The Estée Lauder Companies Creates Innovative Opportunities for Women’s Advancement

Sponsored by Estee Lauder Companies

The Estée Lauder Companies Open Doors Program.

Photo courtesy of the The Estée Lauder Companies.

Estée Lauder Companies
Estée Lauder Companies
May 23, 2024 at 8:50PM UTC

Women around the world face many intersecting obstacles to their advancement in the workforce. Most of these obstacles are longstanding, some new ones have emerged, and others have accelerated in recent years.  The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) continues to innovate its women’s advancement strategy by making strides towards pay equity, providing critical benefits, and providing leadership development with intentionality, substantive, long-term investment, and a commitment to creating equitable spaces.  

To deliver on its strategy for leadership development for women and all genders, ELC created the Open Doors Leadership Program that builds confidence, courage, and community for aspiring leaders. “Women’s advancement is in our Company’s DNA. We are carrying forward the challenger spirit, drive and bold vision of our incredible founder, Mrs. Estée Lauder,” said Sara Moss, ELC Vice Chair and Open Doors creator. “Through Open Doors, we provide emerging talent with the skills and support to write, or even rewrite, their own stories.  We want all women to have access to the success that our founder achieved and help them to become aware of their infinite possibilities—and to make them a reality.”

Photo courtesy of  The Estée Lauder Companies.

Three current Open Doors offerings encourage participants to develop self-awareness, go off script, engage in deliberate practice with one another, and seek out skills necessary to advance in their careers.

  1.  Open Doors Women’s Leadership Intensive — a signature program to help women hone the essential skills needed to progress, such as understanding their leadership styles, developing their personal brands, and building professional support networks. 

ELC created the Open Doors Intensive for women approaching “the broken rung” (as the McKinsey/Lean-In research calls it) where women tend to leave the workforce.  Since 2020, the Open Doors Women’s Leadership Intensive has engaged over 100 participants from over 15 countries, representing a wide variety of functions, regions, brands, and tenures. The program kicks-off with a weeklong, full-time, paid, intensive training (or a fortnight of paid virtual training) where participants have the opportunity to:

  • Analyze their grit and resilience skills

  • Give and receive tailored feedback on presentations and public speaking

  • Hear from leaders on their experiences navigating real-world, workplace barriers. Topics include, “How to fail better,” and “Two ears. One mouth. Listening with a purpose.”

The Intensive kick-off is followed by an enrichment year of coaching, peer support, and further development, including pairing each participant with a senior leader to sponsor her and champion her advancement.   

Photo courtesy of  The Estée Lauder Companies.

The Open Doors Intensive impact can be felt with participants, who grow their skills and indicate a desire to stay and grow with ELC:

  • Participants report increased growth mindset, support, and confidence in their communication. 

  • Within 18 months of the Intensive kickoff, 90% of participants remain with ELC.  

“Open Doors put me in the driver’s seat,” said Desirae Edgefield, Ph.D, Director, Research & Development. ”It gave me permission to be strategic and proactive about my personal and professional growth. Moreover, the program brought me to the realization that both types of growth are intertwined - to grow as a leader and a professional, you must evolve personally. When you evolve and grow personally, you gain clarity on your purpose, intention, and how you want to invest your knowledge, time, and skills.”  

  1.  The Open Doors Collection — a first-of-its-kind, ELC exclusive, self-guided leadership development program designed to help all employees develop critical skills.

Imagine a library where you could check-out inspiring original content, the best of TED talks, and interactive LinkedIn learning segments, and all curated by theme to improve your leadership.   Best of all, each resource can be viewed or completed in under 10 minutes.  ELC delivers the critical Open Doors learning to all employees in the Open Doors Collection.  

Enthusiasm has spread throughout ELC with Collection Pilots designed by Employee Resource Groups and teams around the world.  Individuals explore the Collection’s library at their own pace and then join together with a Pilot group for facilitated learning, discussion, and practice on the leadership theme.

“I am grateful for how Open Doors has brought so many of us together to build relationships that will last a lifetime,” said Tami Ushiroda, Interim Site Lead, Malaysia - Global Information Technology. 

  1. The Collection Connection — a live event, where senior leaders provide coaching, give advice, share their experiences, and answer questions to encourage and inspire participants on their unique career journeys. 

These quarterly virtual events bring the topics from the Open Doors Collection to the mainstage, and give employees from around the world the chance to come together, submit questions, and receive personalized, live guidance from senior leaders at ELC. Open to all employees, the Collection Connection creates a regular space for learning and community building at ELC. 

Photo courtesy of  The Estée Lauder Companies.

“Open Doors does what the name says: It opens doors to realizing your full potential,” says Alexandra Varzaru, Director, Site Reliability Engineering Lead, Global Information Technology. “The Intensive presented subjects with energy, passion, real life stories, panels, and amazing feedback.  What differentiates this program from other leadership programs?  It’s the program that keeps you engaged and energized at the same time. It’s natural and authentic…it’s door opening and eye-opening,” 

True to ELC’s founder, Mrs. Estée Lauder, and with the strong support of our employees, leaders, and partners, The Estée Lauder Companies continues to support women’s advancement in our doors and around the world. 

Curious about joining The Estée Lauder Companies team? They’re hiring! Check out careers at ELC via the following link. 


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