|De Beers Group has announced a three-year partnership with UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. The partnership aims to accelerate the advancement of women across the De Beers organization, in its diamond producing countries and in its marketing.
As a UN Women partner, De Beers has committed to achieving parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles, investing in women micro-entrepreneurs and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students in its diamond producing countries and ensuring De Beers' brands are a positive force for supporting gender equality through all its marketing campaigns.
Working alongside UN Women, governments and communities in its diamond producing countries of Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa, De Beers will invest US$3 million to advance the prospects of women and girls by addressing key priority areas.
In Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, the focus will be on accelerating the growth of women-owned micro-enterprises to enhance the capacity of women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, increase their income and create sustainable jobs for themselves and their communities.
In Canada, De Beers and UN Women will work with, among others, the University of Waterloo to provide scholarships and mentoring to young women and girls from underprivileged communities who want to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
De Beers' announcement notes that these programs are in the advanced planning stages and are due to launch in the coming months.
More Leadership Positions for Women
As part of its commitment, De Beers says it will also be accelerating the advancement of women across its organization, more than doubling the rate of women appointed into senior leadership roles, and aims to achieve parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership by 2020.
Beginning earlier this year, Group-wide initiatives have already included a review of talent attraction and development processes, the rollout of unconscious bias training, the establishment of a senior management-led reciprocal mentoring programme and the review of policies and recruitment guidelines.
De Beers Marketing Campaigns to Support Gender Equality
On the marketing front, De Beers' diamond marketing campaigns for their consumer brands Forevermark and De Beers Diamond Jewellers will aim to shape creative campaigns that reflect the diverse roles that women occupy in society.
Both Forevermark and De Beers Diamond Jewellers have reportedly already begun commissioning new campaigns, due to run later this year and next year, that are inspired by equality and the evolving role of women in society.
Bruce Cleaver Named ‘HeForShe' Thematic Champion
In recognition of De Beers' commitment to women's equality, De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver has been named a UN Women ‘HeForShe' Thematic Champion. HeForShe is the UN's global movement for the acceleration of gender equality and Cleaver is one of eight global Thematic Champions who have committed to implementing policies and actions within their organization to advance gender equality.
Commenting on his appointment, which was announced by UN Women Executive Director, and Under-Secretary General, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka during the UN General Assembly, Cleaver said: "Improving the prospects for women and girls advances an entire society and organisation, as everyone benefits from the increased diversity of experience, skills and insight that greater representation of women delivers. We are in the early stages of our journey toward gender parity and we know that achieving our goals will require a dedicated and ongoing focus that continues well beyond our initial 2020 target."
Continues Cleaver: "Diamonds hold a unique place in marking the most precious moments in the lives of millions of women around the world. At De Beers we believe it is our responsibility and privilege to stand with women, to lead in the pursuit of equality and to give even deeper meaning to the diamonds they are proud to wear and pass on to next generations."UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: "We are delighted to have De Beers Group on board as a UN Women partner. With global organisations like De Beers joining the United Nations movement to achieve gender equality, we are able to reach new and greater audiences to further build global awareness and support for advancing women's empowerment."