Gregory Jewellers proudly supports International Women’s Day.
Women have always been an integral part of all areas within our business and this year, we take a moment to reflect and celebrate the strides made by women in Gregory Jewellers and how all members of our business can support to #BreakTheBias.
With Gregory Jewellers constantly growing, it is great to see women leading our company to success. We have close to 76% of all employees female and furthermore women are continuing to forge the way, with 61% of our leadership positions being held by females.
This year’s theme, #BreakTheBias, encourages us to challenge gender stereotypes and to shape a gender equal future. We sat down with Suellen Gregory our Creative Executive and our Ecommerce Manager, Hayley Bugeja, to hear what IWD and breaking the bias means to them.
Photo courtesy of Gregory Jewellers, featuring Suellen Gregory
What does IWD mean to you?
A day for all women around the world to come together and celebrate who they are and their life achievements.
Women are often underestimated and by supporting each other and showing unity, we can all help to break the barrier
Who has inspired you to break the bias?
My mother and sisters have always been my inspiration. I am very blessed to have these strong women in my life who continue to support and encourage me.
The love and bond we have is unbreakable and it will always be kept close to my heart.
How is it being a leading figure in a company that is women dominated?
It is truly an honour and makes me feel very proud!
From a very young age, I watched my family work very hard in the early days of Gregory Jewellers. My mother and aunties worked tirelessly both in our head office and retail boutiques to ensure our success today. This was inspiring to me and they have instilled this same work ethic in me.
Photo courtesy of Gregory Jewellers, featuring Helen, Suellen, Christopher and Sara Gregory
Having grown with the company, has the company always been women dominated?
When the company was founded we were jewellery manufacturers and the workshop was dominated by men. Times were definitely different back then!
As the company expanded into retail we saw the gradual shift to the company being women dominated. It’s definitely great to see more women in various roles within the company, whether in our workshop, head office or boutiques!
Over the years I have been lucky to have met and worked with people from all walks of life, regardless of gender, culture and age, who have all brought something special to the company.
Have you seen any changes through the years in terms of female leadership?
Absolutely I have seen changes through the years with more women in coming into leadership roles and it’s wonderful to see.
This naturally motivates and inspires more women to strive for these roles.
Do you feel that Gregory Jewellers supports you as a woman in business?
I have been with the business for 22 years and can proudly say that Gregory Jewellers has always supported me and all the women in our business. I am very thankful for this.
Do you feel like your achievements are celebrated?
My achievements are always celebrated and I feel most proud when I make the family proud.
What advice would you give to other women this IWD?
The advice I would give women this IWD is to follow your heart, stay strong and never give up no matter what situation you are faced with.
Often we all experience unexpected interruptions in our lives. It is these experiences that make us grow as an individual and become the women we are today.
I am stronger because I had to be, I’m smarter because of my mistakes, happier because of the sadness I’ve known, and now wiser because I learned.
Hayley Bugeja – Ecommerce Manager
Photo Courtesy of Hayley Bugeja, featuring her daughter Charlotte, herself, daughter Caprice and mother Cheryl
What does IWD mean to you?
I see it as a celebration for women everywhere in the world – a day to reflect how far we have come and to share stories with each other.
I also see it as a celebration of my own successes and achievements.
What does this year’s theme, #BreakTheBias, mean for you in your work life?
Given the challenges that we’ve encountered with COVID-19 over the last 2 years, #BreakTheBias to me is about creating a workplace that offers opportunity regardless of gender, race or experience.
Creating a work life balance is now more important than ever. We all need flexibility to keep a balance between the needs of our families and the business we work for.
Is there a female figure who has inspired you over your life/career?
In my personal life I would say I am my own inspiration. I have been through some tumultuous times and am stronger for it.
As for my professional career, I have been lucky to have worked with many strong women and I’d like to say thank you to them. I have taken a piece from each of them and that is what has shaped the woman I have become today – strong, loyal and empowered.
Congratulations on your newest promotion, ECommerce are lucky to have you! Throughout the six years you have been at the company, how has Gregory Jewellers empowered you and supported your career aspirations?
Thank you, it’s very exciting! Wow six years! It has been an easy journey within Gregory Jewellers.
My aspirations have always been supported by the Family with every promotion.
I was an Assistant Manager in our flagship Parramatta Boutique when curiousity opened the door to this opportunity. It started as a casual conversation with our Co-CEO, Mr. Edward Gregory and turned into this. I had always seen myself stepping into a role within the head office but wasn’t sure what role it would be.
Females in leadership positions help to ensure we are building towards a gender equal world. As a female leading the bustling Ecommerce segment, what are some challenges you have had in your career and how have you overcome this?
I love a challenge it’s in my nature! I don’t use the word ‘goal’, I prefer the word ‘challenge’.
I’m not afraid to say that in the past some challenges have tested me but my belief and determination as a woman has gotten me through each and every one of them. COVID-19 had me questioning my career and future however the everchanging world of retail helped me see that we would get through it and now I’m in a role that has evolved from this pandemic!
I’m sure more challenges will come but I’m ready.
The Congratulations keep coming, you recently became a Grandmother to a beautiful baby girl, what advice would you pass onto your granddaughter in terms of teaching her to break the bias?
I’m still on Cloud 9 with the birth of my granddaughter!! I always want her to know that I will support and encourage her to reach for her goals and aspirations, no matter how high they may be.
The universe and stars are within her reach, she just has to believe in herself because I already do.
Photo Courtesy of Hayley Bugeja, featuring her granddaughter Miller Jay Bugeja
Today we highlight the importance of IWD and how challenging biases and misconceptions will help create a gender equal future. We encourage everyone to support women and us to #BreakTheBias.