The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) was founded based on the belief that women networking with each other could change the world, and is a resource that allows women to be mentors, provide scholarships and seed money for new entrants into the jewelry industry, as well as recognize women’s talents and accomplishments.
As a 2019 JCK Industry Fund grand recipient, WJA has put its grant to use to support its Gender-Equality Project, launched in 2017. Learn more about the project and what WJA is up to today in our conversation below.
What is your organization’s mission?
The Women’s Jewelry Association is a non-profit membership organization with a mission to help advance women professionally in the jewelry and watch industries through networking, educational programming and leadership development.
What initiatives are you currently working on?
As part of the Women’s Jewelry Association’s efforts to continue promoting gender equality in the jewelry and watch industries, WJA launched the Gender-Equality project in 2017 to empower our members through effective tools and programs that contribute to the overall health and positive image of the industry.
The Project aims to continue its work providing skill-based training that contributes to the professional development of women. Data show that women make the vast majority of purchase decisions in the jewelry industry and that increased involvement and leadership by women in every sector of the jewelry trade will lead to better business outcomes. Business improvement, in employment and workplace status as well as in improved consumer engagement, is the goal and the logical outcome of the WJA Gender Equality Project.
Currently, WJA is working to train female professionals to boost their confidence in business, including making sales, contracting with vendors or landing a promotion. With support from the JCK Industry Fund, WJA partnered with Negotiable, an online, self- paced training platform that helps strengthen one’s ability to bargain effectively and confidently.
Negotiable’s best practices increase the likelihood of building confidence in a sales environment or in a professional workplace. WJA is excited for its partnership with Negotiable to introduce this specialized training to our membership that is not offered anywhere else in the industry.
Specifically, how has the grant been allocated/implemented to support your cause?
To build upon WJA’s first JCK Industry Fund grant supporting the Project, the Women’s Jewelry Association is utilizing its current grant to:
- Offer the online Negotiable training to 400 of our members across the globe
- Bring women in local chapters (and via our online community) together to practice proven negotiation techniques that will help them achieve positive results in their business or workplace
- Create a safe and comfortable practice environment designed to build confidence and increase participation of women in the jewelry and watch industries
Please share details about your campaign/programming?
Negotiable offers a collection of resources—videos, assessments, worksheets, and more— that are easily applicable in everyday situations. Members sign up for this online self-paced program and participate in modules addressing their greatest needs. Support from the JCK Industry Fund has made it possible to share this robust opportunity with our members and we have encouraged our members to convene in their local chapters to discuss their results, practice the techniques and continue supporting each other in a community-oriented environment.
How has your campaign/programming impacted the jewelry and watch communities? (Or how will it impact the jewelry community)?
The development of equality-focused tools and programs continue to be necessary to address potential gender-related issues faced by the industry. By liaising with experts such as Negotiable, WJA is able to develop tools and offer ongoing programs that contribute to the future overall health and improved image of the jewelry industry by providing skill-based training for women as well as information and wide-spread engagement on the importance of equality and advocacy.
How do you foresee this grant elevating your capabilities?
The Women’s Jewelry Association is proud to invest in the resources necessary to grow and develop a set of programs and tools that our members – and all women in the industry – need to be successful. With support from the JCK Industry Fund grant, WJA is able to offer 400+ women the opportunity to strengthen their voice and boost their confidence in selling, negotiation and management.
This elevates WJA’s efforts, our mission and our impact.
WJA will be returning to JCK Tucson 2020 for the second annual WJA Pavilion. The destination leverages the power of WJA’s community of talented designers and offers an exclusive opportunity for WJA’s designers to showcase products and connect with high-quality retailers looking to restock after the holidays. Learn more here.