The Personal Care Products Council Announces Second Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion



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The Personal Care Products Council Announces Second
Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Beauty Industry Recognizes Esi Eggleston Bracey, President Unilever U.S. & CEO Unilever Personal Care North America, as DEI Champion

Washington, D.C. – The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is proud to announce its second annual Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The Award recognizes individuals in the beauty and personal care products industry who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to DEI through strong leadership and sustained efforts with a focus on workplace culture, program and policies, or through external engagement with consumers and communities.

Presented last night at the PCPC Leadership Summit 2022 opening reception, the selection committee awarded this distinction to Esi Eggleston Bracey – president of Unilever U.S. & CEO of Unilever Personal Care North America – in recognition of her dedication to advance DEI. Bracey is widely recognized and admired across the industry as someone who leads with respect and brings fresh thinking to businesses. She champions high-impact, purpose-driven efforts like Dove’s founding of the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Coalition to foster beauty inclusivity and eradicate hair discrimination through the support of the CROWN Act legislation.

“This award means the world to me because the business of diversity is a team sport. Madam C.J. Walker knew that it wasn’t just about her own financial success, it was about the success she bestowed on others,” said Bracey. “The work that we do changes the narrative around beauty. So, let’s embrace it as a team sport. Let’s make this all of our award, raise the bar high, and commit to making this world more inclusive and more equitable for all people.”

The Award honors industry pioneer Madam C.J. Walker who started her hair care business at the turn of the century, during a time when women of color had few rights and little opportunity. The Award is given each year to individuals in the cosmetics or personal care industry. Nominees are judged on areas of achievement based on predetermined criteria.

“Madam C.J. Walker, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein were among the women who started this industry when nobody else was paying attention,” said A’Lelia Bundles, event mistress of ceremonies and Madam Walker’s great-great-granddaughter. “And it turns out that this is not just about products, but it is about empowering people. Making women feel confident, but also giving people economic opportunity. And that’s very much what Madam Walker was about.”

“We owe so much to Madam C.J. Walker. She was a true trailblazer and one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history. She created jobs that helped thousands of women of color achieve financial independence. She is one of the reasons we have people like Esi leading the industry today,” said PCPC President and CEO Lezlee Westine. “Young women of color have many more opportunities and role models today, thanks to women like Madam Walker and Esi Bracey.”


Founded in 1894, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the voice and advocate for 600 member companies representing the $484.1 billion global cosmetics and personal care products industry. PCPC’s members represent approximately 90% of the U.S. beauty industry and are some of the most beloved and trusted brands in beauty and personal care today. As the manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance – PCPC’s member companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.

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