We owe our success to some brilliant women. From our earliest days, we have been a champion of gender pay parity and career opportunities for our 88% female workforce
When our founder Pankaj Mehta set up his ethical diamond supplier in the lush hills of Coimbatore in India in the 1960s, he looked to the local community to staff his operation. Specialising in tiny melee diamonds, he needed workers who were deft and skilful enough to handle these small stones. His natural thought was to employ women.
This was a revolutionary idea. In rural India at that time, women rarely worked and Pankaj knew he would have an uphill battle to convince the local communities. To show that his intentions were good, he personally travelled from village to village to share news of his vision for Dimexon and why he felt it would thrive with a largely female workforce.
His powers of persuasion succeeded, and soon his business was powered by local women, who were learning new skills while taking home the same pay as a man would for the job. Gender pay parity – again, unheard of at the time – was important to Pankaj, and it is a core value that we continue to keep up more than five decades later. We have also maintained the tradition of a female-led workforce, with 88% of our staff being women. We are proud of this legacy, and believe it to be one of the few examples in the diamond industry where women take the lead.
As well as ensuring our female staff are paid the same as men working in the natural diamond industry, we also want to ensure they have plenty of opportunities for career development and the chance to step up into leadership roles. To support this, we consistently roll out development initiatives such as apprenticeship programmes and in-house training sessions. Our most promising employees are also trained at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. We provide employment opportunities for women in Coimbatore, Mumbai, Antwerp, Dubai and beyond.
We also insist on a culture of mutual respect among employees and our workplace should be a safe zone for all. To ensure all women feel safe and protected at Dimexon, we have an anti-sexual-harassment committee called Women’s Wing. This dedicated collective operates a helpline that runs 24/7, allowing women to raise any concerns.
This female-first culture has created a unique professional space for women in Coimbatore, and we are so proud to watch as our employees thrive in their careers and lives. We believe our women can do anything they set their minds to, as was proved very recently when our former employee Kalpana Anandakumar, who worked with us as a diamond polisher for 15 years, became the first female mayor of Coimbatore in 2022.