Strong women are not hard to find here at SCAD, and they aren’t hard to find at L’Oreal USA either. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, ultimate lady boss Carol Hamilton, Group President of L’Oréal Luxe USA, sat in conversation with Jessica Matlin, Beauty and Health Director at Teen Vogue for SCAD Style.
The interview, which focused on the current state of the beauty industry, quickly took a turn to showcase Hamilton’s proud feminist principles.
Her feminism started early on, and ironically enough was rooted in L’Oréal’s original tagline: because I’m worth it.
Hamilton recalled sitting down, writing her college thesis and overhearing the iconic ad playing in the background. She thought to herself: this is revolutionary – a woman validating herself instead of needing a man’s opinion.
This theme remained consistent throughout her professional career.
Hamilton reminisced on a story she told us she was sharing for the first time. A few years into her long stint at L’Oreal, a position opened for a promotion that she felt she was perfect for, but her male superiors did not consider the option. Knowing that she deserved the promotion, she wasn’t going to roll over and absorb the punch – she went to them, and gave them six months to realize her potential or she would resign. She recollects being terrified, but still working her hardest over the time to prove her worth. A week before the deadline, she was given the promotion.
Hamilton summarized the importance of this story and how she took control, not allowing the men to have all the power.
She enforced this idea, saying, “think about new opportunities to make you grow at every stage of your career,” underlining the significance of never growing comfortable and to always challenge yourself.
The theme of career advice didn’t stop there.
Hamilton went on to mention that the best advice for young professionals is to just listen – listen twice as much as you talk. As students, we can sometimes forget that our learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. Every opportunity is a chance to engage and educate.
Hamilton is a reminder for women and men everywhere to continue to push themselves out of their comfort zone – even when the future is unsure.
Written by Savannah Newman
Captured by Joselyn Dontfraid