02 Dec 2021
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HVK International drives gender equality in the diamond polishing industry
HVK’s attractiveness for female employees is evidenced by tenure. The majority of female workers have been with the business for over 10 years
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 21 2020 10:36AM
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Reference: 25214  

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HVK International’s Surat factory female workforce
HVK International’s Surat factory female workforce

It is a sad fact that whilst diamonds are a product almost exclusively worn and adored by women, the industry behind them is dominated by men. Thankfully, progressive companies across the supply chain are taking action to address this, and bring gender balance into the business.

Interestingly, diamond mining has made significant progress towards diversity, despite the barriers of being a dangerous and labor intense sector. We have seenseveral major companies adopt measures to encourage much higher levels of female inclusion, including at very senior levels.As an industry leader, De Beers has progressed gender equality issues beyond its own workforce. It has been a force for positive change through the communities in which it operates, and amongst wider industry stakeholders.

Further downstream, the diamond polishing and jewellery manufacturing workforces remain almost entirely male, but that too is being challenged.HVK International, a De Beers Sightholder and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of brown diamonds, employs 120 women across the full range of technical functions. It has taken thought and effort to make the workplace comfortable and rewarding for its female team.HVK believes inspiring and supporting women to develop fulfilling careers and generate their own income will pave the way for future generations to challenge gender stereotypes and follow their dreams.

Earlier this year, HVK hosted a Women’s Empowerment workshop for all its female employees. This workshop was run by external facilitators from Gemdax, a Belgium-based consultancy firm. The aim of the workshop was to raise awareness, as well as educate and motivate the female workforce to catalyse positive change in their lives, wider communities, and diamond industry.It provided a forum for women to share experiences, success stories and connect with a global community. Participants commended HVK’s safety measures, working environment, flexibility, transparency, and comfort provided by the management.

HVK’s attractiveness for female employees is evidenced by tenure. The majority of female workers have been with the business for over 10 years. HVK rigorously invests in training and development of female workers, and sees a better pay back in loyalty and skill level attained than typically seen in their male counterparts. It also addresses any concerns of female safety, often cited as an issue by working women. HVK’s policy of ‘no overtime’ for female workers ensures they can travel safely on arranged transport during regular hours. Among HVK’s staff,40% of married couplesopt to work together, creating a mutual feeling of comfort.It also supports women in resuming work after marriage or maternity, with more flexible hours or adapted role if required.

HVK firmly believes that gender equality and the full participation of both men and women are vital for the sustainable development of a country, and of an industry. Female empowerment is therefore part of HVK’s wider commitment to effect social change in order to shape a more fair, equal and sustainable tomorrow.

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