UOMA Beauty’s founder asks brands to ‘pull up’ their number of Black executives — and some have

Pull up or shut up. That is the name of the game for UOMA Beauty CEO and founder Sharon Chuter, who’s calling on brands to release the number of their Black employees — specifically in leadership roles.

For change to truly come, accountability must be held. And to Chuter, that means brands of all industries admitting their contribution to racism and how their current definition of “support” is not enough. On June 3, Chuter posted a video to her Instagram feed explaining her awe at brands supporting Black Lives Matter causes and started her rally for the 72-hour Pull Up or Shut Up campaign.

“Now over the last few days, we’ve seen something that’s never happened before, where brands and corporations are publicly showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, including making huge donations and going black yesterday,” Chuter said. “And for this, we thank you.”

Chuter further explained that brands and companies haven’t absolved themselves of their role in oppressing Black people. She additionally alludes to the support as being simply for public optics.

“Now what we need to do is ask these companies over the next 72 hours to release the number of Black people that they have employed in corporate roles as well as leadership roles,” Chuter said.

Since Chuter posted, she has created a Pull Up for Change Instagram page (which has amassed over 60,000 followers since it went live), asking consumers to hold all spending for 72 hours until brands have released their numbers.

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#pulluporshutup

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Black beauty influencers like Nyma Tang and Jackie Aina have posted support of the campaign on their own Instagram pages.

Since the post, brands have been posting up their numbers and being fully transparent. And the sad truth is, some brands don’t have the best executive Black employee numbers to back up their public support of the marginalized community.

However, there are brands that have shown a fair amount of Black employees in leadership roles, and brands that are lacking in Black leadership are publicly listing ways they intend to improve. These are the brands that are pulling up for change.

1. Uoma Beauty

Uoma Beauty’s leadership team is 50 percent Black, 75 percent POC, and 15 percent white.

2. E.L.F. Cosmetics

E.L.F Cosmetics revealed its figures as 70 percent women and “45 percent diverse.” A further breakdown from the brand shows that the company employs 1 percent American Indian or Alaska Native, 17 percent Asian, 7 percent Black, 14 percent Hispanic or Latinx, 7 percent two or more races and 55 percent white.

3. Milk Makeup

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#pulluporshutup. We have work to do.

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Milk shared that it does not have any Black employees at the executive level. The breakdown of the team is 9 percent African Caribbean/African American, 9 percent Asian/Asian American, 14 percent Hispanic/Latinx and 68 percent white.

4. PUR

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Pur Cosmetics tagged Pull Up for Change and shared a post, revealing the brand’s executive leadership team is led by Tisha Thompson, a Black woman. Plus, the brand’s team is made up of 30 percent Black people (17 full-time individuals). 77 percent of the company identifying as women and 33 percent identify as male.

5. Mented Cosmetics

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Five years ago our Founders, KJ Miller @kjmiller and Amanda E. Johnson @prettypensive, sat down over a glass of wine and vented about their frustrations with the beauty industry. Amanda mentioned to KJ she'd been looking for the perfect nude lipstick for THREE years – most recently at a well-known beauty retailer where the very kind, but very ill-equipped employee put her in an ashy pink shade combined with a dark brown liner…a combination we've all seen before and Amanda knew she'd never have time to replicate. It might seem small – there are certainly bigger problems than not being able to find your perfect lip shade – but what Amanda and KJ knew then, and continue to believe now is that *no one* should have to be an afterthought in the world of beauty. As two dark-skinned black women, their beauty journeys mattered just as much as the whiter and lighter skin tones they so often saw hailed as the standards of beauty, and they built this brand to affirm this for millions of people of color all over the country. Today, and every day, we are proud to be a Black-owned business employing Black and Brown people both here and abroad; our Executive Team is 100% Black, our Board is 75% Black. We are also proud of the work we are doing to support protestors in this fight against racial injustice, to teach and empower up-and-coming entrepreneurs of color, and to make space for conversations about the beauty of diversity. We are grateful to our community – our A1 Day Ones and the newest members of our Mented Fam – for being with us on this journey and holding us accountable along the way. Here's to you, and here's to US. ✊🏾✊🏿✊🏽 #pullingup #pulluporshutup

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Mented Cosmetics, a Black woman-owned beauty brand, joined in Pull Up for Change. The brand announced “our Executive Team is 100% Black, our Board is 75% Black.”

6. Versed Skincare

Versed skincare shared its company makeup in which 31 percent is POC, 6 percent of the team is Black and 14 percent of the executive team is Black. However, Versed listed course of action to take steps to improve both Black representation and leadership.

