When India-based diamond and jewelry manufacturer H.K.Designs read the research that showed only 20% of women in India were employed in August of 2020, down over 10% from studies in 1990, they knew they had to take action. The coronavirus pandemic had only added to the sobering statistics as women experienced widespread job losses throughout all major industries.
Through their Empower 100 Initiative, H.K. Designs commits to hire and train at least 100 women every year across all age brackets starting from 18 years.
Specialized training is given to women for developing the skills of jewelry manufacturing, being compensated while undergoing this training. After the training is complete, they can either join HK Group as a full-time employee or are free to opt for job opportunities in other companies.
This has already been a life-changing initiative for many women. Maya is the first woman in her family to go out and work to support her family; Hiral is the only source of income for her family, Trupti started working to give a better life to her son; Bindu is now one of the topmost performers after learning her skills on the job, Jyoti is now financially independent at age 19.
Further to the Empower 100 Initiative is H.K. Group’s pledge to reinvest a portion of their company’s profit toward ongoing training for women, enabling fair wages, boosting self-esteem, independence and community among women.
This initiative is not only good for women in the country it is good for India. Research shows that increasing women’s labor force participation by 10 percentage points could add $770 billion to India’s GDP by 2025.
H.K. Group’s pioneering initiative is Diamonds Do Good in action and another great example of industry members supporting the United Nation’s 5th Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equity.