Welcome to Glorious & Cash – Les Glorieuses launched this newsletter to talk about why money is power and matters for gender equality. It’s written by Arièle Bonte and the translation is made by Stephanie Williamson.
🇫🇷Pour la version française, cliquez ici.
Businesses are posting black squares as a stand against racism, but what comes next ?, by Arièle Bonte
Polices forces aren’t the only entities being called out for racist behaviour. In both the United States and France, people are speaking up against brands and businesses.
You’ve probably seen the black squares on your feed, posted to social media for #BlackOutTuesday. On that Tuesday, brands, businesses and influencers communicated their commitment to anti-racism and expressed their support for black people. But many activists feel that several of these organisations only seem committed and are putting up a front.
For what reasons?
Because except for a black square, what are these companies actually contributing to the daily fight against racism ? Once the media has moved on to something else, will they continue to convey the message ? What about their internal policies ? Will black people have the same career opportunities as white people ? To address these questions, Sharon Chuter, founder and director of Uoma Beauty, started the movement Pull Up or Shut Up, aimed at businesses. In other words : if you’re not taking
concrete steps to end racism, be quiet.
What sort of concrete steps?
Sharon Chuter asked brands to publish their ethnic statistics, as we call them in France. This means making the number of black people each business employs public. This was the only way to advance the conversation, Sharon Chuter told the Huffington Post. Several beauty brands responded to the business director’s call, such as Estée Lauder, Revlon, Glossier and L’Oréal, the latter of which was publicly called out by model Munroe Bergdorf.
What about France?
Inspired by Pull Up or Shut Up, Laurianne Melierre, journalist and founder of the agency Plume, got to grips with the issue by asking French brands and media companies on Instagram to share information about their teams. Women Who Do Stuff, Nouvelles Écoutes, Gaze and L’Obs responded to the call. “There are as many responses to my question as there are media groups,” observes the journalist, who is often asked to address the issue of ethnic statistics in France, regulated
by the law. “There’s a whole justifiable history there but for me, this is one of the last big French bastions of universalism that doesn’t see “colour” or “communities”. Far from wanting to denounce the system, the journalist simply wants to raise the issue, examine how these structures use the statistics and come up with new initiatives.
Lauriane Melierre mentions Mixity, a platform that allows businesses to carry out legal, independent audits and produce data not originally intended for publication. “The idea is that HR, directors and even employees can use it to assess the current employment situation of their companies but also, and most importantly, to receive suggested lines of improvement from the platform on short, medium and long-term scales,” the journalist explains. “There are recruitment models that need re-inventing; we have to look beyond the rhetoric that tells us that black people aren’t applying because that’s like saying that it’s women’s fault that they
earn less than men.”
The good news? Articles and posts online and on social media are bursting with information on how we can take part in the fight against racism on a daily basis, in our businesses or workplaces. For Laurianne Merlierre, “change is happening but the battle isn’t won. Right now people are educating themselves, starting to put concepts into words, know what to respond when someone uses the argument of reverse-racism, for example.” We will no longer be able to say that we didn’t know. The question is: will we close our eyes or will we take action for more than a day?
What is your point of view on this debate? Have you ever given thought to the working conditions of your
black colleagues? Do they have the same opportunities as white people? As a black person, do you feel your employer supports you? Is the company you work for taking part in the fight against racism, or are they only posting online?
Does working in cybersecurity sound like a dream, but you’re intimidated by the macho environment ? The Wild Code School wants to fix that, and feminize this industry with exclusively female cybersecurity analysis training, according to Challenges. Launched last December in Paris, this programme will welcome its next cohort in 2020. Get your CV ready !
Giving once is good, giving twice is even better. So if you’re able, anti-racism fundraisers need your help ! Here’s a selection you can find here.
What if you took the time to have a positive effect on the environment this summer? If you find yourself on the Mediterranean coast, take part by bike or kayak in an eco-adventure with the association Tout Sur Ma Mer. The goal : to clean 57 sites polluted by waste. Every Sunday until 13 September.
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Arièle Bonte is a French journalist specialized in equality, gender and sexuality. For three years she was leading RTL Girls, for RTL.fr. Today she’s an independent journalist but she still has the same goal: spread the news through the gender prism. She also wrote a novel « Le Chaos des décibels » (Librinova), and she’s the author of the newsletter « Spell it out » about modern witchcraft. Her dream is to meet Lana Del Rey, to travel around the world and to have a green thumb.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER
For more than a 100 years, L’Oréal has been dedicated to beauty. With its international flotilla of 36 brands and its 86.000 employees, the Group achieved 26.9 billion euros of sales, its best year of sales growth in more than 10 years in 2018.
L’Oréal has long been a leader in gender equality. Worldwide, as of 2018, women account for 69% of our workforce, 47% of our management committee members, 31% of our Executive Committee members and 54% of our key positions.
L’Oréal firmly believes in Diversity and Inclusion, and is convinced that Women’s leadership must be promoted in order to achieve a more
inclusive workplace. Its commitments across the years have marked the Group as one of the leading organisations globally: in 2018, women represent 46% of the board membership, 54% of the Group’s key positions, and 66% of the Global brand general managers. L’Oréal was ranked Top gender-balanced company in Europe by Equileap in 2018 and is among the TOP 100 companies in the Bloomberg 2018 Gender Equality Index.