Estée Lauder launches ELEL fund to advance women redefining leadership

Stéphane de La Faverie, Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies

Estée Lauder, the flagship brand of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., announced the launch of the Estée Lauder Emerging Leaders (ELEL) Fund, a charitable fund under The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation. The fund’s mission is to redefine leadership by supporting a new generation of emerging women leaders and challenging leadership gender stereotypes.

What is the purpose of the ELEL fund?

The Fund will support firms that provide opportunities for leadership development, cultivate supportive communities and advocate for emerging leaders who have a vision for change.

Estée Lauder has made an initial $1m investment into the ELEL Fund which will support mission-aligned firms. Vital Voices, a global nonprofit that invests in women leaders, has been selected as the inaugural program partner of the ELEL Fund, with the program commencing in July 2022. Additional grants by the ELEL Fund will be announced in the coming year.

What is the global status on gender bias and inequality?

To gain a deeper understanding of perceptions of leadership and gender bias around the world, the Estée Lauder brand commissioned Glocalities, an international market research agency, for a global study of more than 5,700 men and women across 11 countries.

The research revealed that whilst there are still prevalent gender biases and stereotypes when it comes to leadership, both men and women value the same qualities in a leader – reliability, integrity and dedication – which are not attached to gender.

However, while leadership qualities such as strength and determination are equally valued by both men and women they are more strongly associated with men. The study reveals the roadblocks and solutions for advancing gender-inclusive leadership.

What is Estée Lauder’s legacy?

As one of the leading prestige beauty brands, Estée Lauder continues to be inspired by its founder, Mrs. Estée Lauder, and her belief in a woman’s infinite possibilities. The ELEL Fund will reinforce the brand’s commitment to women’s advancement by addressing some of the gender-based biases uncovered in the research and shifting the perception of leadership.

“The 75-year legacy shows what one visionary woman can achieve. Through the work of the Estée Lauder Emerging Leaders Fund and its program partners, we will champion women to contribute and lead in their communities,” said Stéphane de La Faverie, Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies and Global Brand President, Estée Lauder & AERIN Beauty.

“We want to redefine what it means to be a leader and what it takes to lead. We want to see more women like Mrs. Estée Lauder in the world,” Stéphane de La Faverie commented.

Who are the other global partners on the project?

The ELEL Fund selected Vital Voices, a nonprofit that invests in women leaders who are taking on the world’s greatest challenges, as its first official program partner and grant recipient.

With the shared mission of advancing women and redefining leadership, the ELEL Fund and Vital Voices have built a leadership development program for emerging leaders globally.

Program participants will join the Vital Voices community of over 20,000 women across 184 countries, which includes Estée Lauder Global Changemaker, Amanda Gorman. Applications are now open and can be accessed at www.vitalvoices.org/program/visionaries.

“At Vital Voices we have seen that women lead differently, and that difference is precisely what our world needs. Our deal with the ELEL Fund will identify emerging leaders with a bold vision for positive change and provide them with the skills, network and resources they need to make that vision a reality,” said Alyse Nelson, Vital Voices President and CEO.

To learn more about the ELEL Fund, visit esteelauder.com.