More diversity needed in the beauty industry as 70% of exec roles are held by white men

A spotlight has been shone on the greater need for diversity and inclusion in the European beauty industry, as it has been revealed that despite employing a huge number of women, more than 70% of the top-level executive roles in the sector are held by white, middle-aged men. 

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Beauty Sector Report, published collaboratively by the MBS Group, CEW UK and ScienceMagic.Inc, also revealed that just under half (48%) of beauty businesses have no ethnic minority representation on their boards and 51% have no ethnic minority on their executive committees.

Those businesses with a high level of ethnic diversity – “usually the public companies which are subject to greater scrutiny”, the report said – are bringing the statistics up for the entire industry.

However, the research did reveal some positives, including that in comparison to other consumer-facing industries such as retail, travel and leisure, the beauty industry does show strong levels of gender and ethnic minority representation at senior levels. 

The representation is strongest at the direct report levels, with 59% women and 19% ethnic minorities, but dips at the most senior levels of leadership, the report found. 

However, the report states that the beauty industry is well place to make progress on diverse and inclusive workforces, stating that it needs to harness the below opportunities: 

One of the findings from the research was the nervousness from beauty businesses to engage in the topic of DE&I. Of the 100 largest beauty companies operating in the UK, fewer than 50% responded to the request to be interviewed for the research. 

Read the full Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Beauty Sector Report

This report was powered by three organisations as a collective: The MBS Group, an executive search and leadership advisory firm working across all consumer-facing industries; CEW UK, the UK arm of global membership organisation, with more than 10,500 individual members worldwide; and global strategic company ScienceMagic.Inc, which has worked for more than 25 years in building beauty and wellness brands. 

“CEW is committed to being a force for good in the beauty industry, and this report is an essential first step in understanding the current situation and challenges we face,” said Sallie Berkerey, managing director at CEW UK. 

“I hope businesses, big and small, find it an essential tool providing practical advice and guidance to implement insightful I&D strategies and increase momentum to make measurable positive change.” 

What do you make of the report? Tell us your thoughts below. 

Did you know that the UK beauty industry misses out on £2.7bn per year by failing to cater to multi-ethnic consumers