L’Oréal: A Beauty Brand With A Purpose

March 1st, 2023 | Darren McAlmont, Manager, Communications & Content, Association of Canadian Advertisers

Image of women of different ethnic backgrounds | Photo Credit: Canva“Women’s History Month is an opportunity to continue to amplify women’s voices, and to recognize their precious past and current contributions. Taking the time to acknowledge our predecessors and their accomplishments is a highly motivating factor when trying to shape the future.”

In a world where men hold a significantly greater percentage of C-Suite and senior management positions over women, one company has been successfully challenging the centuries-old status quo and is a recognized leader for doing so.

Gender equity is not just about hiring more women. It is about creating opportunities for them to grow into the leadership positions that have been dominated by their male counterparts.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Association of Canadian Advertisers was pleased to talk with one company truly leading the charge in promoting gender equity in its global operations.

For the sixth consecutive year, the L’Oréal Group has been recognized by Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index (GEI), and since 2015, L’Oréal Canada has obtained the EDGE certification for gender equity.

In speaking with Marie-Evelyne François, L’Oréal Canada’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, we wanted some insight into how specifically the company champions diversity, equity and inclusion in its operations.

Our teams must represent the diverse mosaic of the world around them

“We advocate for hiring, promoting, and developing people of every gender and sexual orientation, and train women in leadership. Women represent more than 50% of our top management positions,” she asserted. This is in contrast to the 35.6% of women in Canada who hold managerial positions. To expand her response, François added that in addition to their gender equity policies, L’Oréal’s action is articulated through their four DEI commitments to their collaborators, consumers, and communities:

  1. Encouraging multicultural and socio-economic diversity;
  2. Accelerating the inclusion of people with disabilities;
  3. Taking into account people of all ages and generations;
  4. Continuing to promote gender equity and foster inclusive environments for 2SLGBTQ+ people.

A beauty brand with a purpose

As L’Oréal has been recognized as a leader of social justice causes, we wanted the nitty-gritty to help inspire other brands who might find it challenging to produce real action. So, we asked: “How does your company turn corporate social responsibility into real action?”

In response, François shared just a small fraction of the company’s initiatives, which include:

  • Women4Climate – launched in 2017, this global mentoring program supports the next generation of women climate leaders working across multiple sectors to develop innovative local projects to reduce the impact of climate change.
  • L’Oréal for the Future program – a 50-million-Euro charitable endowment fund to support on-the-ground organizations and local charities in their efforts to help women out of poverty, achieve social and professional integration, provide emergency assistance to women with disabilities, prevent domestic/sexual violence against women, and much more.
  • ‘Solidarity Sourcing’ – a program, started in 2010, which directs portions of the company’s Global purchases to suppliers who employ people from vulnerable communities to allow them to have durable access to work and income. To date, this represents 365 projects, including 709 local initiatives, in over 61 countries, helping 89,093 beneficiaries gain access to work.

To live in a world that is more diverse, equitable and inclusive requires us all to come together and commit to real action. A good place to start is to evaluate what your organization is doing to drive diversity, equity and inclusion, and assess how it shows up in your marketing campaigns.

Led by the ACA’s DEI committee, this article is third in the ACA’s new blog series titled Mission Possible: Championing DEI. The series aim is to provide tangible tools and resources to help drive systemic change for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Canadian marketing landscape.

Darren McAlmont headshotDarren McAlmont, Digital Marketing Specialist, Association of Canadian Advertisers

Darren is an award-winning writer who focuses his work primarily on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. His writings have often trended on social media and have been picked up and reposted by respected figures doing DEI work. Darren holds a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Communication Design from the University of Waterloo and a bachelor’s degree in English and Professional Writing from York University.