2024 Drag Event: 'Let's Take a Drag'


Last week, the second edition of the Essec "Let’s Take a Drag" show took place!


Among the amazing performances by Penelope__penelope, levo_evolove, tryshvonaiko, and theilysina, Peter, who transformed into a drag queen for the night, shared insights into the history of drag. The show was brilliantly hosted by drag king


The evening concluded with a cocktail party, offering fantastic networking opportunities.


This event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the "Take a Drag" team, and fellow students from ESSEC: Shania, Sabina, Sarah, Peter, Philipp, Anagha, Julien, Nishita, Sasha, and Camille. A huge thanks to everyone involved! 

2024 Gender Equality Days

What are the issues facing women in sports and sports management? Can we see parallels with the challenges women face in other types of organizations? What can be done to address these issues and challenges?

We had an inspiring and frank discussion around these questions with Brigitte Henriques, former president of the French National Olympic Committee and international football player, and Catherine Moyon de Baecque, president of the Commission against sexual violence and discrimination in sports of the French National Olympic Committee. 

An immense thank you to the two speakers who incarnated the values of sports(wo)manship, and to Karoline Strauss and the ESSEC Sports Chair and the Centre Egalite Diversite et Inclusion to celebrate ESSEC Gender Equality Days.

2024 L&D Chair Kick-off

The Leadership and Diversity Chair 2024 had a spectacular kick-off with presentations from Omar Hajeri, President of the Professional Products Division, and Margaret Johnston-Clarke, Head of Global Diversity & Inclusion L’Oréal Group,in the presence of Jean-Claude Legrand, CHRO - Human Resources General Director at L'Oréal.

This year, the Chair students will be working with the PPD to address the following challenges: 

•How can Professional Beauty Brands address new consumer needs and overcome challenges to expand their business and product range in emerging markets?

• What strategies can be employed by PPD brands  to establish themselves in the Curly Hair Product market?

•How can technologies be leveraged to enhance inclusivity in the beauty industry?

•How can we enhance inclusion for the end consumer ? 

We are excited to constructively reflect on how Diversity and Inclusion can be a motor for innovation for the PPD. It will be another challenging and stimulating program!

L'Oréal Back to School 2023

Wednesday 27th September at 6PM in the Grand Amphi (Cergy Campus)

Thank you to L'Oréal for its ongoing commitment to ESSEC Business School, for its investment through the Leadership & Diversity Chair and ESSEC Global Circular.

Economy Chair, whose issues were addressed during the L'Oréal Back to School evening conference.

The success of the event was only made possible thanks to the contributions of the various speakers and stakeholders from the L'Oréal and ESSEC Teams :

Margaret Johnston-Clarke, Sarah Franklin-Beck, Farah Elamrani, Julie Audouin-Urdangaray, Joël Tronchon, Arnaud Hermitte, Aline De Salinelles, Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit, Junko Takagi, Emmanuelle Le Nagard, Anne Stalmach, Marie Morellet, Chantal Dardelet, Denis Poulain, Aymeric Marmorat, Felix Papier, Ines Kechid, Elisabeth Forget, Aarti RAMASWAMI and Jérôme Barthelemy... and thank you to all the students present who showed great enthusiasm and curiosity.

Thank you all for this wonderful event! 

Closing Ceremony 2023

On 6th June 2023, the Chair students gathered at the  L'Oréal – Seine 62 campus for the final presentation of the projects that they had been tirelessly working on for the last 6 months. The ceremony started with a brief introduction by Jean Claude Le Grand and Junko Takagi. This was followed by the 4 presentations on DE&I strategies for brand expansion of NYX Professional Makeup.

All the presentations were not only very succinct and data-driven but also they were packed with stunning visuals, and engaging presentations leaving the jury comprising Margaret Johnston-Clarke, Eva Azoulay, Yann Joffredo and Zhiqiang Wang awestruck. Even though the competition was very intense, Team Prism for India emerged victorious. The day concluded with cocktails for everyone.

