Action and Advocacy: Mary Kay speaks up for women’s economic power and equality

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Klaus Vedfelt)
© Getty Images \ (Klaus Vedfelt)

Related tags Mary kay gender equality

This month, the social sales beauty company participated in the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, France, and issued a position paper on the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy.

“Achieving gender equality is critical to the survival of the planet and the rebuilding of more sustainable and thriving economies and societies,” ​says Julia Simon, Chief Legal and Diversity Officer at Mary Kay, in a media release about the beauty maker’s recent advocacy work.

“Discriminatory laws, gender bias and stereotyping, violence against women and girls - these are all global issues and must be tackled in partnership with the public and private sectors and civil society organizations across the world,” ​she said, asserting the company’s stance on gender equality issues.  

Beauty company Mary Kay responds to European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy

Earlier this year, the European Commission (the executive brand of the European Union) announced what it’s calling a Gender Equality Strategy for 2020 – 2025. The basic premise of the strategy, as EC President Ursula von der Leyen, explains it is that, “Gender equality is a core principle of the European Union, but it is not yet a reality.”

“In business, politics and society as a whole, we can only reach our full potential if we use all of our talent and diversity. Using only half of the population, half of the ideas or half of the energy is not good enough,”​ she told the press in May. “With the Gender Equality Strategy, we are pushing for more and faster progress to promote equality between men and women.”

In response, Mary Kay Inc. has issued a position paper​ welcoming the action plan: “We believe that significant progress can be made towards our common objective of a more inclusive society where everyone, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, culture and, sexuality, can live freely and benefit from equal opportunities to thrive.”

The Mary Kay statement “presents some of the policy measures [the company believes] would create a positive impact for women in the European Union and around the globe.” ​And, it goes on to enumerate measures such as increasing the number of women on corporate boards, equal work opportunities and equal pay, ratification of the Istanbul Convention (which would create legally binding international standards “to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims and punish perpetrators”​), and more.

Mary Kay makes an appearance at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, France

The Forum ran from June 30 through July 2 and brought together heads of state, leaders, and activists to launch and discuss several global gender equity initiatives.

As part of the 2021 Generation Equality Forum in Paris, Julia Simon, Chief Legal and Diversity Officer at Mary Kay, was part of a panel called Building a Transformative Strategy for Gender-Responsive Procurement.

The conversation shone a light on the fact that only 1% of government and large corporate procurement monies go to women-owned businesses—despite the reality that 33% of businesses globally are owned by women.

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