Hong Kong

The Estée Lauder Companies Commits to Racial Equity

Company Feature

This letter was shared with Estée Lauder Companies global employees on June 7, 2020.


Dear Colleagues,

We have all taken time recently to grapple with the systemic racial injustice that has plagued the United States for far too long. We know that each of you is working through this as individuals, as families, as communities and together as a company.

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.

We stand in solidarity with our Black employees, Black consumers and Black communities and firmly believe Black lives matter. We are committed to doing more as allies at our company, in our communities and throughout this country.

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. 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.

Rooted in our long-held values of respect for the individual, inclusion and equality, these commitments will help us in our continuous efforts to make equity a reality at The Estée Lauder Companies.   


Our Commitment to Act on Racial Equity

To be implemented across the U.S.


Listening & Learning

Fostering a stronger internal culture of advocacy and inclusion to help employees share their voices, be heard and collectively affect change.


  • Listening
    • Engage in constant dialogue at all levels – through intimate conversation series, town halls, one-on-one talks between leaders and employees to ensure that all voices aren’t just listened to but heard, amplified and answered.
    • Consistently gauge employee sentiment and feedback through pulse surveys to ensure that these listening efforts are working, and if not, how they can be improved.
  • Learning
    • Expand and make our Unconscious Bias training mandatory for all full-time employees in the United States.
    • Provide additional training to ensure managers have a deep understanding of the issues surrounding race and the workplace, particularly around microaggressions.
    • Provide training for all Estée Lauder Companies employees at points of sale on servicing and supporting diverse consumers and their preferences and needs.
    • Further incorporate training on all hair types for our hair brands.
  • Community
    • Work more closely with NOBLE, our Black Employee Resource Group, to better support our Black employees.
    • Partner with ERGs Allied for Justice, our ERG Coalition, in their support of NOBLE.
    • Organize a company-wide Day of Solidarity that focuses on learning, action and service.
  • Transparency
    • Commit to updates semi-annually on progress against our goals and KPIs.
    • Ensure that performance feedback regarding managing diverse talent can be provided to leadership and middle management via the 360 tool.

Talent & Opportunity

Ensure that we are providing more equitable access to professional development and advancement for our Black employees in the United States and hold ourselves accountable for creating a workforce that is more representative and responsive to people of all backgrounds.

  • Talent Development and Talent Planning 
    • Ensure Black employees have equal access to leadership trainings and mentorship programs with senior executives.
    • Improve current Talent Planning and Development processes to account for any unconscious bias.
    • Hold managers accountable for employees’ growth and career mapping by ensuring access to skills development, talent planning and conversations about progression within the company early and often.
    • Ensure Black candidates are identified on the succession list for all senior level positions. 
    • Increase dedicated resources to ensure we are making progress against initiatives, ensuring alignment across HR and I&D.
  • Diverse Talent Acquisition
    • Reach U.S. population parity for our Black employees for all levels in the next five years.
    • Require diverse slates of candidates for all Executive Director and above positions in our external and internal searches before hiring decisions can be made.
    • Establish stronger partnerships with Black organizations (e.g., National Black MBA Association) for recruiting.
    • Double our recruits (FT/Interns) from HBCUs and double diverse recruits from other top universities in the next two years.
    • Double the number of diverse external recruiting firms in the next year. 
    • Create stronger partnerships with current and additional Black owned businesses to support recruiting (e.g., JopWell, focused on building talent connections).


Ensure that the end-to-end creative process accurately and consistently represents the Black experience, engages Black professionals and that our products meet the needs of our Black consumers. 

  • End-to-End Creative Process
    • We will increase our pool of Black talent among our behind-the-camera creative teams and require input from Black professionals or consumers in the development of concepts.
    • In the U.S., and in regions and markets where appropriate, ensure proportionate representation of Black models in campaigns. 
    • Support a pipeline of diverse creative talent through our Creative Employee Working Group, ensuring we have Black representation across all brand creative teams.
  • Products
    • Ensure that our portfolio of makeup brands deliver products that meet the diverse shade and formula needs of the Black community and our Black consumers, as appropriate by market.


Ensure that we leverage our power to support Black-owned businesses.

  • We commit to at least double the amount we currently spend on sourcing ingredients, packaging materials and supplies from Black-owned businesses over the next three years.

Investing in Change

Meaningfully support external organizations and non-profits pushing for systemic changes and racial and social justice.

  • 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 (TYWLS), a program of the Student Leadership Network. We will be donating $5 million in the coming weeks and an additional $5 million over the following two years. This pledge includes and builds upon the company’s $1 million pledge to support racial and social justice organizations previously communicated to our employees.

We pledge to you that we will hold ourselves accountable for our actions, which builds on our long-standing resolve to foster a work environment that is diverse and respectful of everyone’s contributions and backgrounds. Together, guided by our company values, we will continue to build momentum in this pivotal time so that we can truly promote equity for all.

This is an ongoing conversation and we will continue to learn and grow together.

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. The collective wisdom of all who are a part of our company is what makes us stronger. 

We want to thank you all for bringing us together to build momentum and act more decisively on our values.



William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman and Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer

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