Glymed Unity Advisory Board member Jewellee Williams recounts her time working with the legacy skin care brand.
My Experience On Glymed’s Unity Advisory Board
Voices Like Mine
My entire life I have been the “token“ black girl. So much of my existence and my experiences have been dictated and guided through the lenses of cis gendered white women and non-poc.
The only leadership role I was offered in high school was head of the multicultural board, go figure, so I’ve often felt like I’ve never been given an opportunity to have my voice be heard or to narrate my view points to anyone else other than fellow POC. People of color, especially women of color, are demanding a place at the table. We want the opportunity to influence the world in much the same way as our white counterparts who have been influencing their world on a daily basis since the beginning of time.
As an adult I no longer need to wait for opportunities to fall in my lap. I search for spaces that want to hear the perspective of a queer black woman. Companies who need voices like mine are recruiting our voices to reach a larger audience. However, now the issue is having to differentiate between companies that are doing it for performative reasons versus actually wanting to insight change.
Contribution by Jewellee Williams
Hi, I’m Jewellee! The face behind Crown Jewel Esthetics. I hail from the city of Philadelphia, where I was born and raised. Yes, in west Philadelphia too, if you felt inclined to sing the song! However, instead of spending most of my days on the playground, I spent most of my days playing in my Mom’s Avon makeup bag, as I’m sure many 90’s babes can relate.
My love for beauty started very early on, from watching my Mom (who sold Avon on the side) get ready for work every morning, never leaving the house without eye-shadow and lipstick (still to this day), to making sure her hair and nails were/are done every two weeks. My mom showed me the importance of self-care and self-maintenance, and despite all the hours she worked, she still found time to make sure she looked and felt good — all while dealing with me at the same time. Bless her! Seriously. Read More About Jewelle…
A Company Plagued With Race Driven Scandal
So you can imagine my hesitancy when a company that was recently plagued with a race driven scandal, reached out to me with an opportunity to join a Unity Advisory Board.
The board is composed of people (mostly women of color) who have experience in diversity and inclusion to help shape the world of esthetics.
When Glymed approached me, I was very upfront about my knowledge of the situation. I asked for details on how the company planned on remedying the situation. I was given the answer from my wonderful Sales Representative, Sandy Aholelei, who is a woman of color. In fact, she is the only one on their team webpage.
She told me that the company was not trying to run from the situation at all, in fact, they wanted to face it head on. Their first step would be to implement a Unity Advisory Board. Now, in the time of “ Cancel Culture” I was worried about how I would be perceived by aligning myself with a company whose founder was just ousted for making anti-BLM statements on her personal Facebook page.
My Tough Decision
After sitting with the decision, it felt wrong of me to not take action when the option was presented to “influence the future of esthetics”. Especially, when bipoc faces are so often hidden from marketing materials, educational opportunities and leadership roles in these companies.
I was faced with a tough situation. I was a new business looking to bring on the best line I could at the time, and right in front of me is this company with numerous accolades, an outstanding educational platform and founded by a woman who wrote the first print “Skin of color manual”. Yet here we are today, her actions weren’t aligning with her words.
I Decided To Join
I decided to apply for the position on the Unity Advisory Board! I needed to find out the true story for myself. There are ALWAYS two sides to every story. I was accepted on to the board and appointed Vice Chair with a unanimous vote and then it was time for the work to start.
We Had Tough Conversations
We had some tough conversations during the first meeting. All of the board members wanted the truth and wanted to know what exactly happened that led us to this situation. Luckily, the person tasked to answer that question was very close to the source. They were able to give us their personal perspective on the situation.
I want to first and foremost say, Jon McDaniel, Glymed’s current President and Sarah Robbins, Glymed’s Director of The Institute of Skin Science, informed us from day one that it was a safe space for us to ask those hard questions. They were always truthful and open with us and made sure our voices were heard at every meeting and really let us lead a lot of the discussions.
One thing to take into consideration was the location of the Glymed, it’s located in Provo, Utah with a demographic makeup that is 87% white. I can imagine that not a ton of people of color are even available to lend their perspectives to many of the businesses there.
Glymed Gives The Space To Enact Positive Change
So, here we are a group of 7 women from all different backgrounds – ready to aid this company, in what I’m sure is, one of the toughest times in their history. During one of the most racially divided times in our country. Glymed is ready to give The Unity Advisory Board the space to enact positive change in their company and in the Esthetics industry as a whole.
The UAC spent most of its time helping to diversify marketing publications, and protocols. We worked on accessibility of information and got the Skin of color manual into the hands of all the accounts who wanted it for free. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you know that in most esthetics schools there is very little focus on skin color. It was imperative that we got this information out to everyone who uses the products so they confidently can treat a client above a Fitzpartrick 3.
Glymed Is A Brand For Everyone
Glymed really stands with their accounts and wants to help all of the estheticians flourish. They are for and by estheticians and stand by their commitment to provide continuous education for anyone who onboards with the company.
We did podcasts and assisted with social media to bring awareness to treatments that are safe for darker Fitzpatrick’s because many clients are turned away by estheticians that don’t feel comfortable treating darker Fitzpatrick’s. Now, it is important to note we are the inaugural group for this committee, so obviously, there were lots of kinks to work out.
I am 100% confident that the next group of people will do even more amazing things for Glymed and with us still working alongside them.
Glymed will be a brand for EVERYONE. A brand that truly walks the walk and listens to the needs of the industry. A brand who any esthetician can grab to treat any client no matter their Fitpatrick.
Glymed is a brand that is committed to growth and change. Now, while I wish there were more paid employees of color in the company – again, I understand the location and know it’s not the most desirable place to move due to feeling isolated as a minority but I have hope for the company diversifying their staff and with the assistance of the unity advisory board Glymed will pioneer great things for estheticians of color and they are committed to elevating the standard of the esthetics industry when it comes to representation.
Editor’s Note: We reached out to Glymed, and informed them that we invited Jewelle to write this article and asked for a comment.
“GlyMed Plus’s Unity Advisory Committee establishes estheticians within our industry with a direct voice in shaping the future of aesthetics. The UAC, collaborating closely with our diverse group of GlyMed Plus professionals certifies we are serving everyone in our industry and community through our education, marketing and aesthetic practices. UAC members have the opportunity to give actionable feedback on varying degrees of topics. They contribute content and research to our published materials and causes. This not only grants them a voice, it allows GlyMed and the aesthetics community to come together on initiatives and causes that shape our tomorrow.”