7. Wet N’ Wild

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Markwins, who owns Wet n’ Wild, Physician’s Formula, Black Radiance and Lorac pulled up with a breakdown of 27.5 percent Asian and Pacific Islander, and 25 percent African American of the four brand executives

8. Beauty Bakerie

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As you can imagine, we are devastated by continually seeing through harmful rhetoric, slow progress and cruel, heinous acts that our skin color is a justification for continued mistreatment or holding our justice hostage. It isn’t. I see that you are weeping with us, walking with us, fighting with us. Myself and my team are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support and kindly ask that you donate and support the following movements. Black Lives Matter Grassroots Law Ahmaud Arbery Breonna Taylor George Floyd Bailout Funds & Legal Fees Rock the Vote You have my support as well. Beauty Bakerie is a black woman owned & lead brand. In fact our executive team of decision makers is 75% Black and our Board of Directors is also 60% Black. Small, but mighty and passionate, it was this team of 15 that revolutionized how shades were numbered being the first brand to recalibrate shades and order them from dark to light. Soon after other brands followed suit. Our investor base, a team of people who have supported our growth, includes 8 Blacks with 5 being Black billionaires. Lastly, in 2016 I created a 501(c)3 named Sugar Homes. Through this initiative we provide care to 24 orphaned children in Uganda. My Sugar Babies…This includes their home, food & schooling among other needs. We do this with your support. We hope you continue to support the hard work it requires to build something great that drives change in the world even if it’s just one life. Even if it’s just changing yourself. We challenge you and your family to begin a #JusticeChallenge using the following initiatives as your goal. When these conversations die down, we hope that you will be somewhere pushing change forward, using your voice in the most powerful way. Love Always, Cashmere & the Cake Team ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻 #WeBeenPullingUp

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This Black woman-owned brand, Beauty Bakerie, was one of the firsts to order foundations from dark to light. The brand’s executive team is 75 percent Black and the brand’s Board of Directors is also 60 percent Black.

9. Miss A

Credit: Miss A Instagram

$1 makeup brand Miss A posted its make up of 34.2 percent Asian lineage, 32.6 percent Hispanic/Latin lineage, 14.7 percent Black, 15.2 percent white and 3.3 percent other.

10. Farsali

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#pulluporshutup

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Though Farsali is a small family business of executives, the rest of the team is made up of 25 percent Asian, 25 percent Black and 50 percent white employees.

11. Huda Beauty

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This was actually really hard to comprise because we’ve never asked our team what they are, how they identify themselves, etc. Asking the beauty industry to employ more black people (and to let them be themselves) is what has to happen to truly make the beauty industry a more inclusive place, offering products is simply not enough. We are still growing our team and hope to further diversify 💪🏿💪🏾💪🏽💪🏼💪🏻 I’m going to edit this really quickly just in case there are questions. 1. It’s really important to know we hire so many ethnicities around the world and in many countries where we have field teams/trainers etc, we actually don’t know their ethnicities and would only know what they are if we asked. It’s easier to use our HQ since we know each team member there. It’s important to note, our HQ is in Dubai, which is very diverse in many cultures, but mostly those around the Middle East & Asia. Unfortunately, black culture is still not that strong here, and there are barely any black people in the beauty industry here, so I am actually proud of our numbers and the fact that we found our team members, relocated 50% of them here and continue to employ and take care of all of our team members the best we can. 2. Someone just commented to me, we are actually proportioned to the population of the US, which also consists of 13% black people (which I did check and is correct). I am not justifying the numbers, but for anyone who thinks they are low, I’d love to know what they think is the right number, just so as a community we are aware of what everyone feels is right. We still want to improve numbers in every way. Help us get better. I am always listening and trying to be better with your help 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

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Huda Beauty pulled up with 63 percent POC, 80 percent women, 13 percent Black and the brand’s Board of Directors are only family and investors.

12. Universal Standard

The size-inclusive fashion Universal Standard did not tag Pull Up for Change, but did share on Instagram that of the 25 employees at Universal Standard, and of the people of color, only one is Black. Furthermore, they are not in an executive or marketing position. The brand is donating $10,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and plans to donate all sales from June 4 and June 5.

13. CocoKind

Cocokind tagged Chuter and posted its improvement from 2019 to 2020. As of June 2020, the brand now has one Black person on its corporate team. Additionally, it has one Native American, three Latinx people, three more white people, and three more Asian/Asian Americans.

14. Kinship

Kinship shared a post stating that 100 percent is women-identifying, but “in full transparency, we do not have Black employees yet.”

15. Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice only has 2 percent of Black employees, none of which are at the corporate level. However, the brand is taking steps to work with Black-owned brands and organizations to improve the amount of Black people in executive positions.

16. The Lip Bar

The Black-owned brand The Lip Bar also came in with its numbers for Pull Up for Change being 100 percent women and 85 percent Black.

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