Estee Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation partners with Spelman to host Black Beauty STEMinist Lab; 35 students from 15 colleges participated in June program promoting STEM education for Black women

Sample article from our Beauty & Personal Care

July 9, 2024 (press release) –

The initiative supports The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation’s (ELCCF) work to improve access to STEM education for historically marginalized communities.

Building on its efforts to improve access to STEM education for historically marginalized communities, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation (ELCCF) was proud to partner with Spelman College to host its inaugural Black Beauty STEMinist Lab Intensive and Symposia in early June.

The one-week program, held from June 2-7, convened 35 students from 15 colleges and universities to celebrate the contributions of Black women in the cosmetic sciences, learn about product formulation and marketing, and participate in insightful discussions, workshops, and presentations from leading industry professionals, including guest speakers from The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) and M·A·C Cosmetics.

“This symposium and lab-intensive event highlighted the scientific contributions of Black women in the beauty industry and advocated for increased inclusion and representation among consumers and scientific experts in product development,” said Dr. Leyte Winfield, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and division chair for the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Spelman College.

With Black women making up only 1.8 percent of the science and engineering workforce in the United States, according to the National Science Foundation, representation among researchers, developers, and formulators in the beauty industry is essential.

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Spelman partners with Pooja, Senior Scientist, Research & Development, ELC; Nerlynda, Manager, HR, ELC; and Desirae, Executive Director, R&D, Artisinal Science

Spelman Black Beauty STEMinist participants

Spelman Black Beauty STEMinist participants

Pooja, Senior Scientist, R&D, ELC

Spelman Black Beauty STEMinist participant

Dr. Leyte Winfield, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry with ELC representatives

Black Beauty STEMinist participant and Jasmin, Vice President, Brand Growth

Spelman partners with Pooja, Senior Scientist, Research & Development, ELC; Nerlynda, Manager, HR, ELC; and Desirae, Executive Director, R&D, Artisinal Science

Spelman Black Beauty STEMinist participants

Spelman Black Beauty STEMinist participants

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“For nearly a decade, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation's work has focused on advancing women and girls by supporting organizations that help create access to opportunity,” said Rachel Tulchin, Vice President, Social Impact, The Estée Lauder Companies. “As a global leader in STEM education for Black women, Spelman College is an extraordinary new ELCCF partner. Through its summer intensive, we are proud to support the institution’s efforts to expand and improve access to STEM education for historically marginalized communities and, in turn, increase representation in the beauty and personal care industries.” 

In March 2024, Spelman announced the expansion of its STEM programming to include a concentration in cosmetic chemistry for those majoring in chemistry, and a minor in cosmetic science for those majoring in other areas—the first of its kind at a Historically Black College and University. The new program seeks to inspire a culturally relevant model for skills development in under-explored STEM fields, namely cosmetic science. 

This ELCCF partnership contributes to a longstanding relationship between Spelman College and ELC. Other active initiatives include the Let’s Talk Beauty Program, a beauty career series featuring leaders across ELC’s brands, regions, and functions. Additionally, in February 2024, ELC and M·A·C Cosmetics hosted Spelman’s Convocation, a lecture series featuring prominent scholars and professionals across industries.

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