Smart women can lead recovery

Caroline Neville, founder member and president of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) UK, stresses the importance of entrepreneurial spirit in the beauty industry


Faced with an ever more uncertain financial future, the importance of entrepreneurial spirit is brought sharply into focus. New businesses and the creation of jobs will prove to be the lifeblood of UK PLC if it’s to recover in the coming years.

This is why the power of the beauty industry should never be underestimated. It currently contributes nearly £17 billion to the British economy and employs almost one million people. Not only have UK beauty businesses succeeded in weathering the financial storm thus far, they also hold the key to a more prosperous economic future.

Entrepreneurship has always been at the heart of the beauty industry. Starting companies, delivering new and improved products and services at the very moment when we thought we could push the boundaries no further, innovating and challenging the status quo, are part of the fabric of the industry.

Anyone with a cursory insight into the workings of CEW UK – a 20-year-old, not-for-profit organisation that serves the beauty industry – will see a powerful community with a mission to help its multi-generational female members progress.

Through its dedicated live speaker series, it provides conversation, education and inspiration. Its Newsmaker Breakfast series offers members the opportunity to learn from top beauty industry leaders. Its Mentoring series provides invaluable insight, information and networking opportunities targeted not only towards members of a junior level, but also to older women who are returning to business.

Above all, CEW recognises leadership excellence through its Achiever Awards. It rewards outstanding product innovation in its annual Beauty Awards acknowledged as the “Oscars” of the beauty industry.

As an association, we’re also committed to raising money for research into gynaecological cancer by supporting the work of The Eve Appeal. Our own initiative, Cancer and Careers, provides The Living and Working Directory for women who want practical help and advice when diagnosed with cancer.  It’s a programme about thriving not just surviving; about offering help and encouragement – and it’s free.

As a vibrant industry body that has been helping women for more than 50 years in the United States, for 25 years in France and 20 years in the UK, CEW is smart, successful and loved by its members all around the globe. Happy 20th birthday CEW (UK).