Cartier Women’s Initiative – Social impact

Social impact. Did you know that sustainability does not only refer to negative aspects like pollution but also to positive once?

We know that the oil and gas industry causes the most pollution, followed by the industry. What about the watch and jewellery industries?

We do not have a rank in terms of pollution, but certainly we know how much these industries invest in social impact activities.

If we go back to the 80s and 90s, very big social activities have been put in place to help solve social problems.

Queen, the most famous rock band that ever existed, “made” the Live Aid concert a brilliant stage to raise funds for AIDS research. They knew how influential and powerful they were and used that notoriety to shine a light on this enormous problem.

We Are the World” is the song written and composed in 1985 to raise funds for charity by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Produced by Quincy Jones and recorded by the USA for Africa, the supergroup was made up of 45 music celebrities, mostly Americans.

The funds raised by We Are the World, over 100 million dollars, were entirely donated to the population of Ethiopia, afflicted by a disastrous famine.

With sales of over 20 million copies, the single became, at the time, the best-selling song in the history of music.

A segment of the song says:

“We can’t go on pretending day by day, that someone somewhere will soon make a change”.

And then continues with

“We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s start giving”.

Ending with

“There’s a choice we are making, we are saving our own lives”.

This last sentence really “touches” me.

Why did I go so far?

Because in the past there were no regulations and indicators to show the world what the humans were doing.

The different countries were focused on maximising profits, their influence on other economies and setting new political establishments.

On the contrary some areas of the world were mistaking economic growth for the beginning of the distruction of their biomas.

Social impact at that time was left to the personal coscience. In this day and age we know that our purchases have a direct impact, even in the watch and jewellery industry.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Award speaker © Cartier

Industries that are “rich” by definition evolved over the years at different levels to become more sustainable:

  1. Compliance: most of the companies use only diamonds compliant with the Kimberly process
  2. Philanthropy: Chopard donates part of the proceeds of the sales of the “Happy Hearts” collection to many charities
  3. Corporate Responsibility: IWC launched in 2018 the “Sustainability Reporting” in accordance with GRI standards.
  4. Corporate Sustainability: Cartier leads the social impact topic with the “Cartier Women’s initiative”.

What is that?

The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an international business program created in 2006 by Cartier in partnership with INSEAD Business School.

Their goal is to identify, support and encourage businesses led by women entrepreneurs.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative aims to encourage inspirational women entrepreneurs worldwide to solve contemporary global challenges.


  • CWI supports creative women who are making concrete contributions to find solutions for the future of our planet
  • CWI brings these business solutions to the largest audience possible

Twenty-one women entrepreneurs are awarded every year. Three finalists per region.

Such an established brand does not need to invest a considerable budget on social activities like the “Cartier Woman’s Initiative” to make the brand even more prestigious.

Recent studies demostrated how important sustainability is for Generation Z and so the brand, and most probably the Group, is investing on the needs of future generations.

Sustainability” is the key to keep growing, even for luxury brands.

2019 Laurates with Cartier and McKinsey representatives © Cartier

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