L’Oreal searches for a few good men
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L’Oreal searches for a few good men

Cosmetics kingpin L’Oreal has never had any trouble attracting female staff. But while companies in Silicon Valley and further afield scrabble to add women to their rosters, the French company faces an equal and opposite problem: a dearth of men lining up to sell lipstick. This might not sound like a huge problem, but as the male cosmetics segment becomes a more important one for the company – and the industry – it could become problematic. L’Oreal’s head of diversity and inclusion, Jean-Claude Le Grand, said: “For a big corporation like us, attracting talent for the future will be a huge topic. We need to address more male talent.”

Euromonitor International says that men’s grooming products will expand by 3.3% annually over the next five years, compared with 2.9% for beauty and personal care products in general. L’Oreal already has a handle on this market: last year, the company owned 5.6% of it, placing it third behind Proctor & Gamble Co. (which makes Old Spice cologne and razor blades) and Unilever NV (which makes the Axe deodorant brand).

Le Grand says that L’Oreal want gender parity in the future: “Our vision is clear: we want a perfect balance between males and females.” To achieve this, the company is changing the way it advertises job openings to guys. Gone are the fashion stills of exquisitely made up models – now, they are more likely to feature chemists and engineers. They are also more likely to highlight the entrepreneurial nature of the roles in question.

Angela Guy, L’Oreal’s U.S. diversity chief, said: “We’re not just a company that sells makeup. We develop our own products, we have R&D, manufacturing, engineering, and other jobs in tech fields that may interest men.”

With male makeup on the horizon, can L’Oreal attract a more balanced workforce and capitalize on the next big cosmetics trend?

Disclosure

Dominion holds L’Oreal in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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