Yesterday, I took part in #blackouttuesday by posting an empty black square on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter instead of producing any content (at all) to support the #blacklivesmatter movement. There’s a lot of conversation around whether this was the right thing to do but at the time, along with thousands and thousands of others, it felt like the only thing to do to add my voice in condemning current events. I even feel nervous to make this post because by trying to do right, you can easily do wrong.
What’s really clear though is that a one-off statement isn’t what’s needed. It’s an on-going commitment for everyone to be observational and notice when things don’t stack up equally. In beauty world, you’ll find things almost never stack up that way and an easy way to see it is to look at the board. If the top level employees don’t reflect a good representation, then all the words in the world from brands don’t change the imbalance. Beauty is my working world and it’s the place I’m most likely to see lack of representation – and I do. And have done for years. I can use this platform to make it easier for anyone reading to see it too. So, look at the board. Almost all beauty brands, with a quick Google, will reveal what their executive level looks like, so pick your favourite brands and click on search to discover that disparity is obvious – blatant, even. It’s a shock.
Where you go from there is up to you – but you can’t un-see it once your eyes have found it and awareness is a strong motivator towards change. If the board doesn’t mirror the real world, something is very wrong.
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