From Liliane Bettencourt to Kylie Jenner: the girls are bossing it in the boardroom

From Liliane Bettencourt to Kylie Jenner: the girls are bossing it in the boardroom

Some weeks ago I penned my thoughts on how the cosmetics world was no longer a market solely focused on female consumers, and that male bloggers and vloggers were continuing to open up the market to men, some who may previously have felt shy or apprehensive about shopping for a product that was previously thought to be solely targeted to women. So this week I’m flipping the coin and showcasing how, while men are being welcomed with open arms, women are also turning the tides and holding court in management. Women are not just in the boardroom, they’re running it.

There are women that are commanding the market with their business nous and not only pioneering new directions, but keeping the industry on its toes with new products and marketing developments, not to mention founding successful businesses. Stalwarts such as Estée Lauder, American business women and entrepreneur, and Liliane Bettencourt, one of the principle shareholders of L’Oréal and the richest women in the world, most definitely set the bar and opened the doors for further female entrepreneurs. Likewise while other key women such as Elizabeth Arden, Bobbi Brown and Helena Rubstein have long dominated, they’ve no doubt given other female brand owners inspiration to reach for new heights. Step up the likes of Marcia Kilgore, owner of Bliss Spas and Soap & Glory, Emily Weiss, owner of Glossier, Jessica Alba, co-founder of popular US natural brand Honest, and Jen Atkin, founder of Mane Addicts and Ouai. And we of course can’t fail to mention the dizzy heights Mary Kay has taken her direct sales brand, while Kylie Jenner is the beauty brand of choice for the ever influential millennial consumer group.

But make no mistake it’s been no easy ride, these women have worked to get where they are, with Juice Beauty founder and CEO Karen AREN Behnke telling, “When I first launched my business, no one would give me a loan, so I opened 17 credit cards, with $2,500 line of credit on each one, and paid them all off simultaneously throughout the month.” Indeed, while there’s some way to go in equalling out the balance to a 50/50 ration (the CEOs of MAC, Revlon and Estée Lauder Companies, to name a few, are all men) the female force in the industry is quite clearly growing in strength. Business owners aside, just last month for example we reported on sheconomy’ boosting China’s cosmetics market, Sephora’s goal of supporting the next generation of women leaders for its second Accelerate program, and Procter & Gamble’s #WeSeeEqual campaign for International Women’s Day. If all that took place over 30 days, just think what the future is likely to hold for the force of women determined to break boundaries in the boardroom.  

 Yes, there may be more male beauty brand CEOs, but with the likes of Coty set to appoint its first female member of the board, there’s a definite shift happening. Dare I say it, #girlpower is reaching fever pitch, and I like to think being welcomed with open arms by all. Female bosses are doing just that, bossing it. Come on all, let’s hear it for the girls.