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August/September 2013

Diversity/Careers August/September 2013

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Diversity In Action

L’Oréal USA: an atmosphere of advancement and inclusion

This beauty giant boasts strong representation by minorities and women. The company is hiring IT pros as its technology needs grow

Global beauty company L’Oréal has been in operation for over 100 years. L’Oréal has more than 10,000 employees in the U.S. alone; more than 30 percent of its fulltime U.S. employees are people of color. More than 63 percent of managers and above are women and nearly 24 percent are people of color. These numbers are even higher in the research and innovation (R&I) department where 52.7 percent of managers and above are women and 42.3 percent are people of color, including VP Dr Harold Bryant.

Now hiring
“We are currently recruiting IT professionals,” says Antoinette Hamilton, assistant VP of diversity and inclusion at L’Oréal USA. “Our need will continue to grow as our business functions increase their investments in digital programs.”

According to Hamilton, IT professionals are instrumental as solution providers and team members supporting the growing number of digital-enabled functions, such as online creative, web development, consumer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, omni-channel category management and digital marketing.

L’Oréal offers room for growth
Development and advancement of employees are key priorities across all levels of the organization, Hamilton says. “Employees establish their goals at the beginning of the year and meet with their supervisor regularly to ensure they are on track. That drives the business forward,” Hamilton explains. L’Oréal also offers 360-degree assessments, leadership development and career roadmap programs.

Formal and informal mentoring programs are in place, and the HR teams and the office of diversity and inclusion offer one-on-one coaching for employees.

“Often, the most talented people we have in IT move on to new roles in the company,” Hamilton says. “For example, our focus on growing our CRM capabilities created the need for CRM-focused IT resources to support the technologies and data that fuel these programs. A highly talented member of the IT business intelligence team moved over to the digital IT team to architect and build our CRM platforms.”

Diverse recruiting efforts
Hiring diverse employees is part of L’Oréal’s recruitment strategy, Hamilton says. “To help us find top talent, we partner with historically black colleges and universities, as well as the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, the Society of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, the National Black MBA Association, and the National Hispanic MBA Association,” she reports. “We also attend conferences, including the Black Engineer of the Year Awards and Women of Color in STEM.”

At the college level, she says, “Our HR teams visit schools across the country looking for our next generation of leaders. And we engage students with activities like our business game, Brandstorm (www.brandstorm.loreal.com), a student competition with a top prize of more than10,000 euros.”

Experienced IT professionals are recruited through a combination of networking, social media and online communities, says Hamilton. “We post open positions on message boards, such as those for schools with strong technical programs, Indeed.com, LinkedIn, and technical blogs and groups. We also receive applications through our L’Oréal USA career website.”

Diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage
Training is a key aspect of L’Oréal’s diversity strategy, Hamilton says. “We educate our employees on the importance of diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage for L’Oréal.” L’Oréal seeks to leverage diversity and inclusion as a workforce, workplace and marketplace opportunity, she notes.

In 2012, L’Oréal developed a training handbook, “Disability and Me,” to build awareness and share insights, policies and programs. The handbook, which contains links to employee benefits, is available online to employees and shared with all new hires.

L’Oréal facilitates roundtable discussions, surveys and think tanks based on affinity or topic areas. “Women in Leadership, Women in Operations, Women in Digital, and Women in Technology are among the established groups that support our business by sharing best practices,” says Hamilton.

Volunteerism is embraced
She adds that L’Oréal offers a variety of employee engagement programs throughout the year. “Our annual Volunteer Day is a day of community service that takes place at all our facilities across the country,” Hamilton says. “We engage nearly 3,000 employees in community service projects.” L’Oréal gives its employees additional paid time off to volunteer throughout the year as well.

“Many of our facilities also host regional grassroots events to give back to local charities such as our annual nationwide Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale, which this year raised over $27,000 to fund pediatric cancer research,” Hamilton says.

“Issues facing our employees are important to us, and our benefits are designed to help ensure their well-being,” Hamilton notes. “Our work-life balance benefits are very strong and are considered competitive inside and outside our industry.”



Headquarters: New York, NY (U.S.); Paris, France (international)
Employees: 72,600 worldwide; 10,000+ U.S.
Business: Global beauty products

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