I had the opportunity to attend the Color Up Close Panel and NYC BIC meetup last night. I want to start of by saying how wonderful it is that Sephora has made a commitment to not only support but also highlight and push forward diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry.
The experience started off with some mini makeovers in the Sephora store at Hudson Yards, across from the beautiful Vessel building. I unfortunately had to miss this part but saw the other girls who looked wonderful!
We then went upstairs and met up with @KatieBT and @CarolBT who kindly greeted us, checked us in, gave us surprise gift cards, and showed us to our reserved seating at the front of the panel! There were some lovely goodie bags waiting for us here.
Next we listened to a panel about diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry. One of the questions that really resonated with me was “How do we ensure more people of color have a seat the table and become a part of this pipeline? How do we move the needle and open those doors for others?”
Nancy and KJ Miller talked about the importance of mentor ship and connecting people with networks so they can grow their own. KJ Miller validated this by talking about how Mented cosmetics was able to be successful for this very reason. Sarah’s response was really meaningful to me. She talked about the expectations people have for you when you finally get a seat the table, and how to find your voice when you feel people are still not listening to you and taking you seriously. “If you want me in the room, you get all of me in the room.” As a person of color and a woman in the science field, I struggle with this a lot, and have found that it can be so transformative when you do finally find your voice in how people take you seriously and regard your opinions and work. We also discussed paying it forward, and this hit me hard too. When I started my position, there were little opportunities for professional growth. I had to fight tooth and nail to identify opportunities and convince senior management to allow me to do them. I’ve paid it forward by paving the way for those that come after me to have access to these opportunities and encouraging them to apply, attend, grow, etc. The conversation in my department (research) has shifted from here’s what you are going to work on to what are your personal and professional interests and how can we support them across different opportunities and ongoing projects?
After the panel we went downstairs to meet Elaine. We were able to skip the line and go right to the front, and Katie surprised us with her book so we could have Elaine sign our books! She was so nice and so were the panelists. The Sephora store also had these delicious drinks and chocolates for us to try.
After the in-store experience we headed to our BIC dinner at Wild Ink, an Asian inspired eatery with New Asian flair. Everything was delicious and the service was impeccable. We had a custom menu just for us and shout-out to Katie and Carol yet again for the modified menu accommodating everyone’s dietary restrictions. At the end of dinner we got yet another surprise gift bag from Katie and Carol! Whoa!
And the fun didn’t stop there. We next went out for drinks at the beautiful electric lemon rooftop lounge at the Equinox hotel. The views were outstanding and that drinks delicious.
I am so incredibly humbled to have been a part of this experience. I never imagined that my causal beauty hobby would turn into a commitment to the BIC community for around 9-10 years now. And that all of this would lead to meeting such wonderful community members that have turned into great friends that can share these experiences together. Most of all, I am grateful to Sephora for recognizing the time, effort, and commitment we have all made to this community and each other. Sephora, thanks for bringing us together and taking an interest in us!