Changing beauty standards from the industry out
A first-in-class fellowship for the next generation of beauty & wellness leaders
Applications are currently closed. If you'd like to be notified when applications for the 2024 program open, please submit your information below.
In the meantime, please follow @thebeautyunited on Instagram for updates!
Beauty and wellness leaders have, historically, all looked the same. But in the past decade, we’ve started to see a shift in who is being represented in this industry from the photos on Instagram to who’s showing up in the board room.
BeautyUnited is here to make the beauty and wellness industry an even more diverse and inclusive place by showing the BIPOC and Latinx community how to thrive, create lasting change, and advance their careers.
The BeautyUnited Fellowship is a year-long in-depth program developed specifically for the BIPOC and Latinx communities. This program was created to:
into the issues people of color face in the industry, especially in employment
through access to the tools and sponsorships they need to get ahead
Encourage & Spark
entrepreneurial spirit within these organizations
About the Fellowship
The BeautyUnited Fellowship is a year-long cohort initiative of leaders who are determined, driven and motivated to create change from within the beauty and wellness industry. With a focus on both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills, this fellowship will help eligible individuals dive deep into the issues people of color face in the industry and support them with the tools and access they need to continue to get ahead.
Acting like an entrepreneur within an organization. Also known as ownership, creativity, and motivation.
The fellowship is a three-pillar program made up of Community, Resources, and Education.
A peer community of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs dedicated to growth and learning
Access to resources and mentors to help grow businesses and careers, across agencies, business processes, and subject matter experts
Original educational curriculum and instruction to provide the groundwork for the next generation of leaders
If chosen, fellows will participate in our 12-month Fellowship which includes:
- Quarterly themed and intimate 90 minute full-group discussions led by our Community Manager
- Monthly live guest expert calls with leaders both inside and outside the beauty and wellness industry
- Mentorship and guidance from the entrepreneurs and executives leading your favorite brands
- Monthly hot seats to explore challenges and ideas with the other Fellows
Why is the BeautyUnited Fellowship Important?
BeautyUnited was created because members of the BIPOC and Latinx communities (along with members of other underrepresented communities) have historically not advanced at the same rate as their colleagues in the beauty and wellness world. While they may have the skills, the tenacity, and the education, the innate structure of the industry holds them back.
As beauty and wellness are aggressively working to broaden products to suit all customers and to create more inclusive messaging, an essential element in capturing that market share will require a new take on investing in and training leaders from these underrepresented communities.
Only 4-5% of all employees in the US beauty industry are BIPOC. BeautyUnited aims to move that to 15% and beyond.
To move toward this goal, we need to create opportunities to educate and guide our rising leaders to drive change and advocate for diversity.
- Black brands make up only 2.5 percent of revenue in the beauty industry. Yet Black consumers are responsible for 11.1 percent of total beauty spending.
- Only 4 to 7 percent of beauty brands carried by specialty beauty stores, drugstores, grocery stores, and department stores are Black brands.
This fellowship is part of our three-tiered initiative to support underrepresented communities in the beauty and wellness industries through learning sessions, job fairs, and mentorship. Mentorship and sponsorship play a critical role in industry and workplace advancement, as well as closing diversity gaps within existing organizations.
Each year, BeautyUnited will invite 10 candidates to join the latest class of Fellows. Each class will be led by the BeautyUnited team.
Who is this Fellowship For?
The beauty of this Fellowship is that it was created by the individuals who work and drive change in the industry for individuals who are seeking thriving careers, impactful leadership, and growth — both for themselves and the companies they work for.
That’s why this Fellowship is specifically for:
Driven, thoughtful leaders who work in the beauty/wellness space
Entrepreneurs seeking to gain a foothold in the industry
Intrapreneurs who are driven to create change from within their organizations
For a candidate to be eligible for the Fellowship, they must:
- Be at least 30 years old by March 1, 2023
- Be a member of the BIPOC or Latinx community
- Be an entrepreneur that owns a business that is currently scaling, actively selling a product, or making at least $500k in annual revenue
- Be an intrapreneur - VPs, Directors, or Senior Managers - at a beauty brand. (Note: while these titles are not exhaustive, similar or related titles may also likely be a good fit!)
- Have a demonstrated track record of success and tenacity. We are looking for Fellows who hear the word “no” as a challenge, who understand the value of hard work, and who strive for a full life outside of their career.
- Strive for innovation. They don’t just think outside the box; to them, there is no box.
- Accept that failure and roadblocks are a part of life. It’s not about what life throws at you, it’s how you handle it.
- Understand that they must commit to the full duration of the Fellowship. Participation in live sessions and group discussions are not optional. A complete schedule will be made available to Candidates prior to extending an offer to join. Fellows should be prepared to allocate 1-2 hours per week to participate.
2023-2024 Fellowship Participants
Past Mentees and Fellowship Alumni
(from left to right)
Lori Brianne Polk
Channel Marketing Manager
Oribe Hair Care
Moj Mahdara (she/they), is an entrepreneur and CEO. They have invested in over 100+ companies since 2011 as a GP and advisor. Currently a venture capitalist at Intuition Capital and Kinship Ventures.
Formerly, CEO of Beautycon, a globally-recognized community for content creators, celebrities, fans, and brands. As CEO, they were responsible for driving the brand vision for Beautycon and its growth initiatives, launching the brand globally, which include strategic media partnerships, content development, market intelligence, and e-commerce over the past 5 years.
Mahdara is an accomplished speaker, business figure, and an active investor with international recognition for her expertise in Gen Z and Millennial consumer profiles and behaviors. They have been named to multiple lists over the years, including ones in Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire magazine; Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” list, The Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Digital Players,” Women’s Wear Daily’s “Digital Power Posse” list and Variety’s “Digital Entertainment Execs to Watch,” and has traveled nationally and internationally to present Beautycon’s first market intelligence white paper, FOMO Vol. 1.
OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
Julee Wilson is the Executive Director of BeautyUnited and the Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan. Prior, Wilson held positions at ESSENCE, The Huffington Post and Real Simple magazine. Her writing has appeared in InStyle, Conde Nast Traveler, The Business of Fashion, and The International Journal of Fashion Studies.
Wilson has appeared on CNN, The Today Show, and the CBS Early Show. Wilson sits on the Board of Trustees at the Museum of the City of New York, the executive board for the Black In Fashion Council, the advisory board for Harlem's Fashion Row, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She resides in Harlem, NYC with her brilliant husband, two dope sons, and a massive shoe collection.
This Year's Guests & Mentors Include
Every year, the black-white gap leaves $1-1.5 trillion dollars of economic growth on the table. While the beauty and wellness industries are aggressively working to broaden both product assortment and create more inclusive messaging, an essential element in capturing that market share will require a new take on investing in and supporting entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs of color, especially members of the BIPOC and Latinx communities.
BeautyUnited is on a mission to modernize the industry, support underrepresented leaders at the top of legacy brands and their own ventures, and to support innovation at every level. We do this by investing in entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs of underrepresented communities through mentorship, job fairs, and education.
We’re rethinking existing systems and increasing access and resources for underrepresented leaders, as well as re-evaluating mentorship and sponsorship programs within existing organizations to ensure that traditional (and more nuanced) barriers to success are torn down.