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Imagine if one day beauty companies around the globe decided to randomly disclose the percentage of Black people they have working in leadership roles?
That shift is actually already happening with the #PullUpForChange hashtag that is taking social media and beauty companies by storm. The campaign is asking beauty companies to do exactly what the hashtag states: to give the world a look at how diverse their boardrooms are and make the necessary changes.
As customers, we have never been afforded this kind of transparency by our favourite brands, and the statistics on the Pull Up For Change Instagram account were eye-opening to say the least.
At Glossier and Lime Crime, there are no Black people in leadership roles at the corporate level. At Colour Pop, three per cent of leadership roles are held by Black people, while Farmacy Beauty has 13 per cent.
Across all Sephora stores in America, only six per cent of leadership is made up by Black employees. It was no surprise that Iman Cosmetics, founded by Somalian model Iman, boasted 85 per cent Black representation.
The #PullUpForChange initiative was started by Sharon Chuter, founder and CEO of Uoma Beauty.
“I had never worked in a company with enough Black people. I didn’t know what it felt like to have another Black colleague in the office. That was why I started my own brand,” Chuter says.
She made it clear that this is not a campaign to name and shame companies, but simply a moment to champion change. Spurred by recent events, a lot of companies have posted statements in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement — however, many on social media have questioned whether brands are taking part in performative allyship with these public statements, as most have little to no Black representation at the corporate and executive level.
Chuter is asking beauty companies to be genuine allies, by not only posting a black box on their feeds because they were challenged to show support — but to show up and hire Black people.
Since its inception in early June, #PullUpForChange has garnered 120,000 followers and more than 200 brands have participated. In promoting transparency by challenging companies to show their statistics, the initiative is trying to enact change from the top down and it seems to be working. Not only have brands been forthcoming with the amount of Black people in leadership roles but they have also made commitments to making changes and diversifying their boardrooms.
There is a long way to go in terms of achieving permanent changes in the beauty industry, but the #PullUpForChange initiative is doing its part by holding our favourite brands accountable. Check out their Instagram for more statistics.