Feature Article

Industry Insights: International Women’s Day 2024


In celebration of International Women’s Day, 2024, The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) spoke to four inspiring women from different corners of the jewellery industry. We asked them about the importance of storytelling, equity, and representation.  

Here’s what they had to say. 


Smitha Sadanandan is a seasoned writer and freelance journalist, who specializes in the luxury industry. She tracks international trends in the jewellery-watches sector and provides an insightful perspective as an analyst. She writes for media titles across East Asia, India, UK, Middle East and USA, whilst championing and discovering new talent in the jewellery industry.

Image courtesy of smitha sadanandan

“Storytelling is, undeniably, a powerful catalyst for change  – a great tool to advocate ideas, spark conversations, kindle hope and spur people to action. 

It can go from sharing wisdom to embracing vulnerabilities. Stories shape how others see you. 

They persuade people to listen, so they hear you, see you. Underpinned by the realization that women face stronger headwinds that impact an accelerated inclusive growth, it is crucial to tell stories where women are at the centre.

Women who share their stories, in one way or another, inspire others, making them feel part of a shared struggle. You never know how your story resonates and who will find themselves in your story.” 

Malyia Mcnaughton

Malyia McNaughton, GIA GG is CEO & Founder of Made by Malyia, Co-Founder & Board President of The Black in Jewelry Coalition, and Board Member of The Jewelry Vigilance Committee. 

“As a female founder and CEO of a jewellery brand, representation is at the core of my work both as a designer and as a leader. I represent the often overlooked and underrepresented yet talented artists that are waiting for their light to be uncovered.

I design jewellery with the intention of highlighting the stories that inspired and underscored my ideas. I consider myself a storyteller and artist using metal and gems as my mediums celebrating the intersection between art and nature. 

My hope as a designer is to inspire more people to chase their dreams and put their art into the world. I sometimes sit and ponder what if I never designed my first piece, I am so glad I will never know. May you shine so bright the sun feels like the shade” 

image courtesy of malyia mcnaughton

Lydia Courteille

Lydia Courteille is a Parisian born gemologist, high jewellery designer, and antique jewellery expert. 

image courtesy of lydia courteille

“I am a specialist in narrative jewellery. I love telling a story through a collection, with the association of rare materials that I collect. Inspired by cultures to build a strong story. My goal is to make wearable art pieces and push the limits of the jewelry world using the news, humour and politics. Lydia Courteille collections are a kind of love story,  an ode to the different cultures and countries around the world.”
Didier Guedj beautifully described Lydia; “Little by little the feminine mystery unfurls, this temptress lures us assuredly into her secret garden, like a woman whispering discreetly or deliberately into ear. But this garden has a closed gate, a wall in each of her cherished jewels. In each jewel are the clues to her principle codes but she leaves the on-looker to create their own interpretation. Her ode to woman’s uniqueness comes alive in each of her rings, which bought by her clients, throw their sights, as if on a dress, which will shine a light upon them. Erotism and sensuality is in reach or is worn, it is thus.”

eleonora rizzuto

Eleonora Rizzuto is Bulgari Group & LVMH Italy Sustainable Development Director. She brings over 15 years of experience to the industry. 

“Every gemstone tells a story, and every woman deserves to be part of that narrative, fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and beauty for generations to come. 

In the jewellery industry, forged by fire and grace, representation is not merely an embellishment—it is the very setting in which every jewel gleams with possibility. 

In this challenging historical time, where we are assisting at a different kind of working for sustainability – nearer to people and territory needs – I feel to reinforce the importance of RJC as a focal point of a transformative industry, targeted to ambitious targets.”

image courtesy of eleonora rizzuto

Get involved

If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.

Marketing & Communications Team
Responsible Jewellery Council
+44 207 321 0992 ext. 206