Mar 4, 2021
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Estée Lauder Companies launches Equity and Engagement Center of Excellence

Mar 4, 2021

New York-based beauty conglomerate The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has announced the creation of its new Equity and Engagement Center of Excellence. The center will be led by Nicole Monson, who has been with the company since 2014.

Nicole Monson - Photo: The Estée Lauder Companies

According to the cosmetics group, the center has been established in response to the “movement around racial equality,” which gained significant momentum following the events of 2020, particularly those surrounding the killing of George Floyd in May of last year.
Aiming to build on ELC’s previously announced “Commitment to Act on Racial Equity,” the Equity and Engagement COE will seek to coordinate a more focused and holistic approach to making sustainable progress and supporting diversity at the group through a range of initiatives covering deep engagement, career advancement, development programs and hiring practices.

In her new role as senior vice president for equity and engagement, Monson will oversee the COE’s activities, leading the development and implementation of equity and engagement initiatives across the company.
She will work closely with the leaders of ELC’s human resources department and Diversity & Equity COE, as well as the company’s heads of global communications, global citizenship and sustainability, and global public affairs structures.
Through this collaboration, she will help to develop inclusivity and equity programs focusing on addressing conflict, implementing support systems for employees of color, ensuring equitable compensation, application of policies and career access. Furthermore, she will lead ELC’s Racial Equality Initiative.
Monson will report directly to Estée Lauder’s EVP for global human resources, Michael O’Hare.
Prior to her new role, the executive’s most recent position at ELC was SVP and deputy general counsel for global employment, ethics and legal privacy. In this role, she oversaw the group’s employment, ethics and legal privacy teams, working to develop the company’s global legal strategy for these areas in order to protect its interests and mitigate potential risks related to changing laws and regulations.
During her time at the group, Monson has also served as a member of ELC’s Diversity Council, as well as of the company’s “Network of Black Leaders & Executives” and “Women’s Leadership Network” employee resource groups. She has also become executive sponsor of “She’s Howard: Own Your Power,” the group’s partnership with Howard University, which seeks to support female graduates through a range of coaching, training and mentorship initiatives.
Before joining the company, Monson, who holds a JD from Howard University School of Law and a BA from Spelman College, spent more than five years at Ingersoll Rand, having previously worked as VP for employee relations at Godman Sachs from 2006 to 2009.
“Nicole’s deep experience and extensive knowledge of Human Resources and the global legal environment, combined with her demonstrated ability to positively influence ELC’s culture, have been invaluable to the company,” commented ELC executive chairman William P. Lauder in a release. “I look forward to her continued leadership at the helm of this new Center of Excellence.”

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