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Ulta Names Tracee Ellis Ross Diversity & Inclusion Advisor, Pledges To Double Black-Owned Beauty Businesses

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Feb. 4 2021, Published 4:40 a.m. ET

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Tracee Ellis Ross is starting 2021 off in a powerful position. Ross has been tapped by the mega beauty company Ulta to be their new diversity and inclusion advisor.

Tracee Ellis Ross, an actress and developer of a Pattern beauty, plans to use this new position to “provide counsel and insight, and drive accountability to Ulta Beauty with a specific focus on BIPOC brand development, diverse leadership development, and supplier diversity.”

Ulta has vowed to make a commitment to diversity within their brand and stores. The company backing up this commitment with a $25 million investment in more inclusive advertising and campaigns. Ross said she is looking forward “to formalizing an already existing dialogue and partnership around diversity and inclusion with Mary Dillon and the Ulta Beauty team.”

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Beauty Brand’s Recent Pledges To Inclusivity 

Ulta isn’t the first beauty company to start focusing on inclusion and diversity. In January 2021, L’oreal partnered with the NAACP to create The Inclusive Beauty Fund, a grant to help support Black-owned brands.

With this fund, L’oreal plans to grant $10,000 to Black-owned brands and services in the beauty sector. A L’oreal representative explained that as ” the leading beauty company in the United States, we believe that we have a responsibility to invest in the small business owners and entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of our dynamic beauty industry.” This is a major step forward after a historic year in which small businesses suffered greatly due to the pandemic.

Sephora, another mega beauty corporation, has a history of over-policing their minority customers.

In response to complaints, Sephora plans to combat racial bias within their stores by reducing police presence. They’re planning to increase the number of small Black-owned beauty businesses in their store, displaying their products more prominently.

Other updated policies include an employee training program focused on identifying and prohibiting discrimination and harassment and a branding campaign to include a people of diverse backgrounds.

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The Power Of Black Women In Beauty

The actions from these major beauty companies are hopeful.  Black women and women of color are the most dominant buyers of beauty products and yet have little to no representation throughout the industry.

Black women spend $1.5 trillion a year on beauty products. They are a power to be reckoned with. The acknowledgment of the importance and influence of Black women is reflected in the selection of Tracee Ellis Ross for the position at Ulta.

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