My grandmother, Estée Lauder, founded our company over 75 years ago from her kitchen table,” says Jane Lauder, executive vice president of enterprise marketing and chief data officer at the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC)—and since the beginning, the now multinational cosmetics company has been “supporting and scaling opportunities to advance possibilities for women in our business and around the world.”
ELC’s representation of women in leadership roles backs them up: half of the company’s global regions are led by women; 59% of vice president positions and higher are held by women; and all six of its research and development innovation centers are helmed by women.
Such dedication to advancing women in the workplace is not a given, even in 2023. Case in point: only about 32% of women hold senior leadership positions in the global workforce, according to the World Economic Forum's report. Still, female leaders are part of the fabric of the Estée Lauder Companies and their presence is one of the many reasons the corporation nabbed the No. 2 spot in Forbes' ranking of the World's Top Companies for Women.
The ranking, created in partnership with Statista, surveyed approximately 70,000 women working for multinational corporations across 37 countries. The companies were evaluated based on their workplace practices, gender pay equity, management of employee discrimination cases, and opportunities for advancement.
ELC rose in the ranks this year for the opportunities it offers its employees and its investment in girls and women in communities across the United States. The company has partnered with organizations like the Student Leadership Network and the Young Women's Leadership Schools to provide resources for underprivileged girls and gender expansive youth to access college, career, leadership, and mental health support.
Marriott International, MAIF, SAP, and Clorox Company also rank high on the list, showcasing their dedication to supporting and empowering women in their respective industries.
While progress has been made, challenges remain in achieving gender equity, especially for women of color. Companies must recognize and address the unique experiences and barriers faced by women from different backgrounds.
The World's Top Companies for Women ranking recognizes the efforts of ELC and others in promoting gender equality and provides an impetus for other companies to follow suit. The results prove that companies that prioritize women's advancement also reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.