Nearly two years ago, Sephora debuted its “We Belong to Something Beautiful” campaign, a public articulation of its longstanding company values. Through this, the company promised that it would continue working to make Sephora a place where all people feel they belong. At the same time, Sephora recognized that racially biased and unfair treatment exists broadly in our society, affecting all retailers, including its own stores.
Sephora’s diversity and inclusion mission is simple: to champion all beauty fearlessly, and to build inclusive environments for our employees, consumers, and communities. In 2020, Sephora established its holistic Diversity and Inclusion Heart Journey to support the vision of becoming the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Champion in the retail industry.
The Black Lives Matter movement and the global conversations regarding racial justice last year only increased the urgency of this work and made it clear that we all have more work to do.
Sephora’s Diversity and Inclusion Heart Journey focuses on three key pillars: employees, consumers, and communities. The retailer will dedicate its efforts, now and in the future, to creating spaces and opportunities that celebrate, respect, and honor everyone’s unique beauty.
Below are some of the most recent actions taken by Sephora to continue driving toward the retailer’s goal of becoming the world’s most inclusive beauty community:
- In mid-January, Sephora released the results of the first-ever large-scale U.S. study on Racial Bias in Retail, which was commissioned in 2019. The goal of the study was to measure the problem of racially driven bias as it affected the shopper experience and identify opportunities to end unfair treatment and create an environment that truly serves all. Drawing upon the Diversity and Inclusion Heart Journey and the study’s findings, Sephora designed an action plan focused on three key areas—marketing and merchandising, the in-store experience and operations, and talent and inclusive workplaces—with the goal of mitigating the negative effects of bias. To learn more about the study’s findings and the resulting action plan, please visit: www.sephora.com/diversity-and-inclusion
- Sephora also participated in the Pull Up for Change challenge, disclosing leadership demographics and committing to increasing representation across all levels of the organization. To build on this, Sephora’s goal is to double its representation of Black leaders to mirror the number of Black employees, who currently make up 14 percent of its workforce. Sephora will broaden recruitment and career advancement processes for employees of color by expanding upon its existing partnerships, while also launching customized coaching and mentoring programs.
- The retailer is also leading the way in offering career opportunities to underserved talent pools and fostering a more inclusive workplace for all. Sephora has created accessible environments that welcome talent with disabilities across its five distribution centers. By the end of 2021, people with disabilities will account for 12 percent of the workforce in its distribution centers.
- In June 2020, Sephora was the first major retailer to take the 15 Percent Pledge and dedicate 15 percent of its assortment to Black-owned brands. By the end of 2021, Sephora is committed to doubling that percentage.
- Building on this, Sephora recently announced its 2021 Accelerate Cohort, which was originally founded to cultivate female-owned brands, but has since evolved to focus on BIPOC-founded-and-owned brands. The program will offer a robust curriculum, as well as mentorship, merch support, potential funding, and investor connections, to all involved. The goal is to provide these founders with a community and ecosystem that supports their launch and long-term growth at Sephora.
Sephora is committed to supporting equity, justice, and inclusion within our communities through charitable giving initiatives and strategic partnerships, including these:
- Each month, Sephora features key nonprofits within its marketing channels, building awareness for their efforts to drive equity and inclusion, and inviting Sephora clients to join. Clients may contribute by redeeming their Beauty Insider points as donations; they have redeemed more than 150 million points as donations since this program’s launch in 2020.
- In August 2019, Sephora established Equity Advisors and Partners, an advisory group consisting of leading individuals and top social justice and civil rights organizations who work at the intersection of race, equity, and culture. Their counsel helps shape Sephora’s work on equity and the way the retailer shows up in the beauty industry and beyond.
Sephora is prepared to hold itself accountable to the community and its team members. As such, the company is implementing a new D&I In-store Experience Dashboard that will provide analytics on client service and feedback to stores on a monthly basis in order to measure employee training participation and efficacy. Sephora will also share its progress broadly bi-annually against these actions on Sephora.com.
Please visit www.sephora.com/diversity-and-inclusion to learn more.