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Gender Disparity in the Beauty Industry

DTC MarketingBlog
The Insight

The multibillion-dollar beauty industry has been in the hot seat in recent years due to the huge gender disparity across many big-name beauty brands. Did you know that an industry that primarily sells to women happens to be dominated by men in the boardroom and in C-suite executive-level positions? In other words, men are at the forefront of beauty brands—deciding shade ranges, the size of a mascara wand and ultimately, what is considered ‘beautiful.’

Statistics Don’t Lie

In an industry that mostly sells to women, men rule the boardroom.

According to the Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies of 2020, only 37 are led by women. Of these 37, only one helms the ship of a beauty company – Mary Dillon of Ulta Beauty, Inc. Additionally, women occupy 34 percent of board seats and 24% of executive positions at personal care companies in LedBetter’s database. That means that most high-level decision-makers in the beauty industry are men.

Why does this matter? According to a 2016 paper published by The National Bureau of Economic Research, it shows that having a female CEO overseeing a workforce of at least 20% women would increase sales per employee by 14%. Additionally, 40% of women say that having women in leadership positions would positively impact all women’s lives. As we mention all of this, not only do women want other women to be making impactful decisions in the realm of beauty, but female leadership directly relates to increased profitability.

What Should We Do About This?

We need more females in high-level management positions. The C-suite level has been dominated by men for far too long and closing the gender gap should be a priority. A balanced executive landscape proves to be beneficial, so implementing measures to eliminate the gender disparity in the boardroom will be good for all.

It’s important we give women a seat at the table because women offer key insights and creative ideas related to beauty—as they use these products on a regular basis. In order to create lasting change in the beauty industry, it’s crucial that we put women in positions in charge of creating products and messages that empower them. But how?

Amplify the Voices of Female Colleagues

Across the board, it’s harder for females to be heard compared to their male counterparts. Support the voices of your fellow female coworkers! In addition, beauty brands should develop hiring practices that celebrate diversity and include people of different genders and backgrounds. It’s important to have varying viewpoints and opinions in your workforce in order to bring new and fresh ideas, especially in a space as creative as the beauty industry.

Beauty brands can also require female candidates for open leadership positions for C-suite level management. Lastly, beauty brands can develop and nurture the talent they already have from within. Using these strategies, beauty brands can help close the gender gap in the boardroom and slowly start to make a tangible change in the beauty realm.