ICA President Message

Posted By: Damien Cody News,
Damien Cody
ICA President

I was delighted to attend and speak briefly at the recent ICA Gemwomen Breakfast in Tucson which was very well attended and demonstrated the importance of networking within the ICA family. The attendees were from all corners of the globe and from many sectors of our industry. I thank Ruth Benjamin-Thomas from Australia and those who assisted in putting this networking opportunity together. Whilst it was encouraging to see so many women attendees engaged in very important roles within the industry, it belies the reality of the situation in relation to the involvement of women in our segment.

Women drive more than 90% of jewelry demand and yet are under-represented in some important sectors and in leadership roles. Women are the main influence in the fashions, tastes, preferences and designs and so it is no surprise that they are strongly represented downstream in jewelry design and retail segments.

Further upstream in mining, sourcing, cutting, dealing, manufacturing and gemological research women are under-represented. There are a number of factors causing this including some strong cultural and religious influences where women are not encouraged to work.

At ICA we will soon be evaluating and adopting a number of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDG’s). One of these goals is SDG 5 - Gender Equality and women’s empowerment. As an organization, we need to help bring down any barriers and enable economic empowerment for women all along our supply and value chains. 

At ICA we have increased the number of women on our ICA Board and in our various committees, but we need to look for ways of doing more even it means changing our Constitution and By Laws. 

I encourage our diverse ICA family and the colored gemstone industry at large to involve more women in your businesses and decision making positions. This will enrich your businesses with new perspectives and help our industry address this fundamental need to gain equality for women in our industry.