The Estée Lauder Companies' William Lauder and Fabrizio Freda responded to a petition started by a group of its employees - and the company pledged to give millions to organizations dedicated to helping the black community. It will also focus on hiring more diverse employees and ensure its products meet the needs of black consumers.
The company is also being more transparent -- and will continue to reveal data regarding the percentage of its "People of Color and Black" employees, as the company states in the Instagram post shown above (it is linked below.) The post says, "Change is coming, and it is necessary. We will be a part of it."
Posted to its website today, this letter about Estée Lauder Cos. commitment to racial equality was shared with its employees on June 7.
It states, "We have all taken time recently to grapple with the systemic racial injustice that has plagued the United States for far too long....We are a company committed to living our values and we are proud of the overall progress and commitment we have made to inclusion and diversity, but we also recognize that we have much more work to do in order to accomplish greater results."
As a response to employees' requests, it says: "As promised, we are following up with the next steps we will be taking in the United States that have been informed by your invaluable feedback. Some of these actions will be immediate, others will take some time, but all will be impactful."
It continues, "A few of these actions are accelerations of programs that are already in place, while others are completely new, and all reflect our history of constant improvement."
Staff Will Become More Diverse
The Estée Lauder Cos. will work toward ensuring a more diverse team when hiring and promoting from within, and outlines sevral ways it will accomplish this.
The statement says the company is committed to ensuring Black employees have equal access to leadership trainings, and that Black candidates are identified on the succession list for all senior level positions -- and more.
Regarding talent acquisition, the company says it will "reach U.S. population parity for our Black employees for all levels in the next five years."
Also included are plans to require more diversity in the candidates for all Executive Director and above positions, and double the number of diverse recruits from top universities in the next two years.
Investing in Change - and Increasing its Donations
The statement includes plans to "invest in change."
It states, "The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., its brands and the Lauder family pledge to give, including through The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation and the company’s matching of employee gifts, a total of $10 million over the next three years to support racial and social justice and to continue to support greater access to education through groups such as NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Equal Justice Initiative and The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TWYLS)."
The company says it will be donating $5 million in the coming weeks and an additional $5 million over the following two years.
The statement continues to explain that the pledge includes and builds upon the company’s $1 million pledge to support racial and social justice organizations previously communicated to our employees.
Thanking Employees for Speaking Out
The statement concludes by reminding employees that The Estée Lauder Companies is always open to listening.
The letter states, "In these last weeks, we were reminded that as a company, we are stronger for having employees who stand up to share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions – no matter how difficult."
It concludes with the statement, "We want to thank you all for bringing us together to build momentum and act more decisively on our values."
Change is coming, and it is necessary. We will be a part of it. #PullUpOrShutUp @pullupforchange ⠀ ⠀ The percentages shared of our People of Color and Black employee base have been pulled from our HR database, representative of our employees as of May 2020 in the U.S. We understand that asking employees to check a box is an antiquated system. People identify in many ways – we recognize that and realize there may be flaws in our data given this.⠀ ⠀ We have been committed to Inclusion and Diversity across our brands, functions and regions for many years, and realize that what we have done so far is not enough. In addition to supporting organizations addressing the systemic racial injustices against Black communities, we will be looking inward at our own policies and patterns and addressing those that do not live up to our values accordingly and quickly.⠀ ⠀ We will share more on our actions soon.