Honoring Our Past, Building Our Future
By Lisa Powers
EVP, Public Affairs & Communications
International Women’s Day celebrates women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, giving us a look into how far women have come and acknowledging how much more needs to be done. Last week, after a six-year-long legal battle for equal pay, the World Cup and Olympic Gold Medal-winning U.S. women’s soccer team settled with the U.S. Soccer Federation. In a joint statement, U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) said: “Today we recognize the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped to make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow. Today, we dedicate this moment to them.” This is a historic moment for female athletes as they continue to advocate for gender equity in sports.
I am fortunate to work for a dynamic industry with a history of strong women leaders and role models, from Madam C.J. Walker and Helena Rubinstein to Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder to the new generation of female founders emerging today. No industry has as many female success stories as the beauty and personal care industry. Women make up 77% of our industry’s workforce and hold more than half of management positions – significantly more than other industries. Women of color are leading voices and represent more management positions than the national average.
Our industry believes in supporting other women. We created the Look Good Feel Better Foundation to support women undergoing cancer treatment, helping more than 2 million women, and counting, reclaim a sense of control, confidence and self-esteem at a time when they feel most vulnerable. Many of our member companies have programs supporting women’s empowerment and leadership; promoting STEM education and careers for women; addressing domestic violence; supporting breast cancer awareness, detection and treatment; promoting self-esteem; and fighting racial bias. Our industry’s commitment to women and the world around them is strong. And we’re just getting started.
We know we’re not perfect, but our industry is wholeheartedly committed to creating a more inclusive and beautiful world. Our industry agrees that, in order to do so, we must challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. When women stick together and support each other, we can accomplish great things. By learning from our predecessors and supporting our successors, equality can become reality.
Just look at the women’s soccer team.