2023 L&D Chair Kick-off

On January 12th, we launched the 2023 edition of the ESSEC Leadership and Diversity Chair sponsored by L'Oréal. Junko Takagi opened the ceremony with a brief introduction of the chair. This was followed by introductions by Arnaud Hermitte, Bella Ovcharova and Stefanie Messener of the L'Oréal team who welcomed us into the L'Oréal community. Then, Margaret Johnston-Clarke, Global Chief DE&I Officer L'Oréal Group elucidated L'Oréal’s DE&I strategy and the various challenges involved in implementing those strategies. The event proceeded with an effervescent presentation by NYX leaders Yann Joffredo and Gwenael Tran Sauvageot that delineated NYX’s DNA and the communities the brand focuses on. It gave us deep insights into the brand’s DE&I strategy and helped us recognise potential areas of interest for pushing the boundaries further. The event culminated with an Q&A session and a cocktail party.

Recap: L'Oréal X ESSEC Special Event

September 21st at 6pm in the Grand Amphi (Cergy Campus)

Our special event with L'Oréal kicked off with an introduction from Stephanie Messner, introducing the global powerhouse beauty brand, the Leadership & Diversity Program, and the strategic alignment between the two. Following the event initiation, our Director, Junko Takagi, conducted a Q & A session with students, assisted by L'Oréal managers in DEI. In concluding the event, students were graced with an overview of the recruitment process with our sponsor, L'Oréal.

Thank you to all the students who joined us for this absolutely wonderful event. We can't wait to see you at future events and hope that you apply for the chair this year!

L'Oréal X ESSEC Special Event

September 21st at 6pm in the Grand Amphi (Cergy Campus)

Join us on September 21st at 6pm in the Grand Amphi (Cergy Campus) to learn all about L'Oréal and our opportunities for you!


Closing Ceremony 2022

June 28th @ 5:00 pm - L'Oréal Headquarters

15 years later, the chair continues its mission to cultivate the talent of tomorrow. Merging academia, practical business implementation, and a continuous loop of feedback, our student's final presentations made manifest our beliefs in how leadership and diversity are inextricably linked. Our students persuasively expressed the social and business case for moving the needle on DEI.

Congratulations to all our chair members for addressing your topics with clarity and grace. You supported each other through the intense process of synthesizing solutions to incredibly complex problems. As a group, our cohort this year ruthlessly pursued creating substantive, long-term strategies for YSL Beauty on the topics of LGBTQ+, Inclusion vs Exclusion, Representation, Ageism, and East vs West.

Brilliance, intention, and a resolute disposition. These are the characteristics of the 2021/22 cohort of Leadership and Diversity Chair students!

Feedback Session #4

June 13th @ 5.30 PM - L'Oréal Headquarters

In our last feedback session, the students continued to synthesize their findings to unlock actionable and relevant solutions for inclusive beauty. Internal L’Oréal experts Veronica Lalov, Antoine Le Quinquis and Stephanie Messner were joined by our alumni Bradley Smith, Aurélie Jeanvoine, Peiao Yang, and Krishnav Roy.

Their insights are helping guide the students' final steps before the presentations on the 28th of June. Streamlining and simplifying a large amount of research and insights to present a clear and succinct solution, all of the students are incorporating the feedback provided. See you all at the final presentation!

Feedback Session #2

April 25th @ 5.30 PM - L'Oréal Headquarters

After several weeks of building the foundations of their final projects, our students met on-site with L'Oréal team representatives to refine their work.

With the constructive feedback students received about their second project manifestation, they will move toward a refined and penultimate version. In the next feedback session, students will solidify their concepts for final review before presenting in June.

Thank you to the L'Oréal representatives who provided outstanding suggestions in this review period!

Mentoring and LGBTQ@Work RECAP

Thank you to our speakers, who gave a thoughtful account of how one's professional life as a member of the LGBTQ+ community unfolds. At the event, industry veterans discussed some of the challenges as a community member within heteronormative work environments and some recommended ways to strategically navigate.

Students walked away with concrete actions to implement as they progress in their professional careers.

Mentoring and LGBTQ@Work

April 12th, 2022 at 18:00-19:30 CET

Thank you to our speakers, who gave a thoughtful account of how one's professional life as a member of the LGBTQ+ community unfolds. At the event, industry veterans discussed some of the challenges as a community member within heteronormative work environments and some recommended ways to strategically navigate.

