The British Beauty Council Pledges Its Support For Women In The Beauty Industry

Millie Kendall
·3-min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From ELLE

The Personal Care sector which incorporates hair, beauty and wellness has the largest female workforce of any other sector – double the amount you would find in retail or hospitality. Out of all of our businesses, 82% are female owned. That's a lot of entrepreneurs and resilient women.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

The struggle this past year is that we suffered from the delayed reopening of our sector and a lack of specific funding which, inevitably, disproportionately affected women. This, coupled with historical irreverence for the industry from the government, a lack of understanding of the complicated skilled services we undertake and our diverse workforce, left us feeling overlooked.

But, after much lobbying and support from across the industry we managed to get an earlier reopening date and a larger grant allocation for April 2021. This is a huge achievement in such a short time. It's not to say that many businesses and entrepreneurs aren’t still struggling. But the tide is turning.

This is because of the voice we have found. We have come together and raised our voices, our concerns, our stories, and have campaigned on a platform of transparency and equality. Out of the the 600,000 workers in hair, beauty and wellness 88% are women who have come together to campaign for change. And change is what is happening.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

The next step for us is to continue in the work we do to raise the reputation of the sector and ensure that we champion science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), recovery, sustainability and work towards recognising the skill involved in the treatments and products that we provide. It takes a lot of training to carry out our services, and this seems to me to be grossly under-represented. We also create some amazing products, and there are so many career choices that our industry has to offer. A lot of which young people might not have heard of. The science in beauty is remarkable and we really need to talk about this more.

The British Beauty Council pledges to focus on careers with our Career Insights podcast series available on Apple and Spotify, and to drive awareness of the opportunities available to young people and those choosing a new career later in life. Access to a career in the beauty business is really available to most people, you just have to have a passion for it. You can learn the techniques and skills to enable you to have a flexible career that has the potential to enable a lot of women to earn a good living in a job that they love.

Our workforce benefits from flexible working hours, entry level jobs and apprenticeships and we can't afford to been seen as a hobby that only women do any longer. We run businesses. In fact, 95% of our companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and we deserve respect and admiration.

There is a lot of work ahead, but we are on the right path. Our road map is available to read on our website and we will continue to grow the sector in a sustainable manner. We will be celebrating the hair, beauty and wellness sector this September at British Beauty Week and urge anyone in the industry, looking to get into the industry or just those that love beauty, to take part and join the conversation.

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