Models

Gender inequality in beauty industry

MANY industries have come under scrutiny for their uneven gender representation in upper management, but the beauty industry has largely been absent from this conversation.

It shouldna��t be. While the industrya��s products and main messaging are principally aimed at female consumers, men occupy a majority of management positions, including at leading brands.

When women dona��t have a seat at the management table, consumers and companies alike are negatively impacted. A boardroom should reflect its industrya��s core consumer, because having her experience in mind helps creativity and allows for better decision-making overall. Fortunately, there are a variety of concrete steps we can all take to achieve greater gender equity .

More than meets the eye

Ita��s no secret that the beauty and cosmetics industry is geared toward female consumers. According to Euromonitor, global per capita spending on grooming products was $6,50 for men in 2015 and $58,50 for women. Despite that fact, most high-level decision makers in the industry are men. Though the beauty industry fares better in comparison to other sectors such as health, banking, technology and energy, beauty brands still have an average of just 29 percent female leadership across boards and executive teams, according to the LedBetter Gender Equality Index.

In fact, the index showed that leading companies such as L Brands (parent of Bath & Body Works and Victoriaa��s Secret) and Coty (parent of brands like Sally Hansen, NYC Color, Marc Jacobs fragrance and more) had no women at all on their executive teams as of June 2016, although Coty has since hired a woman as president of its professional beauty division, who is part of the companya��s executive committee, according to a company spokesperson.

Why does it matter?

Increasing the level of female leadership has been shown to improve a companya��s bottom line: A study by the Harvard Business Review revealed that making the jump from zero to 30 percent female leadership share is associated with a 15 percent increase in profitability. With the act of increasing female leadership so closely related to improved business performance, beauty industry professionals should take note.

Furthermore, greater female leadership is something consumers want. A 2015 study by the Pew Research Center found that 40 percent of women say that having women in leadership positions a�?would have at least some positive impact on all womena��s lives.a�? In an industry that caters to women, ita��s important that we all work harder to give more women a seat at the table a�� we cana��t wait for others to bring about this change for us.

In order to create lasting change in this industry and better meet the needs of todaya��s modern woman, women should be in leadership positions where they can steer brands to develop products and messages that empower them and help them feel good about themselves.