The Chair students will be eternally grateful to L'Oréal and ESSEC for providing them with this indelible opportunity of designing DE&I strategies for developing inclusive consumer experiences and broadening their horizons. 

Roundtable on 'Diversity as  a level for Sustainable Innovation'

On the occasion of the Women in Data Science Award, Prof. Junko Takagi participated in a roundtable on ‘Diversity as a level for Sustainable Innovation’ at 3M alongside Alicia Ortega Giménez-Cassina, R&D Operations and Innovation Center Leader at 3M and Valérie Perruchot Garcia, Directrice de la Communication, des Patients et de la RSE at Johnson and Johnson. The roundtable was organised by Eric Soyer, Corporate R&D Operations Leader ,3M-West Mediterranean Region and Véronique Delpla-Dabon, Sustainability & Community Relations Manager, 3M- West Mediterranean Region. The roundtable highlighted the role of diversity for innovation and showcased concrete gender initiatives in 3M and J&J. This year’s recipient of the 3M Women in Data Science Award was Irene Sunny, Master in Data Sciences and Business Analytics Student at ESSEC Business School & CentraleSupélec.  She was praised for her accomplishments, her ability to promote science, and her social commitment towards women's empowerment. This award helps support competent and motivated female students in data science and helps promote the inclusion of women in scientific professions and to guide them towards success. 

Drag event: ‘Let’s Take a Drag’

The LGBTQ+ roundtable was followed by the first ever Drag Show hosted at ESSEC. The drag show commenced with a speech on drag and gender theory by Leandre au Gin, who gave the audience a sneak-peek into the world of drag. This was followed by jaw-dropping performances by Drag Queer Mec.A.Nique, Drag King Hughes Grants, Drag King Leandre au Gin, Drag Queen Magnetica, Drag King Jay des Adelphes, and Drag Queen Arsenika. The performances were dazzling and breathtaking, and left the audiences enraptured. There was also an interactive Q&A session with the drag artists wherein the audience members could pose questions to the drag artists to know more about the drag world and their individual experiences. A cocktail party with networking opportunities concluded the event.


Thus, the event was not only an eye-opening introduction to the world of drag and its intricacies for the audiences but also it gave the drag artists a platform to express themselves through art and broaden their horizons.

LGBTQ+ Roundtable on ‘Gender Expression in the Workplace: How much is too much?’

On 5th April 2023, the Leadership & Diversity Chair organised an LGBTQ+ roundtable on “Gender Expression in the Workplace: How Much is too much?” in collaboration with Unité ESSEC, L'Oréal and NYX Professional Make-up. The roundtable was launched with a welcome speech by Yann Joffredo, Global President at NYX Professional Makeup and featured prominent LGBTQ figures from all walks of life, including Vico Isoré (Leandre au Gin), Consultant at a top French firm, Drag King and ESSEC Alumni; Jean Louis Carvès, Diversity Equity & Inclusion Expert and Former D&I Engagement Partner at IBM; Clotilde Caille, Communication & Digital Director - American Brands (Maybelline New York, NYX Professional Make Up & Essie) and Rose Jing, an MIM student at ESSEC. The participants talked at length about their experiences, no holds barred. Jean Louis spoke about the trans-people he worked with at IBM and what IBM was doing for them to support their transition journey. Vico, who came out as trans non-binary in their workplace, exclaimed that even though they were socially accepted by their co-workers, they faced some HR issues with respect to their pronouns. Clotilde spoke about various campaigns organised by NYX to support gender-queer populations like sponsoring drag events in Paris and Rose shone light on the realities of being androgynous in a business school environment like discrimination within the queer communities and dealing with homophobic peers. Moreover, during the roundtable, renowned makeup artist Le Ménestrel who was sponsored by NYX Professional Makeup, gave a drag makeover to a volunteer from the audience.

Thus, the roundtable not only gave illimitable insights into the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace but also it provided an important platform for the members of the LGBTQ community to voice their opinions.

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 2022 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 2022@ 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 2022 @ 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! - 

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:

Read more

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