Students walked away with concrete actions to implement as they progress in their professional careers.

Please sign up here for more information and to secure your spot! -

Chair Seminar with Diane Leger

International Marketing Director Kérastase

Our chair had the joy of meeting Diane and learning more about how Kérastase became the world leader in professional haircare thanks to its unique positioning and pioneering innovation. She illuminated to our group how a brand contends with innovating whilst not compromising on its DNA and its rich history. Introducing us to the launch of the brands' curly hair care product line, Curl Manifesto, the students were able to understand how addressing a need is core to business savvy.

March 28th, 2022 at 4:30 PM

Chair Seminar with Axelle Hallu

L'Oreal Solidarity Sourcing Director

Our chair was joined by Axelle Hallu to learn more about solidarity sourcing methodologies at L'Oreal and the importance of their impact in changing the industry's infrastructure and ecosystem. A program that started in 2010, L'Oreal's "Solidarity Sourcing" program directs a proportion of global purchases to suppliers who employ people from vulnerable communities to allow them to have durable access to work and income.

March 21st, 2022 at 5 PM

Chair Seminar with Alexandra Palt

Chief CSR Officer & CEO of the L'Oreal Foundation

The Leadership & Diversity Chair was joined by the Circular Economy Chair students to understand better where individual leaders and organizations can impact sustainability and societal equity. Alexandra answered an assortment of questions from our students ranging from current events and the intersection of historically held belief systems to defining equity and outlining how businesses must remain accountable for meeting and setting resilient KPIs.

Our students were left with a resounding message to build a backbone of values and to defend them whilst also remaining receptive, adaptive, and pragmatic!

March 7th, 2022 at 5 PM


International General Manager PRADA BEAUTY

Essec Alumni

January 25th, 2022 from 4 PM to 5 PM in the Grand Amphi.

2022 L&D Chair Kick-off

Facilitated by Junko Takagi, Essec, Veronica Lalov & Antoine Le Quinquis, L'Oréal

On January 17th, we launched the 2022 edition of the ESSEC Leadership and Diversity Chair sponsored by L'Oréal. The event's guest speakers were Margaret Johnston-Clarke, Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer L'Oréal Group, who introduced us to the L'Oréal DEI strategy, and Stephan Bezy, International General Manager at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté - L'Oreal, who gave us his personal vision of the YSL brand and DEI issues. We were also joined by Stefanie Messner, Talent Acquisition Director of L'Oréal France.

Chair Students will work this year on INCLUSIVE BEAUTY for YSL Beauty Brand

Alumni Cocktail Party: 4 December, 2021

On Friday at 6pm, our chair alumni and the new cohort attended the cocktail party, exchanging ideas on the topic this year and sharing previous experiences in the chair.

L’Oréal x ESSEC Keynote: 22 September, 2021

On Wednesday at 6pm, L’Oréal hosted a Keynote both on campus in the Grand Amphi and remotely to present the L’Oréal Group and all the opportunities for ESSEC Students, notably the 2 Chairs:

- The Leadership & Diversity Chair, which will be partnering this year with Yves Saint Laurent Beauté

- The recently launched Global Circular Economy Chair, which co-partners with EssilorLuxottica

The speakers include:

- Stephan BEZY, International GM YSL Beauté & ESSEC Alumni

- Stefanie MESSNER, Talent Acquisition Director L’Oréal France

- Pierre-Emmanuel SAINT-ESPRIT, Founder & CEO of ZACK

- Junko Takagi, Teaching Professor ESSEC and Head of Leadership&Diversity Chair

Chair Forum: 14th September, 2021

On Tuesday, chair alumni from the cohort 2020-2021 attended the Chair Forum, sharing their experiences and answering questions to new students who are interested in the Leadership and Diversity Chair, as well as discussing the topic this year: Inclusive Beauty.

Les Mardis with Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L'Oréal Group: 15th June, 2021

After the exciting debate of Les Mardis de l'ESSEC, the chair welcomed Nicolas Hieronimus and the L'Oréal team in the Learning Lab. Our students shared their thoughts and had an insightful discussion with Mr. Hieronimus about the future of inclusive beauty and other topics related to Diversity & Inclusion, as well as Corporate Social Responsibility.

