Making Progress for Women … And the World

Lezlee Westine
President & CEO, Personal Care Products Council

The cosmetics and personal care products industry celebrates women every day of the year, and our commitment to well-being starts with our support for women in work and in life.

International Women’s Day (IWD), global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, gives us an opportunity to reflect on our commitment to women. We fundamentally support that an equal world is an empowered world. Our industry agrees that we must challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

From Estée Lauder to Madam CJ Walker to Elizabeth Arden to Jo Malone to a new generation of female founders emerging today, no industry has as many female success stories as the beauty and personal care industry. Today, more than half our executives are women.  Women make up nearly two-thirds of our workforce, and women of color are leading voices. Our companies’ efforts for women in the workforce are recognized by Top Companies for Executive Women, Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies and Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Women.

Our industry’s commitment to women and the world around us is unparalleled. As part of our commitment to providing products that enhance quality of life, companies make a significant and positive social impact that goes far beyond the direct benefits of their products. They support a wide range of CSR programs, issues, and causes that improve lives and make communities better. Companies in the beauty and personal care sector are generous charitable donors; per $1 million of sales, their annual charitable contributions are more than double the national average for other major industry sectors.

From the industry’s signature program, Look Good…Feel Better that helps people with cancer improve their self-esteem and confidence by helping them manage the appearance related side effects of cancer treatment, to programs supporting women’s empowerment and leadership; promoting STEM education and careers for women; initiatives addressing domestic violence; supporting breast cancer awareness, detection and treatment; campaigns promoting self-esteem; and programs tackling racial bias, our industry’s commitment to women and the world around them is strong.

International Women’s Day throughout its history has witnessed significant change and attitudinal shifts in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. The same is true for the personal care products industry. Our member companies are constantly adapting, not only to meet consumer preferences but also to help shape the future.

We know women expect a lot from us and want us to take action and to continuously improve our products and practices. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we know there is more to do. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we celebrate the progress we have all made together and continue our commitment to supporting women and the world around them.