Henne Jewelers, the largest female-owned jeweler in the world, has announced that she will keep her job, and won’t stop fighting for equality.
Horne Jewelers CEO Marie B. Hennig said on Tuesday that she would keep working in the store and would continue to advocate for her customers.
“We have to do what is right for our business and our customers and I want to be there to support the progress that we’ve made,” she said.
“I’m here for our customers.
That’s why I’m going to be here.”
Henne is the first female-run retail store in the United States.
She said she was inspired to start the business by her family’s experience in the garment industry.
“I remember my dad and his wife were sewing shirts for the local garment company.
I remember them going down to the mill, sewing and making shirts.
They went into the mill to make shirts for a living,” she recalled.”
And then as we all know, that business went away.
And I remember seeing my dad go up to his sewing machine and I think, ‘Oh my God, this is how it’s going to end,'” she said, recalling her father telling her he was proud to be a seamstress.”
He said, ‘We’re not going to let anyone stop us.
We’re going to fight.'”
Henne, who has a long history of advocating for women’s rights in the business, said that as a young woman she struggled to get the recognition that she deserved, especially in the face of discrimination.
“When I was a teenager, I was called a woman and a thief.
And they didn’t understand it, they didn’ t see that as something that we needed to fight for,” she told CBC News.”
So I was not happy to say, ‘Look, I’m just doing my job, I’ll just leave it.’
I’m not going anywhere.”
Horne said she plans to keep fighting for women and for equal pay for equal work.
“There is a need for equal wages for equal labor,” she explained.
“So I’m doing this for women who are women, and I’m also doing this to fight against gender discrimination in the workplace.”
The business has been operating since 1985 and has grown to about 1,200 employees.
The store’s business is also part of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, which supports women and girls in manufacturing.
Hennig noted that her company was founded on women being able to get equal pay and the right to choose their own workplace.
“My family is part of that,” she added.
“It’s very difficult for them, but it’s not a choice that we make.”
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Sarah Jaffe