Ulta Beauty Investing in Associates As Part of $25 Million D&I Plans

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Ulta Beauty shared its 2021 diversity and inclusion commitments, with such initiatives as increased associate training among the $25 million plans.

Approximately $20 million will be allocated to media investments across endemic and multi-cultural platforms to create more personal connections with LatinX, Black and other communities, which is more than double the spend of the last three years.

The company will work directly with Black founders and entrepreneurs with the goal to grow brands so these beauty leaders can thrive as they continue to serve the Black community. It will also 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.

The No. 46 retailer is also introducing quarterly, in-store training for all store and salon associates in March 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 field, distribution center and corporate associates in 2021.

In order to help foster an inclusive, bias-free and equitable workplace for its associates, Ulta will make investments to advance associate competencies and foster greater collaboration. As part of this, it’s more than doubled D&I trainings across the enterprise for 2021 for the second year in a row.

It’s also launched inclusive recruiting efforts with a diverse slate mandate, and 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, meanwhile, include evaluation against the core value of Champion Diversity and the key competency of Inclusion.

The company also announced Tracee Ellis Ross, CEO and founder, PATTERN Beauty, as its diversity and inclusion advisor, a formalized role to provide counsel, inspiration and drive accountability. She will join internal Executive D&I Council Summits quarterly.

 “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, Ulta Beauty CEO, in a statement. “We are deeply committed to leading purposefully with and for underrepresented voices across retail and beauty on our D&I journey.”


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