Tracee Ellis Ross to advise on Ulta Beauty diversity and inclusion initiatives

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (wildpixel)
© Getty Images \ (wildpixel)

Related tags Ulta beauty D&I Tracee Ellis Ross

Today, the beauty retail chain announced the new D&I Advisor role along with efforts to ensure that all customers and stakeholders “feel connected to and reflected at Ulta Beauty.”

“I look forward to formalizing an already existing dialogue and partnership around diversity and inclusion with Mary Dillon and the Ulta Beauty team,”​ says Tracee Ellis Ross in today’s media release announcing the Ulta Beauty diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“This work requires commitment and accountability from Ulta Beauty to ensure measurable goals are achieved,” ​she says, adding, “I am hopeful and optimistic our work together will create foundational change.”

PATTERN Beauty CEO teams up with Ulta Beauty

Ellis Ross may be well-known for her work as an actress, TV producer, and director. But regular readers of Cosmetics Design know that in 2019 Ellis Ross launched a hair brand called PATTERN Beauty​. In September of that year, the new brand made its in-store debut at some 12,000 Ulta Beauty locations across the US.

‘Pattern’ refers to ‘curl pattern’, a term used to describe the shape of hair follicles and strands. PATTERN Beauty is a brand for 3B – 4C hair: curly, coily, or tightly textured hair. In 2019 the brand focused on hair care; in 2020 the brand expanded into hair styling products, and this year it’s about hair treatments like hair masks and scalp serums.   

Ulta Beauty announces new Diversity & Inclusion initiatives

“As the country’s beauty retail leader, we believe we have the power to shape how the world sees beauty and as such, we have a responsibility to inspire positive change and drive greater diversity, inclusivity and equity,” ​says Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon, in her remarks to the press this week.

“We are deeply committed,”​ she says, “to leading purposefully with and for underrepresented voices across retail and beauty on our D&I journey.”

As the beauty retailer’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Ellis Ross will participate in quarterly Executive D&I Council Summits at Ulta; and she’ll “provide counsel and insight, and drive accountability to Ulta Beauty with a specific focus on BIPOC brand development, diverse leadership development and supplier diversity,” ​according to today’s media release.

Beyond the contribution Ellis Ross will be making to the company’s D&I effort, Ulta Beauty has plans to invest over $25m in initiatives like media outreach to Black, LatinX, and other underrepresented people; like doubling the number of Black-owned brands in the company’s product assortment by the end of the year; new trainings for guest experience success; and several programs to improve store associate experiences.

“Authenticity as an inclusive brand with welcoming experiences for all and an approachable assortment are tenets of how we champion diversity at Ulta Beauty,”​ says Dillon, describing the conceptual motivation behind the newly announced D&I commitments.   

“We have mapped these commitments to impact every facet of our work. We look forward to sharing more as we continue on this journey with steadfast commitment from our teams and our newly established advisor Tracee Ellis Ross, who brings passion, experience and perspective to this important work.”

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