A New Year, A New Opportunity to Focus on What Matters Most
By Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, PCPC
As we reflect on the second year of the pandemic, I am reminded of the renewed energy and sense of purpose with which we welcomed 2021. While last year was not without its own challenges, I am proud that PCPC and our member companies remained steadfast in our commitment to the wellbeing of our employees, our consumers and our communities.
The pandemic forced us to change the way we do business and live our personal lives, but it also reinforced just how much science matters. Sound science is the foundation for everything that we do. We continued to work with policymakers and advocacy groups to modernize state and federal laws based on sound science and safety. This includes working with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to eliminate new cosmetics animal testing and promote the acceptance of non-animal approaches to cosmetics safety assessments with the reintroduction of the bipartisan Humane Cosmetics Act in the House and Senate. Together with Cruelty Free International (CFI), we also successfully advocated for the adoption of cosmetics animal testing legislation in several states.
We believe protecting people and the planet is an urgent responsibility, not a choice. PCPC’s sustainability program continues to expand with several new initiatives to reflect our commitment to a more inclusive society. PCPC supported federal and state anti-discrimination legislation as a member of the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Coalition and an active advocate for the CROWN Act. The CROWN Act prevents discrimination based on characteristics – such as hair texture and cultural styles, particularly those common in the Black community – and specifically recognizes that Black people are disparately impacted and excluded from some workplaces based on physical appearance. The Act is now law in 14 states and 40 local governments and was introduced in more than 25 others last year.
PCPC also proudly announced the first annual Madam C.J. Walker Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The award recognizes individuals in the beauty industry who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to DEI through strong leadership and sustained efforts with a focus on workplace culture, programs and policies, or through external engagement with consumers and communities. PCPC presented the inaugural award to Latriece Watkins, executive vice president, Consumables, Walmart U.S., in recognition of her dedication to advancing DEI.
While we recognize that we are not perfect, we are dedicated to working with others to achieve meaningful solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges, helping to shape a more beautiful, inclusive future. Each new year presents new opportunities to examine our priorities and focus on what matters most. Cosmetics and personal care products companies are working to be positive agents for change. This past year was no different.
As we greet 2022, there will undoubtedly be new challenges and uncertainties. But, as an innovative and committed industry, we have much to be proud of and strive for. Happy New Year to all.