It goes without saying that women are at the heart of Swarovski with a workforce which is almost 80% female. But that isn’t the only reason for the company’s commitment to principles of equality, inclusion and diversity. Providing a space for women to reach their full potential – from the boardroom to the factory floor – is a key part of Swarovski’s efforts to create positive impact in wider society.
With the house’s longstanding commitment to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, this ideal is realized at every level of Swarovski’s operations, and across the brand’s supply chain and communities. In 2018, Swarovski reinforced its emphasis on empowering women by joining BSR’s (Business for Social Responsibility) HER project, which has spent over a decade elevating the wellbeing, confidence and economic potential of more than 850,000 women in 750 workplaces internationally. The first pilot project for Swarovski was based at a key supplier in Guangdong, China, that employs a high percentage of female workers, with a selected number of women from each factory receiving health training to be shared both formally and informally with their peers. Swarovski also joined forces with BSR and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to initiate the first multi-stakeholder exploration into women in the jewelry supply chain.
These endeavors extend far beyond Swarovski’s own business and into the worlds of culture and the arts. A collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, ‘Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative’, has seen Swarovski provide bursaries and organize programs supporting female filmmakers. So too are there few areas of the Swarovski Foundation’s philanthropic efforts as far-reaching as those which focus on women’s empowerment. Since the Foundation was first established in 2013, partner organizations that have received funding include Women for Women International, which seeks to provide economic support for women living in countries affected by conflict; NEST, an organization that supports a global network of women artisans; and Room to Read, an education non-profit in India that helps young women complete secondary education.
Finally, to coincide with International Women’s Day in 2019, Swarovski launched its ‘The Future Is Equal campaign’; a sweeping new initiative that places equality at the heart of the company’s ongoing development. After all, the importance of female empowerment to Swarovski isn’t just about the thousands of women it has already supported, it’s about building a future where these principles of equality are enshrined for all.