LGBTQ+ in Finance, Challenges and Best Practices

The Leadership and Diversity Chair in association with UNITE of ESSEC is organizing a roundtable discussion and workshop on:

“LGBTQ+ in Finance, Experiences, Challenges and Best Practices"

Tuesday 18 May at 18:00 online

with UBS, BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley

Handicap and Talent Conference - What's allyship? : 6th April, 2021

On April 6th, the Leadership and Diversity Chair participated in the Handicap and Talent Certificate. Professor Junko Takagi did an online conference on "What's allyship: The role of allies in the process of inclusion".

Celebrating Gender Research at ESSEC: 9th March, 2021

2020 Edition introduction & Theme reveal: 10th September - 5pm

Dear Students,

In 2020, more than ever we seek for change. Change for more inclusion, change for more rights, change in fighting discrimination! On September 10th at 5PM CET, Jean-Claude LE GRAND – L’Oréal Executive Vice- President – and Sylviane BALUSTRE – L’Oréal Fund for Women, Fondation L’Oréal & Inclusive Beauty Program Director – will open the 2020 Edition of ESSEC Leadership & Diversity Chair

Want to be part of the movement? Register to the live event

Join us to discover the theme of this brand new edition and all the steps to apply!

Conference with Marie Cau, the first transgender woman elected mayor in France

Organized by the Leadership & Diversity chair and the Unite association, a conference with Marie Cau took place on Thursday evening the 19th!

Marie Cau, known to be the first transgender woman elected mayor in France, is also a business leader, an experienced engineer and a mother of three children. This multiple vision provided her the tools that she passed on to us during the meeting to deal with this increasingly complex world.

What impressed me about Marie Cau, apart from her fascinating career, is her frankness. This frankness sometimes led her to proposals that did not necessarily correspond to "main-streaming" ideas. However, this is the synonym, for me, of true diversity: differences make ideas meet, and these meetings will generate a kaleidoscopic and diverse world. (thoughts by Peiao Yang)

Gender Research at ESSEC: 4th March, 2020

ESSEC students, staff and faculty attended the Celebrating Gender Research event at ESSEC on March 4th, 2020 at lunchtime which was organized by the Leadership and Diversity Chair and facilitated by Professor Junko Takagi. This event is organized annually in March to honor International Women’s Day and showcases the wealth of research on gender-related issues carried out by ESSEC faculty from diverse academic disciplines. This year, Professor Radu Vranceanu from the Economics department and Professor François Longin from the Finance department shared their research based on data gathered from ESSEC students (link:

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Chair KICK OFF: 23rd January 2020 at L'Oréal

We are glad to see how L'Oréal respect and cherish the young generation's idea and always expect to make positive change.

L'Oréal's Diversity and Inclusion strategy gives us insights that how it respects and care about its employees and customers.

We really appreciated that L'Oréal always focus on sustainable and humanism issues and try to take corporate social responsibility making a positive impact.

Event on Gender issues in Management Research: 13 March, 2019

The Centre of Excellence for Management & Society (CEMAS) organized a round table on gender issues in Management Research. ESSEC professors shared their reflections on their ongoing research in the field. The panel included Professors Annick Ancelin-Bourguignon, Fabrice Cavaretta, Laurent Bibard, Cristina Terra and doctoral student Nina Schirrmacher. Professor Junko Takagi moderated for the panel. The presentations will be:Business Masculinities and the Managerial Press (Annick Ancelin-Bourguignon) Why are they stuck? Women’s under-representation at executive levels: Contributing factors from kindergarten through their early careers (Nina Schirrmacher and Fabrice Cavaretta); Gender inequality in the Brazilian labour market (Cristina Terra); Understanding the gender issue in the context of the whole picture : towards a phenomenology of sexualities (Laurent Bibard)

What’s behind the label? : Integrating Refugees; March 7, 2019


Adel AlBaghdadi - 2018 One Young World speaker, Founder of WE Organization, Syrian Refugee

Wintegreat - Student association working with refugees at ESSEC

Tony Cocoual, Talent Acquisition Director and Laura Eickert Talent Acquisition Manager - Recruitment L'Oréal

Roundtable: LGBTQ+ at Workplace; 14 Feb, 2019