Advancing gender equality through gender responsive procurement in the watch and jewelry industry

Iris Van Der Veken, Executive Director and Secretary General of WJI 2030

The event gathered industry leaders and associations in the watch and jewellery sector, experts from the United Nations, including UN Women, and government representatives to the UN.

Speakers included Mr. Ghislain D’Hoop, Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs & Globalization, Belgium, Ms. Sue Allchurch, Chief, Outreach & Engagement, UN Global Compact, Mr. Cyrille Vigneron, President & CEO, Cartier SA and the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 Co-Chair, Ms. Anna Falth, Head of Women’s Empowerment Principles and Economic Policy Advisor, Iris Van Der Veken, Executive Director & Secretary General of the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030, and Daniel Seymour, Director of Strategic Partnership Division, UN Women.

In 2023, UN Women introduced the WEPs Gender-Responsive Procurement Assessment Tool to help companies gauge their progress on GRP policies and practices.

To test this Tool, UN Women partnered with the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 to launch a pilot programme that evaluates gender-responsive procurement in the jewellery industry.

Nine members of WJI 2030 took part in this pioneering global initiative, marking the first endeavour to apply the tool within an industry-specific context, and aiming to assess and enhance gender equality practices within the jewellery sector.

Companies participating in the pilot included Cartier, Dimexon, Gucci, Italpreziosi, Julie Sandlau Vietnam, Monica Vinader, Rosy Blue, Rubel & Menasché and Swarovski.

At the roundtable Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 launched its first case study on Gender-Responsive Procurement in partnership with the Women Empowerment Principles Secretariat housed at UN Women.

As the first phase of the pilot project on gender-responsive procurement concluded, pilot companies’ demonstrated real commitment to gender equality, speaking volumes about companies’ dedication to fostering positive change for gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.

However, the report also brought to light common challenges evidencing the need to move forward faster to create gender equality now more than ever.

WJI 2030, UN Women and the pilot participants are exploring a second pilot phase to involve their suppliers, and to co-design GRP tools and resources to continue to strengthen gender equality in global supply chains.

WJI 2030, founded by Cartier and Kering, is driven by a common conviction that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspiration for a sustainable watch and jewellery industry can only be achieved through collaborative initiatives. WJI 2030 is founded on three key pillars: Climate, Biodiversity and Fostering Inclusivity.

At the core of Pillar 3 – Fostering Inclusivity, lies the Women’s Empowerment Principles, providing a foundation that propels our collective commitment towards gender equality. Recognizing the WEPs’ potential holistic impact on gender equality, WJI 2030 and its members extend their reach beyond immediate operations to encompass the entire watch and jewelry supply chain.

Anna Falth, Global Head of WEPs, said: “It is encouraging to witness pilot companies’ demonstrated commitment to gender equality. Their active engagement throughout this assessment phase speaks volumes about their dedication to fostering positive change for gender equality. We are confident that their commitment will inspire them as well as others to pursue transformative approaches like GRP to advance gender equality. Together, let us harness this momentum and redefine the future for women across the world.”

Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director and Secretary General of WJI 2030, added: “The joint pilot with UN Women marks the initial step in constructing a robust framework of tools and resources, poised to empower companies across the jewellery sector.

“Our vision is expansive, inviting all like-minded entities to join hands in this transformative journey. The urgency of our mission cannot be overstated—now, more than ever, we stand at a critical juncture to usher in change for gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.”

Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO, Cartier SA, said: “As we embark on this collaborative pilot initiative with UN Women, we are committed to foster gender equality across our sector and alongside our members.

“In order to drive concrete change, education and practical guidance are key. And we believe that collaborating to develop practical tools provide a unique opportunity to benefit all along the watch and jewellery supply chain.”