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The Claims Against Sterling: Readers React

Readers sound off on my latest blog and the harassment allegations

My piece “When It Rains, It Pours at Signet” garnered a variety of reactions, as this story has in general. Here are some of the responses I received via email and social media (names not included):

“I was a shop manager and jeweler at [a Sterling division] for several years from 2008 to 2013. I am not saying any particular accusations are untrue, but in my time there the culture was very corporate, the managers’ meetings had HR presentations about appropriate expected behaviors, and managers were continuously required to discuss appropriate behaviors with the team members. It is a big company and I am sure there are some creeps, but my experience does not support that these bad alleged behaviors were company-wide or ignored.”

**

“We live in a world that is driven by emotions, especially where jewelry is concerned, and I think the most important thing Sterling could do, from a PR standpoint, is to apologize for any past discrimination and harassment, and make very transparent what it is doing now to prevent these acts from happening again (or how the company deals with them when they do occur). An admission of past guilt (no matter how much it costs to settle) will be less expensive than a company reputation destroyed by scandal. I thought we had all learned this during the conflict diamonds crisis.”

**

“This is a devastating situation, and I really feel that the board must step up and do their job.… There needs to be an independent investigation that deals with this swiftly and decisively. I don’t care how old these claims are. They are now in the public domain and it doesn’t matter to their customers how many or how long ago.”

**

“Anyone seeing or hearing about the Washington Post article and the sheer mass of people and incidents has to draw a conclusion that a culture was allowed to persist, and may have even been encouraged in some circles. [Signet’s] response to the allegations is a far cry from adequate and is simply dismissive of the claims. That in and of itself is cause for concern. We are having enough trouble in the marketplace as it is.… It is not about the truth of allegations at this point, it is about how they respond and what they do to prevent it from happening again.”