Capitalising on differences
Sustainable development

A close-up look at L’Oréal’s diversity promotion policy and at how it has changed over recent years. The aim is to become world leader in diversity management.

Signing the Diversity Charter in Spain

As a L’Oréal priority for action, diversity goes hand in hand with the group’s primary commitment: respect for the individual. Moreover, L’Oréal has integrated this pledge into its Code of Business Ethics.
For L’Oréal, this means not only recognising, accepting and placing value on differences, but also capitalising on these differences to strengthen performance. The objective: be the world leader in diversity management. This is a lofty goal, which will be achieved through the following actions:

  • Respecting the need for excellence in individual skills and performance
  • Attracting candidates from outside of traditional resource pools and identifying a wide range of profiles that will provide new perspective
  • Promoting the emergence of a new ecosystem of diversity by enlisting our partners (suppliers, clients) and other stakeholders in our actions.
  • Measuring and reporting on progress


Interview with Rachid Bensahnoune, Director of Human Resources in charge of Diversity, L'Oréal

A recognised commitment


Interview with Rachid Bensahnoune, Director of Human Resources in charge of Diversity, L'Oréal

Since 2005, L’Oréal has decided to structure its policy for promoting diversity around six crucial areas: nationality, social background, ethnicity, gender, disability and age. Presently, L'Oréal has signed seven diversity charters in Europe, three of which were co-founded in Italy, Sweden and Poland. In 2004, L’Oréal was among the first companies in France to sign the French Diversity Charter.

Internally, there has been a Worldwide Diversity Department since 2005 and the Diversity Department in France was created in 2009. Internationally, a network of thirty or so local coordinators leads action on the field.

This commitment is long-term and recognised by many international institutions. In 2011, L’Oréal was given the first European label for professional equality, the Gender Equality-European Standard (GE-ES), for seven European countries: France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, England and Ireland.

A worldwide survey


Since 2003, L'Oréal has been conducting a worldwide survey of its employees (“Pulse”). So far, 28,000 employees in 28 countries have been invited to take part. The results of the 2007 “Pulse” France survey revealed that 70% of the employees felt that L’Oréal encourages diversity (24 points higher than the national average). Employees will be surveyed once again during the 2012 edition of the "Pulse" opinion survey.

Diversity workshops


Since 2006, there has been a Europe-wide diversity training programme in place for 8,000 managers. In 2011, 1,411 employees took part in Diversity Workshops – days dedicated exclusively to issues of Diversity in the company - open to all employees and new recruits. In addition, 4,000 employees in France received diversity training in 2010, and in late 2011, 5,146 European (excluding France) employees, mainly managers, took part in this seminar, making a total of more than 10,000 diversity-trained people.

Key diversity dates fr L’Oréal in France


2005: First group manager recruitment audit took place with the Observatoire des Discriminations research institute

11 April 200 : Along with the SOS Préma association, L’Oréal established the Parenthood Charter (310 company and organisation signers)

Since 2008, annual audits have been conducted with the Equality firm on equal opportunity in the recruitment process

14 May 2009: L’Oréal SA received the Diversity Label

3 December 2009: L’Oréal signed an agreement on senior employment

9 December 2009: L’Oréal received the Prix de l’Audace (prize for innovation) for its “B’A’BA” initiative, conducted jointly with ISS (cleaning company) and the French Cleaning Federation. The objective of this programme was to provide cleaning personnel working at L’Oréal with French language classes and have group personnel provide customised follow-up for these people

Septembre 2010: L’Oréal published its first Diversity Overview Report to provide information on the results of five years of diversity work through nearly 100 qualitative and quantitative indicators

30 September 2010: L’Oréal received the Grand Prize at the “Trophées de la Diversité” diversity award ceremony in Corte for its global diversity policy and its Diversity Overview Report

Since 2010, L’Oréal has been a partner of the EVE programme, the first intercompany seminar on women’s leadership, dedicated to women and open to men. In December 2010, the first edition, initiated by Danone, gathered nearly 250 participants, including 16 L’Oréal employees. In 2011, 30 L’Oréal employees took part.

2011: In collaboration with the RMC-BFM association, L’Oréal initiated the Charte du Cœur (Heart Charter) and raised the awareness in 83 companies on the need to install public defibrillators and train employees, suppliers and clients on how to perform first aid.

Since 2011,the concept of diversity has been a part of managerial reviews.

In 2012, in collaboration with the AFMD (French association of diversity managers), L’Oréal launched the first Encyclopaedia of Diversity in France.

Headway Made For Women in 2011:

  • 57 % of executives in France
  • 41 % of Management Committees
  • 45 % of first-time expatriates

Expert Section

For more information on this topic, see the GRI data sheets: