Despite a new guard of women-led start-ups challenging the beauty industry, the corporate world of Big Business Beauty remains a fairly male-dominated environment. But there are glimmers of hope proving women can get ahead at the giants built on our spending power, and no one exemplifies that more Anne Marie Nelson-Bogle.
For over 16 years, Nelson-Bogle has climbed corporate ladder at L’Oréal, working on various brands under the company’s umbrella. She began as a group manager for L’Oréal Paris Skin Care’s Canadian market in 2004, making stops along the way in the marketing departments for La Roche-Posay, Maybelline New York, and L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics. Now, as the Deputy General Manager for L’Oréal’s entire U.S. portfolio, she’s the decision-maker behind all the major campaigns and spokeswomen you see on TV. She knows what women want when it comes to beauty, and she’s pushing back against the industry’s status-quo.
“Women are defined by so much more than just their age or backgrounds, and we want this to come across in everything we do,” Nelson-Bogle tells Glamour. The core of every L’Oréal Paris campaign is the brand’s slogan “Because you’re worth it,” which the exec says has gone beyond a tagline to become a promise to empower women. It’s a mission that’s incredibly personal to Nelson-Bogle, and to her, that means showcasing women of all walks of life, particularly when it comes to aging and skin tone. “I know when you recognize and realize your worth, it’s a powerful thing,” she says. “I hope to help instill this sense of worth in others.”
One of the ways she leads the charge in this is through L’Oréal Paris’ Women of Worth philanthropy, which awards one winner $25,000 to her own charitable initiatives each year. Over the past 13 years, more than 130 women have been honored. Nelson-Bogle says it’s one of the most rewarding parts of her job. “One honoree who stands out is Jaha Dukureh, who was recognized as a Woman of Worth in 2015,” she says. “Jaha was recognized for her cause, Safe Hands for Girls, which does life-saving work to protect young girls against female genital mutilation in Gambia, Africa. I’m incredibly humbled and proud of my role in a company that uses our global platform to elevate their inspiring stories and missions.”
Of course, philanthropy is only part of her role—another big part is casting the spokeswomen who represent the brand and what it stands for. In an industry where youth is not only the ideal but the standard, it’s still considered a risk to show a women over 40 as aspirational. But it’s a risk Nelson-Bogle is happy to take.