This International Women's Day we spoke to the inspiring women who work at Stephen Webster.

"Stephen Webster may have been founded by a man but almost since day one, the business has always been run by women, we pride ourselves on having every senior position held by women. Our clients are predominately women whether buying our jewellery for themselves or giving a good hint to the men in their lives. Being married to a Russian who’s birthday is March 8th, l have been a champion of International Women’s day for decades. The ex Soviet Union knew that women needed celebrating in a way that was inclusive and democratic." - Stephen Webster

Happy International Women’s day!

Kate - Managing Director

What is the best part of working for Stephen Webster?
The jewellery – after 14 years I still get really excited by the product.

How does your day-to-day role empower women in the work place?
As Managing Director it is my responsibility to lead by example and empower both men and women in their roles. To empower somebody you have to listen to them, encourage them to think creatively and not be afraid to voice their ideas. Often, if somebody asks advice on how to do something, I encourage them to make a suggestion, however unsure they may be. More often than not they have the right solution all along, they just needed a sounding board.

What is your favourite inspirational quote or best piece advise for other women in the work place?
I have two. “A women with a voice is, by definition, a strong women” (Melinda Gates) and “You’ve got to go out and kick ass” (Maya Angelou).

A woman that inspires you and why?
Julia Ogilvy (Former Managing Director of Hamilton & Inches) was such an inspiration to me in the early days of my jewellery career. She was never afraid to ask questions, voice her opinions or challenge people and practices. She was my mentor and source of empowerment during and beyond her days at H&I.

Favourite part of your job?
Accomplishing projects as a team, whether it is a successful collection launch, an exciting new opening, or smashing a sales budget. And learning – as clichéd as it sounds, I learn something new every day.

Your favourite piece of SW jewellery?
My beloved Shark Jaw ring – a gift from my colleagues for my 30th Birthday.

Justine - Production and Development Director

What is the best part of working for Stephen Webster?
The creativity and variety of pieces we work on and the different use of materials especially the different stones.

Tell us a little about your role/How does your day-to-day role empower women in the work place?
Heading up the production and stone buying roles means working with a lot of different partners and cultures most of whom are run by men with the exception of our own workshop which has both craftsmen and craftswomen and our production team which are all girls, SW is quite unique in the jewellery industry from that perspective, but we are all here on our own merits.

Your favourite inspirational quote/best piece advise for other women in the work place?
Judith Pilkington my CEO at Mappin & Webb, she never minded if I got it wrong as long as I had thought of a solution to put it right.

A woman that inspires you and why?
Helen Keller, just an amazing journey of courage against the odds and of course Elizabeth 1st she really did rule in a men’s world.

Favourite part of your job?
Working with the design team to realise a piece form a sketch and seeing it through to completion and also working with stones which is my passion.

Your favourite piece of SW jewellery?
Apart from some of the amazing bespoke pieces that we have worked on, it would have to be the invisible set diamond Hammerhead bangle, it an amazingly skilled piece of diamond cutting and setting and craftsmanship, but I also love the Grasshopper rings they are spot on Stephen Webster.

Amy - Head of US Sales

What is the best part of working for Stephen Webster?
Stephen himself! Having at the helm a dedicated, talented and creative leader who understands each particular market (and client) in countries across the globe.

Tell us a little about your role/How does your day-to-day role empower women in the work place?
We work in an industry that caters to empowering woman by making them feel and look beautiful. I’ve always found women to be supportive of one another and fiercely dedicated to their jobs. I hope to help further empower others by working alongside, encouraging and challenging them.

Your favourite inspirational quote/best piece advise for other women in the work place?
The best piece of advice I received was from a friend and mentor. When I told her I was moving to New York to start my career she said, “New York is a small town. Don’t talk about anyone behind their back, always be kind and respectful and you’ll never burn a bridge you might need to cross one day.” I still find the advice applicable in many aspects of life.

A woman that inspires you and why?
My mom. I cannot imagine a more loving or patient woman. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and encouraged my brother and I to be or do anything we dream in this world.

Favourite part of your job?
Working with a woman, man or couple to help find the perfect piece of jewellery. Whether the piece marks a momentous occasion or is a self purchase, you never know if it will be the piece she most identifies with or passes down for generations to come.

Your favourite piece of SW jewellery?
My first fine jewellery purchase is still my most coveted and complimented piece I own. A pair of earrings from the Borneo collection with intricate black and white diamond pave work. An oldie but a goodie!

 Claire - Head of Design

What is the best part of working for Stephen Webster?
Never quite knowing what the next challenge will be from Stephen! I’ve been designing for Stephen Webster for nearly 18 years and am constantly learning new skills.
I love being given the challenge of designing an amazing set of knives for example, then having the luxury of working with some of the most talented craftspeople in the country to realise the design.

Tell us a little about your role/How does your day-to-day role empower women in the work place?
I am the head designer at Stephen Webster. I work on a diverse number of projects from jewellery to kitchen knives to artwork. I couldn’t imagine there are many design jobs like mine out there! I’ve always designed jewellery which is confident, empowering and bold, for women to choose and buy for themselves.
I work with a lot of other women in my role but I don’t know if I empower them above men. I believe strongly in supporting talent within the workplace regardless of a persons gender. Its about encouraging people to challenge themselves, to work hard, and above all believe in themselves.

Your favourite inspirational quote/best piece advise for other women in the work place?
“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” - Estée Lauder.
I’m not sure the above quote sums it all up for me but I really think you have to believe you can do whatever you want regardless of your gender, set yourself a goal, then be prepared to work as hard if not harder than anyone else to achieve it.

A woman that inspires you and why?
Vivienne Westwood. She is nonconformist, a radical, and an incredibly talented designer and craftswoman. She is never afraid to speak out on many political causes, she is challenging, talented and brave.

Favourite part of your job?
I love the way I work on the entire process of each piece’s creation. From agreeing the initial idea to seeing the final piece emerge. It’s never without challenges throughout but always worth it when you hold a beautiful piece of jewellery in your hand!

Your favourite piece of SW jewellery?
The large titanium fighting fish earrings. It was such a joy to be able to work in a new material that opened a world of possibilities being so light and such an amazing colour. I worked closely with a very talented model maker and never forget the moment I watched a grey earring transform into an incredible vivid blue.

We love to see women doing it for themselves and for International Women's Day we have teamed up with the women at 'The Mighty Company' to takeover our Beverly Hills boutique windows on Rodeo Drive.

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