In recent years, I’ve considered having my paychecks sent straight to Sephora so I don’t have to make a separate trip to the bank. My online shopping cart is a running wish list of products that have been recommended to me by friends, that I’ve seen on blogs or in YouTube videos, or that I have lusted over while scrolling through their website. Occasionally, I make it into the store a tad short on willpower and with just enough money in my checking account to do real damage that I might have regretted if I wasn’t already gleefully swinging a shopping bag full of treasures on my way out.
I love beauty products. But what do I love slightly more? Professional gains for women. And while the former is why Sephora gets so much of my money, the latter is one more reason to give them all my cash on hand — and not feel guilty.
While it isn’t surprising that the majority of Sephora’s over 25,000 employees are women, what is surprising is that over 60% of the digital and tech roles at the company are also staffed by women. Even their digital executive leadership team has five of its six seats filled by women.
Tech has been a historically male-dominated field with less than a quarter of tech jobs at the top Silicon Valley companies being filled by women. And if your assumption is that, of course, a makeup and skin care company would staff more women because more women use what they are selling, let me stop you right there.
Companies like Apple, Google, and Uber all have customer bases that are roughly half-female, yet they don’t come anywhere near 50% when hiring women for tech positions. Apple has the highest percentage out of those three companies and still doesn’t crack 25%.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, several former Sephora executives explained how the company has managed to attract and promote women to leadership and tech roles, as well as how the results have benefitted the beauty giant. During meetings, everyone feels comfortable speaking, freely sharing ideas and opinions. Doesn’t this sound freaking amazing?
What a former vice president of talent described as a “longer-range view of what would be better for the organization in terms of talent development” is in reference to Sephora’s recruiters encouraging successful women to apply for jobs they weren’t 100% qualified for. This is especially true with digital and tech jobs within the company. Being allowed to expand their skill set in an environment where risk-taking is encouraged and failures can be learning experiences instead of career-ending mistakes helps women to problem-solve with confidence. They also end up with a more well-rounded understanding of the company.
And, I’m willing to bet, higher employee morale.
A study last year by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that having more women in leadership and executive positions result in higher profitability. Seeing as Sephora opened 100 new stores in 2016 and saw their profits grow by double digits, I’d say they’re right. I’m about to mosey over to my shopping cart so I can increase their profits a bit more. There’s something about a company supporting women that makes me want to spend it all.