This season at New York Fashion Week, TRESemmé, the official haircare sponsor of NYFW for 23 seasons, is launching its #WomenLeadTheWay Pledge, a commitment to advance women into leadership. Women hold only 6.6% of leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies. The gender leadership gap is especially problematic in fashion, where women make up over 70 percent of the total workforce yet hold less than 25 percent of leadership positions in top fashion companies.

Together with Vital Voices Global Partnership, Girlboss, and designer partners, Cushnie, Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, Rebecca Minkoff, and Studio One Eighty Nine, TRESemmé invites the fashion industry and beyond to join in helping #WomenLeadTheWay. The Pledge is a commitment to not only advance women into leadership but also to speed up it in two tangible ways:

  1. Strive for gender balance across their organization through balanced slates regarding recruiting and promotion.
  2. Establish formal development and mentorship opportunities for women at all levels of their organization.

"We know that women have the drive and experience to lead but their opportunities for leadership continue to lag, and we see a need for change," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever North America. "Women should have access to training, mentorship and resources that can help support and propel them forward and we as companies and organizations in the industry should be accountable for providing those. It's time we come together and take bold action to accelerate the pace of change."

For 70 years TRESemmé has helped women express themselves with confidence, ensuring they look good and feel good as they make their mark on the world. But confidence only gets you so far in a broken system. TRESemmé believes that when women lead the way, everyone benefits. The company will help companies and organizations that sign onto the pledge by supporting them in the following ways:

  1. Providing pledge participants with access to subject matter experts working in the women's empowerment and leadership spaces to support the development of customized programs.
  2. Holding one-on-one conversation with pledge participants to understand their unique needs in delivering on their commitment.
  3. Facilitating closed-door meetings among pledge participants for open and honest conversations around gender equality, shared challenges and best practices.
  4. Actioning progress reporting among pledge participants to ensure accountability and progress.

Besides supporting the partners of the #WomenLeadtheWay pledge, TRESemmé remains committed to providing women with investment, resources and networking they need to become the leaders our world needs. Earlier this year, TRESemmé helped to provide the Girlboss community of nearly 4 million women with access to resources and community building content to help them achieve their goals. 

More recently, they introduced a Leadership Incubator program with Vital Voices to support women on their leadership journey.  Looking ahead, TRESemmé will establish and fund a formal mentorship program within Unilever as it continues to strive for opportunities to speed up women into leadership roles through hiring and recruiting practices.