On February 2, the nation’s largest beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty, revealed that it is launching a $25 million dollar diversity and inclusion initiative, and Tracee Ellis Ross will have a key role in it.
The company announced the Ross will serve as the company’s diversity and inclusion adviser, a “formalized role to provide counsel, inspiration and drive accountability,” according to the official press release.
“I look forward to formalizing an already existing dialogue and partnership around diversity and inclusion with Mary Dillon and the Ulta Beauty team,” said 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.”
Ulta said that in her role Ross “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.”
Mary Dillon, CEO, said Ulta Beauty “has a responsibility to inspire positive change and drive greater diversity, inclusivity and equity,” said “We are deeply committed to leading purposefully with and for underrepresented voices across retail and beauty on our D&I journey.”
Ulta has outlined their comprehensive plan, and introduced a number of actions in their campaign to prioritize diversity and inclusion.
The brand is initiating an advertising campaign intended to highlight and appreciate Black individuals in the beauty space, and include various Black women and executives, such as Sundial CEO Cara Sabin, Briogeo founder Nancy Twine and Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, according to WWD.
The company also proclaimed a commitment to Black-owned brands, and has resolved to work directly with Black business in order to help their brands thrive. The retailer said it plans to double the amount of Black-owned brands in its collection by the end of 2021.
Ulta said it will devote more than $4 million supporting the marketing of Black-owned brands within the company’s existing collection, while around $20 million will be distributed to media investments among widespread, multi-cultural platforms to create “more personal connections” with Black, LatinX, and other communities.
The beauty vendor is also investing a $2 million into regular inclusivity training for its workforce, in addition to its existing Race Matters Leadership Training.
“Authenticity as an inclusive brand with welcoming experiences for all and an approachable assortment are tenets of how we champion diversity at Ulta Beauty,” Dillon said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Ross is releasing more beauty products of her own. A part of her Pattern hair-care brand, the actress is promoting a Treatment Mask & Scalp Serum that she said “is inspired by ancestral home remedies passed down from generation to generation.”
“How I care for my hair is genuinely a part of how I actively love myself,” she told BET. “After my teen years and early 20s, and having a contentious relationship with my hair, and constantly wishing that it was something other than it was, I realized that when I started to meet it where it was and love it as is, and learn how to care for it, was one of the ways I started caring for and loving my authentic self.”