Happy International Women’s Day 2021! While this day is often misconceived as a celebration of feminism, what most don’t know is that IWD was designed to challenge gender norms and honour equality. With that in mind, we have dedicated today’s article to introduce our predominantly female workforce, and to acknowledge what being a woman in this industry means to them.
The International Women’s Day theme this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’. It’s based upon the idea of women uniting to proposition the stereotypes and limitations that their gender bears in society. With Covid-19 offering further battles with social, economic and political issues for females, #ChooseToChallenge couldn’t have come at a better time.
Here at Joshua James, our small business is mostly operated by females, 72% of the business to be exact. Although this is a rare infrastructure for a business, it allows for input from a whole new perspective within an industry that was and still generally is male-driven. As a team, we have all come together, both the females and gents, to present the roles that both genders play in running this successful business.
The Jewellery Industry & Women
While men somewhat dominate the jewellery industry, the industry itself is built around and for women; with most marketing campaigns directed entirely towards them. There are also several significant job roles in jewellery that are taken up by women, including the British Academy of Jewellery being run by Sofie Boons, a woman that inspires all other females in the sector.
This often conjures up discussion when many top jewellery designers are male, but they are ultimately producing jewellery that meets the needs, preferences and tastes of the opposite sex. Rachael Taylor, one of BAJ’s freelance journalists quoted the highly esteemed designer Margot McKinney in a past interview “I believe there is a distinct advantage being a woman designing for women. Beyond just the practical wearing of jewellery, I understand how a fabulous piece of jewellery can make a woman feel. This can be a very powerful emotion.”
Although the jewellery industry is very much bias to their female audience, several male leads are still at the forefront. With that being said, as businesses continue to grow and evolve, we expect to see females making further appearances in our industry and many others, not just on World Women Day.
Continue reading to meet our entire team, to join us in celebrating our achievements and to find out how both JJ’s female and male employees perceive International Women’s Day in our industry and as a whole.
What’s your role at JJ? I’m the Marketing Manager at Joshua James. I oversee and direct all of our marketing activity across all channels. I’ve been here for almost two years now!
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery from JJ? My absolute favourite collection is from our own brand range, the Precious collection! It’s filled with beautiful on-trend gold pieces. Though we have some very exciting launches coming later in the year, and I think I’ll have a new favourite piece once they launch!
What’s your greatest achievement? I’d have to say my greatest achievement so far was buying my 1st house at the age of 24. I couldn’t have done this without the other accomplishments in my life, such as getting this fantastic role, and I think it’s a testament to all of those successes!
What does being a woman in this industry mean to you? I think being a successful woman in any industry means everything. I’ve worked in extremely male-dominated sectors previously and overcame the negativity and sexism that comes with that. It’s a shame that there are still fields like that, but the jewellery industry’s positive aspect is that it is highly inclusive, with a lot more female leaders. It’s incredible to be a part of that environment!
What’s your role at JJ? My role at JJ is as a sales assistant. I am also self- called logistic and “a hole-filler” in every department. Sometimes I am also walking entertainment when I try to speak with a “proper” Yorkshire accent.
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery from JJ? Joshua James Silver Bar Necklace with engraved names of my dogs.
What does being a woman in this industry mean to you? I have been working in this industry for a total of over 9 years. Jewellery is not only a feminine thing. Being a woman in the jewellery industry (and like any other) doesn’t require any special skills. But it requires a bit of willingness to know the subject and sensitivity to the client’s needs.
What’s your role at JJ? My role in Joshua James is being responsible for processing all of the Nomination orders.
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery from JJ? My favourite piece of jewellery is the Joshua James Precious 9ct Yellow Gold & Diamond Hinge Clasp Bangle. I just think this is a really delicate little bangle.
What’s your greatest achievement? The greatest achievement for me is that I ran my own business from a young age for 26 years before working for Joshua James.
What’s your role at JJ? I am Joshua James’ Content Manager.
What’s your greatest achievement? Working my way up through Joshua James and becoming the Content Manager. I started as an assistant for the Watch Department and it’s been great seeing my job role grow within the company while gaining valuable experience along the way.
What are your thoughts on celebrations such as IWD? I think it’s great to shine a light on women’s achievements and to help break the boundaries of what women can achieve in any industry. These celebrations help bring awareness to what can be achieved and can inspire many others.
What’s your role at JJ? I started at JJ on a temporary contract to help with the Christmas period, I was then given the opportunity to progress to Jewellery Engraver. I have now been in this role for over a year.
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery? I have the Joshua James Silver Triple Star Necklace, which I have engraved with my son’s initials.
What’s your greatest achievement? Outside of JJ, my greatest achievement professionally would be becoming the youngest manager in the Hull district for William Hill, I was 21 years old when given the opportunity to turn the most difficult shop in the area around. I built a strong team of women and together we managed to make the shop a success.
What’s your role at JJ? I’m the Social Media Executive at Joshua James Jewellery. I joined the team in March 2021 so I’m brand new! My role is to develop and implement social media campaigns to increase engagement and develop brand awareness across all social channels.
What’s your greatest achievement? I would say my greatest achievement so far was studying in New York at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was amazing to get to live there for 4 months and immerse myself in the culture, I lived right by the Brooklyn bridge.
What does being a woman in this industry mean to you? I have a genuine interest in jewellery and feel I really relate to the Joshua James customer. I think this makes my work so much more exciting! I can’t wait to start building campaigns that really resonate with our customers. It’s lovely to get to work in an environment that empowers women from the team behind the scenes to the customers we interact with everyday.
What’s your role at JJ? Content Assistant. I help to collate and edit all of the images, product data and price information.
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery? I have quite a large watch collection, so it’s inevitable that I would love our range of Nordgreen watches.
What’s your greatest achievement? That’s a tough one. I’ve had the privilege of supporting our troops in Afghanistan which was such a rewarding experience, but I’d have to say that having my daughter is the single greatest achievement of my life so far.
What are your thoughts on celebrations such as IWD? It’s hugely important to celebrate just how far that women have come, whilst highlighting the areas of inequality that still need to be improved upon, and in-turn help to inspire our future generations to strive for even more greatness.
What’s your role at JJ? I am the Order Processor at Joshua James. I ensure that all orders are shipped looking their best, ready for customers to enjoy.
What’s your favourite piece of jewellery? My favourite piece of jewellery is the Joshua James Serenity Elephant Pendant because they’re my favourite animal and its a timeless jewellery piece.
What’s your role at JJ? I am the SEO & Content Executive for Joshua James. I started in March 2021, making me one of the newbies! My main responsibility is to optimise all organic content using search engine optimisation best practises so that our business performs well against our competitors.
What’s your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement would have to be travelling South East Asia at the beginning of 2020. I got to experience the culture of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Bali which was nothing short of incredible.
What does being a woman in this industry mean to you? From previously working in industries that are somewhat dominated by males, it’s refreshing to enter a sector where there is a place for women- especially seeing as jewellery’s main target audience is female.
How are you celebrating International Women’s Day 2021? Keep an eye out on our blog for all Joshua James news and updates, as well as some style inspo!