Ten questions for MARGARET JOHNSTON CLARKE - Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion L'Oréal Group
By the Editorial staff
What were you like when you were younger? How were you educated? How did your parents’ cultural diversity influence your growth?
I grew up in a multicultural family. I am part French and part American and grew up in the US and France.
What did you study? Did you study in your country or abroad?
After passing my French Baccalaureat I went to University in the US at Yale, where I studied Literature. Then I went to graduate school in France at the CELSA to study Communications.
What was your first role at L’Oréal and what expectations did you have when you started there?
I joined L’Oréal after a first work experience in a no profit, where I was specialized in diversity and inclusion. My first mission at L’Oréal in 2000 was to design a proposal on Diversity for the HR executive team.
How have you seen the Company change in the last 5 years?
L’Oréal has continued to become more international through its global Brand acquisitions, but mostly the Group has recruited more and more experienced people in the last few years.
What does Diversity stand for you?
What are your key commitments?
My biggest commitment is to reach inclusion as diversity cannot stand alone.
Why is Diversity a strategic lever for sustainable growth?
Diversity is embedded in our Group’s strategy and embodied in the company’s mission: Beauty for All. And on top of this, it is a real asset for our extra financial performance.
What are the issues that need to be resolved today and what positive changes does the near future bring? How would you like to effect change?
It is urgent to reach in the near future Gender equality, raise awareness to stop gender-base violence, enable people with disabilities to disclose more freely and with less fear of stigma, roll out trainings on unconscious biases... One interesting example is what we have recently observed in a couple of countries in Europe, that have passed laws obliging companies to measure their gender pay gap, and although L’Oréal has been doing so for more than a decade I think it should be mandatory everywhere.
How do you define an inclusive workplace?
Where people’s uniqueness or differences are taken into account. Where do you see L’Oréal in five years? I hope L’Oréal will keep leading by example in matter of Diversity & Inclusion. I am confident that we will keep innovating and testing new programs to do so.