Women’s Equality Day: 100 Years and Counting
The jewelry industry has many women business owners, executives, jewelers, and designers. And over the past 50 years, women have created a place for themselves in the diamond business — once the strict purview of men.
Here at Stuller, women make up 68% of our workforce. Our 11-person Leadership Team includes five women. I’m sure many of you can look at your businesses and see similar ratios. So it’s easy to overlook the fact that this wasn’t always the case in our industry or any other.
So, What Changed for Women?
After a hard fought battle that played out over decades, women won the right to vote 100 years ago today — August 26, 1920 — when Congress certified the 19th Amendment! This demonstration of women’s determination and persistence continues to pay off in our lives today through the women’s rights movement. We have a level of independence and autonomy that our great-great-great grandmothers could not have imagined. And the changes haven’t stopped as our lives keep evolving in new and exciting ways.
Today, women build careers — many not previously open to them. They marry later, buy their own homes, and when they see a piece of jewelry they want, they don’t wait for anyone to buy it for them. Engagement rings are an exception, but even then, women are more likely to participate in the decision.
This growing trend towards self-purchasing is increasingly relevant to our industry, and this seems like the right moment to celebrate all that women bring to the jewelry business.
Stuller’s 68% female workforce includes several women product designers. They create jewelry that’s inspired not only by industry trends, but by their own life experiences. Here’s a small sampling of pieces from 302® Fine Jewelry, designed to help women express themselves.
Interesting Facts About the 19th Amendment
from the National Women’s History Project
- When did women begin the struggle for the right to vote? I had the mistaken impression it happened in the late 19th/early 20th century. In fact, the movement began in 1848 with a conference in Seneca Falls, NY. It took 72 years to achieve this goal.
- Many of us know Susan B Anthony fought long and hard for the right to vote. But did you know that in 1872, Ms. Anthony defied the law and voted in her hometown, Rochester, New York? For this act of rebellion, she was arrested, tried, and fined. She refused to pay the fine, and the matter ended.
- Did any states or territories give women the right to vote before the 19th Amendment? Yes, the Territory of Wyoming was first in 1869, followed by the Territory of Utah in 1870. The Territories of Washington and Montana followed in 1883 and 1887.
- And last but not least, by how many votes did the 19th Amendment pass Congress? It passed by two in the Senate and 42 in the House.
Let’s celebrate this momentous achievement by congratulating women employees and customers on this exceptional day!