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Women’s Advancement

Since the visionary Mrs. Estée Lauder founded The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) in 1946, the company has been advancing possibilities for women around the world. Today, ELC continues to honor her legacy by ensuring that the success our founder fought for is accessible to all.

ELC is committed to helping build a world where there are limitless possibilities for all women and girls. We’re seeking, supporting, and scaling opportunities to champion women’s health, develop women leaders and entrepreneurs, and advocate for women's and girls’ education globally.

Our Commitment to Women

In 2021, we announced our strategy for gender equity, called “Opening Doors: Women’s Advancement and Gender Equality Strategy,” which builds on our legacy as a female-founded company and challenges us to address the systemic barriers to equitable opportunities that women face. As a company, we continually evaluate and report our progress toward our gender equity commitments.

  • 2023ELC is on track to achieve global women’s pay parity in 2023.1
  • 59%Women hold 59% of VP positions and above globally.2
  • $150MELC has committed to increase supplier spend with women-owned businesses to $150 million by 2025.3
  • $118M+ELC's Breast Cancer Campaign and Charitable Foundation funded more than $118 million for lifesaving global research, education, and medical services.4
  • 13ELC supports global nonprofits dedicated to gender equity and global organizations that support girls’ education programs in 13 countries.5
  • #6Forbes magazine has listed ELC as the #6 top female-friendly company in the world (2022).6


1 As of December 31, 2022.
As of December 31, 2022.
March 8, 2021.
As of July 31, 2022.
As of December 2022.
November 2022.

We recognize that women and girls face systemic barriers to advancement. By investing in increased leadership opportunities, economic mobility, and access to health and education for women, we can help overcome the systems that hold women back.

Sara Moss, Vice Chairman


Open Doors

Open Doors encourages leaders to discover their infinite possibilities. Together, we drive talent and build community with experiential programming and coaching that encourages employees to lead from their strengths, develop their skills, and jumpstart powerful conversations.

Open Doors demonstrates ELC’s commitment to leadership development as part of the company’s gender equity strategy and is comprised of 3 components:

Open Doors Women’s Leadership Intensive

Our signature women’s leadership program develops high potential mid-career women. This immersive, facilitated program builds critical skills for success while developing an unrivaled sense of community. The intensive shapes participants with an in-person, weeklong program followed by a year of ongoing education, coaching, and exposure to senior leaders.

Open Doors Course Collection

The Open Doors Course Collection is a custom, online, interactive, and self-guided leadership program. that helps employees of all genders discover and lead with their power. The collection has been adapted by regions, brands, functions, and employee resource groups to form a truly global leadership development movement at ELC.

Open Doors Live

Open Doors Live builds ELC’s high-performance culture and strengthens community by bringing employees together for customized learning events. Participants engage in locally relevant, unscripted, inspiring conversations and put their leadership skills to the test.

Women’s Leadership, Education, and Health

As a company whose workforce is made up of more than 81% women—with 59% of leadership roles occupied by women—ELC advocates for equitable access to women’s leadership, education, and health care globally.7

In fiscal year 2022, ELC invested $9.2 million in organizations that are doing the vital work of increasing access to health care and quality education for women and girls around the world.8 We partner with many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community groups focused on leadership and education programs to address systemic challenges in access to advancement for women and girls worldwide.

When it comes to women’s advancement, ELC has a unique responsibility—and opportunity—to make a big impact.

7 As of December 31, 2022.
8 The period between June 2021 and July 2022.

Through the United Nations (UN) Foundation’s Five for 5 initiative, ELC has made a series of commitments to gender equity that align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5.

We partnered with National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman to launch WRITING CHANGE, our commitment to advancing literacy as a pathway to equality, access, and social change.

We were the first prestige beauty company to bring awareness to stigmas in women’s health. We remain the largest corporate donor to the global Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Women in STEM at ELC

We are proof of the power of women to lead in STEM and innovation. We are committed to breaking down the barriers many women face throughout their careers in science, and we aim to provide opportunity for career acceleration within STEM, knowing that a diverse workforce leads to cutting-edge Research & Development (R&D), scientific excellence, and best-in-class products for our consumers.

While women make up less than a third of the world’s researchers according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, more than 55% of ELC scientists, engineers, and technical professionals — the innovative creators behind our products—are women.9

All of our R&D Innovation Centers globally are led by women, and our female-led R&D laboratories worldwide are identifying how to more practically guide innovation for greener alternatives every day.

More than 50% of our global supply chain is made up of women10—a stat that is nearly 15% higher than other best-in-class consumer packaged goods supply chains.11

9 As of March 2023.
10 As of December 31, 2022.
11 According to Gartner Survey 2021.

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