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UOMA Beauty Founder Challenges Beauty Industry On Lack Of Employee Diversity: “Pull Up Or Shut Up!”

UOMA Beauty Founder Challenges Beauty Industry On Lack Of Employee Diversity: “Pull Up Or Shut Up!”

Put your makeup brushes down and listen.

Off the back of #BlackOutTuesday, beauty lovers who support the Black Lives Matter movement have been challenged to “pull up for change” by closing their wallets to beauty brands that lack diversity amongst their leadership team.

The initiative is driven by Nigerian-born beauty mogul Sharon Chuter, CEO and founder of UOMA Beauty. Just 22 hours ago, Chuter launched a new grassroots campaign called Pull Up Or Shut Up! to fight for economic opportunities for the Black community.

Her first campaign will span 72 hours— from Wednesday, June 3rd to Saturday, June 6th. Consumers who support BLM are asked to refrain from purchasing from beauty brands “until they release the number of Black employees they have employed at a corporate and executive level.”

Though grateful for their efforts, Chuter took to Instagram to explain the simultaneous frustration she felt after observing the outpour of public support from beauty brands for Black Lives Matter this week.

“At this point, to still be absolving yourself of the role you have played and continue to play in the marginsalisation and opression of Black people, shows that a lot of these efforts may just be PR stunts,” she said of the beauty industry. “You cannot say Black Lives Matter publicly when you don’t show us Black lives matter within your own homes and within your organisations.”

While many organisations have policies in place to protect against discrimination of PoC, diversity at a corporate and executive-level is still an on-going problem in the beauty industry.

Pull Up Or Shut Up! notes that in America, only 8% of people employed in white-collar positions are Black and only 3.2% sit in executive or senior-level management roles.

Chuter understands first-hand what it’s like being the only Black person in the boardroom. In 2019 she told Forbes that she conceptualised UOMA Beauty after years of working her way up through major cosmetics companies, like L’Oreal, Benefit and Revlon. She noticed that inclusivity and diversity became a “trend” many brands felt they needed to keep up with to stay relevant, rather than an inherent pillar of their ethos.

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“These corporations, who are the gatekeepers of jobs, have starved us for the longest time,” she stands. “They’ve pushed us out, they’ve oppressed us, and they’ve marginalised us by doing nothing and staying silent which is exactly what is happening even in this moment.”

“They remain silent on what really matters.”

To join the Pull Up Or Shut Up! movement, tag your favourite beauty brands in the comments here.

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