DEI and the Beauty Industry

by | Feb 22, 2022

Diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) underpin the success of a truly sustainable business. 

Since it’s formation in 2018, the British Beauty Council has created platforms for open, honest conversations; opened channels of communications through meetings and industry events between underrepresented communities and leaders of change; as well as authoring the ‘Is Beauty Inclusive?’ report. 


Pushing for further change, in 2021 the British Beauty Council collaborated with the Social Mobility Commission, as well as businesses from across the creative industries, to develop the Socio-economic Diversity and Inclusion: toolkit for the creative industries’. According to research, only 27% of the creative industries workforce comes from a working-class background, compared with 39% of the wider UK workforce.


We’ve seen the industry shift to be somewhat more inclusive in recent years, for example with the British Beauty Council and Habia’s taskforce successfully updating the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Hairdressing to include the requirement of learning how to cut and style afro and textured hair. 


Following a series of Town Hall meetings chaired by then DEI lead Fiona Ilbanez-Major, which looked to address the current barriers and challenges within the industry, and sought solutions as to how, as a collective, we could overcome these, in 2021, the British Beauty Council formed the official Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Committee. The Committee is co-chaired by Sharon Lloyd and Kylie Hopwood, with representatives from across the industry working together to achieve the Committee’s goals and objectives. 


In 2022, in partnership with communications agency ScienceMagic.Inc, and The MBS Group, CEW published Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Beauty Sector’, which demonstrates the diversity of the industry’s leadership teams, and the extent to which organisations are prioritising DEI. Highlighted within the report are some of the opportunities for businesses within the industry to be more inclusive, such as the changing beauty landscape to be one which celebrates, uplifts and champions all people. 


“This report reinforces the untapped potential to be gained through embracing diversity and inclusion.  By highlighting the beauty industry as being well placed to make progress on DE&I, it is important to see this acknowledgement that representation matters.”

– Sharon Lloyd, Co-Chair British Beauty Council DEI Committee


Looking holistically at the industry as it stands today, there are clear areas of improvement needed, which is why the DEI Committee has been established to: 

  • Investigate barriers within the hair, beauty and wellness industry, and identify and implement the solutions needed to be more equitable and inclusive.
  • Identify key issues for the British Beauty Council and the Committee to tackle as part of its work with both Government and consumers to accelerate progress on diversity, equity and inclusivity.
  • Create and deliver a DEI Roadmap, agreed by the British Beauty Council, to make tangible progress towards identified DEI goals.
  • Influence the future of diversity, equity and inclusivity in the UK hair, beauty and wellness industry.
  • Address the British Beauty Council’s commitment to inclusive education, to ensure that no one is excluded on the basis of any aspect of their identity or background.
  • Actively champion more inclusive and holistic education, amending the curriculum, creating mentorship opportunities, championing social mobility and celebrating brands that are leading in this space.
  • Amplify and celebrate the voices of all the communities the industry serves so that everyone can feel seen, heard, valued and excited to engage with the beauty industry.
  • Act to encourage under-represented groups to enter into, be supported by and stay within the industry, creating a community to champion change.
  • Shine a light on key platforms where diverse talent can be tapped/found to encourage the re-education of public/consumer mind-sets and encourage others within the sector to seek out similar diverse talents in their own businesses.


At the core of the British Beauty Council is the belief that the beauty industry can and should be truly inclusive. With the aim to amplify and celebrate the voices of all communities the industry serves, to ensure each and every one of us feels seen, heard, valued and excited to engage with the beauty industry. The British Beauty Council continues to create and champion positive change within the industry.

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