I comb through many DEI and corporate social responsibility reports, and recently came across some numbers on executive representation that made me do a double take. Sephora increased the number of black and Hispanic employees in leadership positions by 8% and 16%, respectively, over the past year. This is a difficult feat in the upper echelons of an organization, a rank that is more difficult to diversify than entry-level roles and even senior positions.
George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for Sephora USA, attributes the beauty retailer’s progress to two symbiotic strategies she has implemented: hiring inclusiveness and the development of internal talent.
Sephora already has a reasonably diverse workforce, aided by its retail team, a group that is typically more diverse than corporate offices across industries. In 2020, 64% of all employees, including retail employees, identified as people of color, and that number rose to 70% in 2022. But two years ago the company s embarked on a quest to increase representation among leaders.
“We have focused our efforts not only on diverse hiring, but also on equitable advancements through training programs, development programs and mentoring,” says Broussillon Matschinga.
Broussillon Matschinga launched the first phase of its plan by creating and distributing a diverse hiring toolkit to recruiters and hiring managers. “We needed to educate people about how unconscious bias shows up in the hiring process,” she says.
Next, there was a need to diversify the interview panels and create DEI goals for all leaders and those looking to move up the leadership chain. The Sephora team and leadership, all the way down to managers, now have D&I goals tied to their bonus or merit increase.
“We [view] our diversity efforts as a key business driver,” says Broussillon Matschinga.
As for internal development, Sephora has created a talent incubator program for the next generation of underrepresented leaders. Broussillon Matschinga describes the program as a mix of mentoring and coaching, noting that more than 50% of the 100 participants in the first phase of the program have already received promotions.
The work has proven itself in Sephora’s representation figures, propelling the beauty company ahead of its competitors. People of color made up 45% of employees at the manager level and above at Sephora in 2022, up from 39% in 2020. At the VP level and above, people of color made up 36%, up from 28% in 2020. now 75% of management, unchanged from 2020. In comparison, 25% of Ulta Beauty employees at the management level and above identified as people of color in 2021, and only 23% of the team director of Target the same year.
“If we just focus on recruiting talent and do nothing to create an inclusive culture…it becomes a revolving door,” says Broussillon Matschinga. “We don’t want revolving doors.”
The most compelling data, quotes and insights from the field.
In a recent discussion with iCIMS Director of Human Resources, Laura Coccaro, about upcoming workforce trends, we took a detour to discuss the human initiatives that she will prioritize in the coming year. His answer ? Skills, skills, skills:
“One thing that definitely informs our strategy is to think differently about skills and tap into what we think of more as a ‘total workforce.’ We will think holistically about the skills needed for the future of our business, and then start creating talent pools that [encompass] internal, external, on-demand and contract employees, because we can’t be one size fits all. We would lose our ability to be agile.
Around the table
– Some companies are reducing office space, Zoom accounts and all to avoid layoffs. Voice
– Ninety-seven percent of employees in the world’s first four-day workweek pilot project say they don’t want to go back to a five-day workweek. CNN
– Railroad unions have accused President Joe Biden of putting a thumbs up in favor of management. New York Times
– CNN, DoorDash, H&Mand crypto exchange kraken announced layoffs on Wednesday as they sought to rein in rising costs.
Everything you need to know from Fortune.
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Slowdown in the labor market. The United States had 400,000 fewer jobs open in October than the previous month, a sign that the laboratory market could be cooling down. —Reade Pickert
Salary woes. According to a recent survey by JUST Capital, 87% of Americans believe it is a company’s responsibility to regularly raise wages to keep up with inflation and the rapidly rising cost of living. —Matthew Nestler
What a journey. A Silicon Valley company is offering an unusual benefit to victims of tech layoffs: free ketamine. —Alexa Mikhail