We are all familiar with the song turned popular phrase, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. So naturally, you want to make sure that your ‘best friend’ is beautiful yet responsibly sourced. Whether you are diamond shopping for an engagement and wedding ring, or a ‘just because’ gift for yourself or someone else, do consider these options to ensure that your diamond choice is an ethical one.
1. Know the Kimberley Process
In 2003, the U.S. Government signed the Clean Diamond Trade Act, which implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process unites administrations, civil societies and the industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds, which are also known as rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments around the world. The act requires that all diamonds imported to or from the United States have a Kimberley Process Certificate. Be sure to purchase your diamond from a jeweler that requires a mandate for this process.
Photo Courtesy of The Balance
2. Choose a Canadian Diamond
You will find that these are beautiful diamonds from the highest quality diamond mines in the frozen Canadian tundra. The pristine environment allows for some of the cleanest diamond roughs in the world. A Canadian diamond, such as Northern Lights, comes with a Certificate of Origin proving it is mined, cut and polished in Canada—which has strict environmental regulations for mining, cutting and polishing as well as a commitment to social responsibility.
3. Know Your Supplier
Know your supplier. De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, produces Forevermark diamonds which come with a guarantee that each one was mined with stringent criteria on responsible sourcing. These diamonds are genuine, untreated and natural. Though you can’t trace your Forevermark diamond back to the exact mine where it came from, the company invests significantly in local communities by building schools and hospitals near its mines. Selected by hand, less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond.
Photo Courtesy of Diamond Foundry
4. Love for the Lab-Grown
Although traditional diamond mines have gone to great lengths to offset the environmental impact of mining, lab-grown diamonds’ environmental impact is significantly less than that of a mined diamond. You can, with 100 percent certainty, know the origin of your diamond with this eco-friendly option. Likewise, a lab-grown diamond has the same exceptional color, clarity, beauty and brilliance as a mined one because it is identical in composition. If you’re sensitive to how products you own are produced, as owner of a lab-grown diamond you can take pride in knowing your diamond had less impact on the Earth. This makes it an affordable and attractive option too. To explore the world of lab diamonds, click here.
After you have identified an ethically sourced diamond that you love, it's time to decide on the design of your new ring or another jewelry gift. Luckily, someone who is trying to stay eco-friendly and fashionable can have the best of both worlds with either a classic solitaire, stackable jewelry, and fancy diamond shapes — three of the hottest trends of 2017/2018.
5. Eco-friendly Classic Solitaires
When it comes to a woman's jewelry wardrobe, classic solitaries and pendants are staples. These simplistic, yet beautiful items can be found in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Classic solitaire rings, necklaces, and earrings are traditional pieces of jewelry that have made a huge comeback. Many people are looking for a clean, yet a dainty piece of jewelry that they can either wear casually or dress up for a special occasion. Solitaries are a very popular lab-grown diamond, containing the same quality of color, beauty, brilliance, and clarity as a mined diamond would have.
6. Go-green with Stackable Jewelry
Why only wear one piece of jewelry when you can show off multiple? One of the hottest trends in jewelry is layering and stacking pieces together. Whether you stack rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. they all can make a bold statement with any outfit. Most stackable jewelry also contains mixed metals, gemstones, styles and more between each piece which gives every look a hint of glam and personality. The style options are limitless, making it easy for someone to combine ethically sourced jewelry pieces for that extra chic appeal.
7. Ethically Sourced Fancy Diamond Shapes
Fancy diamond shapes have been one of the hottest trends in 2017 and are forthcoming for 2018 as well. Vintage-inspired shapes such as emerald, pear, marquise, oval and more are gaining increased attention due to the uniqueness and personality that they bring to your jewelry collection. Each fancy shape acquires excellent versatility and looks great in almost any style of ring, necklace or earring design. With each shape already possessing a unique look to them, having them ethically sourced makes them even more exceptional. With that said, all of these shapes can be mined or created in a lab. Eco-friendly couples who want an ethically sourced diamond but also something extraordinary, fancy-shaped diamonds are the way to go.
New parents re-entering the workforce are often juggling the tangible realities of daycare logistics, sleep deprivation, and a cascade of overwhelming work. No matter how parents build their family, they often struggle with the guilt of being split between home and work and not feeling exceptionally successful in either place.
Women building their families often face a set of challenges different from men. Those who have had children biologically may be navigating the world of pumping at work. Others might feel pulled in multiple directions when bringing a child into their home after adoption. Some women are trying to learn how to care for a newborn for the first time. New parents need all the help they can get with their transition.
Women returning to work after kids sometimes have to address comments such as:
"I didn't think you'd come back."
"You must feel so guilty."
"You missed a lot while you were out."
To counteract this difficult situation, women are finding mentors and making targeting connections. Parent mentors can help new moms address integrating their new life realities with work, finding resources within the organization and local community, and create connections with peers.
There's also an important role for parent mentors to play in discussing career trajectory. Traditionally, men who have families see more promotions compared to women with children. Knowing that having kids may represent a career setback for women, they may work with their mentors to create an action plan to "back on track" or to get recognized for their contributions as quickly as possible after returning to work.
Previously, in a bid to accommodate mothers transitioning back to work, corporate managers would make a show at lessoning the workload for newly returned mothers. This approach actually did more harm than good, as the mother's skills and ambitions were marginalized by these alleged "family friendly" policies, ultimately defining her for the workplace as a mother, rather than a person focused on career.
Today, this is changing. Some larger organizations, such as JP Morgan Chase, have structured mentorship programs that specifically target these issues and provide mentors for new parents. These programs match new parents navigating a transition back to work with volunteer mentors who are interested in helping and sponsoring moms. Mentors in the programs do not need to be moms, or even parents, themselves, but are passionate about making sure the opportunities are available.
It's just one other valuable way corporations are evolving when it comes to building quality relationships with their employees – and successfully retaining them, empowering women who face their own set of special barriers to career growth and leadership success.
Mentoring will always be a two way street. In ideal situations, both parties will benefit from the relationship. It's no different when women mentor working mothers getting back on track on the job. But there a few factors to consider when embracing this new form of mentorship
How to be a good Momtor?
Listen: For those mentoring a new parent, one of the best strategies to take is active listening. Be present and aware while the mentee shares their thoughts, repeat back what you hear in your own words, and acknowledge emotions. The returning mother is facing a range of emotions and potentially complicated situations, and the last thing she wants to hear is advice about how she should be feeling about the transition. Instead, be a sounding board for her feelings and issues with returning to work. Validate her concerns and provide a space where she can express herself without fear of retribution or bull-pen politics. This will allow the mentee a safe space to sort through her feelings and focus on her real challenges as a mother returning to work.
Share: Assure the mentee that they aren't alone, that other parents just like them are navigating the transition back to work. Provide a list of ways you've coped with the transition yourself, as well as your best parenting tips. Don't be afraid to discuss mothering skills as well as career skills. Work on creative solutions to the particular issues your mentee is facing in striking her new work/life balance.
Update Work Goals: A career-minded woman often faces a new reality once a new child enters the picture. Previous career goals may appear out of reach now that she has family responsibilities at home. Each mentee is affected by this differently, but good momtors help parents update her work goals and strategies for realizing them, explaining, where applicable, where the company is in a position to help them with their dreams either through continuing education support or specific training initiatives.
Being a role model for a working mother provides a support system, at work, that they can rely on just like the one they rely on at home with family and friends. Knowing they have someone in the office, who has knowledge about both being a mom and a career woman, will go a long way towards helping them make the transition successfully themselves.