Varda Shine, the Chief Executive Officer of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), recently received the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the group’s 28th annual Awards for Excellence gala dinner at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
According to a De Beers’ statement posted on the company’s website last week, Shine has been an active supporter of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA), which was formed in 1983 with the intent of providing scholarship opportunities, educational and networking activities to help further the careers of women in the jewelry and watch industries.
WJA is an international organisation with 14 chapters and one affiliate chapter.
This award was given in recognition of the remarkable leadership role Varda plays amongst women throughout all areas of the jewellery and watch businesses and for her extraordinary contribution to the global diamond industry.
WJA International President, Kendra Bridel Weinman, said, “Women today are making an astounding difference in our industry, as exemplified by Varda Shine, who has accomplished so much throughout her career and especially on behalf of the DTC. Varda is truly an inspiration to all women in business and a terrific role model to the next generation of young ladies looking to become our industry’s next pioneers.”
In presenting the award to Varda Shine, Susan Rothman, co-founder of Hearts on Fire said, “Varda, as a central figure in a male oriented industry, has been a great inspiration to many talented women around the world at all stages of the diamond pipeline. Her drive to succeed and the incredible work she has done in promoting beneficiation in southern Africa sets her apart.”
Varda said it was a huge honour to accept the award.
“I am delighted that the jewelry and diamond worlds have come a very long way during my working life and women are now much better represented in all parts of the value chain and at all levels of leading organizations,” she said.
“I have been fortunate to travel all around the globe with my work at De Beers, and one thing that this has really impressed me is the huge transformative power that diamonds can have and this is why I view my greatest achievements to be those which promote people, opportunity and development.
I am particularly proud of the work the DTC and De Beers have done during my time as DTC CEO in opening up downstream opportunities in the diamond industry for skills transfer and job creation ensuring sustainability of social and economic development.”
“To an outsider, our industry is all about image, glamour and fortune. But the real riches are to be found in the power we have to make people’s lives better and to shape the leaders of the future.”