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Published February 3, 2021
Published February 3, 2021
Tim Mossholder via Unsplash

Ulta Beauty announced a $25 million investment in new diversity and inclusion commitments focused on brand amplification and support, assortment growth, and equitable, welcoming guest and associate experiences. Tracee Ellis Ross, CEO and founder of Pattern Beauty, has assumed the position of the company’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, a formalized role to provide counsel and inspiration, and drive accountability.

“As the country’s beauty retail leader, we believe we have the power to shape how the world sees beauty and as such, we have a responsibility to inspire positive change and drive greater diversity, inclusivity and equity,” said Mary Dillon, CEO, Ulta Beauty “We are deeply committed to leading purposefully with and for underrepresented voices across retail and beauty on our D&I journey.”

The 2021 commitments provide a holistic view of tangible efforts intended to further existing work to champion diversity and ultimately, to ensure guests, associates, partners, and communities feel connected to and reflected at Ulta Beauty.

“I look forward to formalizing an already existing dialogue and partnership around diversity and inclusion with Mary Dillon and the Ulta Beauty team,” said Tracee Ellis Ross. “This work requires commitment and accountability from Ulta Beauty to ensure measurable goals are achieved. I am hopeful and optimistic our work together will create foundational change.”

Commitment to Amplifying & Investing in Underrepresented Voices

  • Approximately $20 million will be allocated to media investments across endemic and multicultural platforms to create more personal connections with Latinx, Black, and other communities, more than doubling the spend of the last three years.
  • Ulta Beauty proudly debuted MUSE: Magnify, Uplift, Support, Empower, a platform to celebrate, honor, and amplify Black voices in beauty. The campaign shines a light on bold, brilliant, and beautiful Black women who have defied and defined limits, with marquee placements on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and This Is Us.

Commitment to Black-Owned Brands

  • To increase the presence of Black entrepreneurs, Ulta Beauty will double the number of Black-owned brands in its assortment by the end of 2021.
  • More than $4 million will be dedicated to marketing support of Black-owned brands within the company’s assortment to fuel brand awareness and sustain growth.

Commitment to Guest Experiences

  • The brand is introducing quarterly, in-store training for all store and salon associates in March 2021 to reinforce inclusivity and address unconscious bias. These mandatory trainings account for a $2 million investment and are additional to Ulta Beauty’s existing store and salon trainings.
  • Building upon Race Matters Leadership Training, which debuted in 2020, the company will implement a mandatory 2.0 version across the field, distribution center, and corporate associates in 2021.

Commitment to Associate Experiences

  • Ulta more than doubled D&I trainings across the enterprise for 2021 for the second year in a row.
  • The brand launched inclusive recruiting efforts with a diverse slate mandate.
  • The company established a Diverse Leaders Program to empower more than 30 high-potential associates as future company leaders with CEO and executive mentorship.
  • Annual performance reviews include evaluation against the core value of Champion Diversity and the key competency of Inclusion.

“Authenticity as an inclusive brand with welcoming experiences for all and an approachable assortment are tenets of how we champion diversity at Ulta Beauty,” continued Dillon. “We have mapped these commitments to impact every facet of our work. We look forward to sharing more as we continue on this journey with steadfast commitment from our teams and our newly established advisor Tracee Ellis Ross, who brings passion, experience, and perspective to this important work.”

In her role as Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Ross, a beauty entrepreneur, activist, and actor, will provide counsel and insight, and drive accountability to Ulta Beauty with a specific focus on BIPOC brand development, diverse leadership development, and supplier diversity. She will join internal Executive D&I Council Summits quarterly. The executive council is chaired by Dillon and brings together Ulta Beauty’s executive team to holistically review D&I progress, gaps, and opportunities.

With a formalized internal governance in place across the enterprise, Ulta Beauty has committed to progress and transparency in sharing updates as it continues to build upon its diversity and inclusion efforts.


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