March 7 2023  |  Fragrances, Cosmetics, Skincare & Haircare

Shiseido Travel Retail shares impact of Empower Her program

By GTR Magazine Staff

The program has empowered the lives of close to 300 women and youth in Southeast Asia to date

This International Women’s Day (IWD), Shiseido Travel Retail is celebrating the positive impact of its ‘Empower Her’ program on advancing gender equity and equality since 2020.

According to a press release, "In support of IWD’s #EmbraceEquity theme for 2023, the ‘Empower Her’ initiative, run in collaboration with social enterprise Friends-International, has strengthened equity by offering tailored education, training and support services – empowering the lives of close to 300 women and youth in Southeast Asia."

Guided by Shiseido Group’s corporate mission, BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD, the Shiseido Travel Retail initiative reinforces the society pillar of the Group’s sustainability strategy by Advancing Gender Equality.

Philippe Lesné, President & CEO, Shiseido Travel Retail, said, “As we mark International Women’s Day, it gives me great pride to acknowledge the social impact that the ‘Empower Her’ program has had on hundreds of lives in Cambodia. In harnessing the power of beauty, we have been able to promote equity by providing sustainable support to help marginalized women and girls thrive – and the initial results have been heartening. We look forward to expanding the ‘Empower Her’ scheme in new ways in close collaboration with our employees and charity partners as we seek to advance a society that embraces diversity and supports lives of beauty.”

Launched in 2020, the ‘Empower Her’ program supports Shiseido Travel Retail’s societal goals to solve issues that affect women and to elevate their role in society. For the program’s debut initiative, the company has partnered with global social enterprise Friends-International, which provides services to marginalized women and youth in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Thailand, in order to protect and help them become functional and productive citizens of society.

Sébastien Marot, Founder & Executive Director, Friends-International, said, “At Friends-International, our mission is to save the lives and build the futures of the most marginalized children in the world. Our social programs and projects, such as the FRIENDS FUTURES FACTORY, have brightened the communities of the youth and women involved by empowering them to become independent and integrated into society – as part of our longstanding commitment to foster equity. This important work is made possible due to the generous donations from companies such as Shiseido Travel Retail, and we thank the team for their support.”

With the partnership, Shiseido Travel Retail is helping women and girls in Cambodia to become self-reliant and build a sustainable future through Friends-International’s beauty vocational training program at the FRIENDS FUTURES FACTORY (F3). F3 is a vocational training and creative hub that provides access to beauty, hospitality and customer service skills in a safe environment to prepare participants for careers in the cosmetology and tourism industries.

"To date, Shiseido Travel Retail has provided substantial support to Friends-International’s beauty vocational training program at F3 through funding and the donation of beauty products. To build on this foundation, the company is set to further enhance the beauty education curriculum through the development of resources to upskill trainers. F3 has built a brighter future for women in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, having trained close to 300 students, placed more than 100 in employment and set up with a sustainable beauty salon business. In addition to supporting Friends-International on the ground, Shiseido Travel Retail engages its employees and partners to foster greater understanding of its social value creation mission and to encourage a culture of giving back. Shiseido Camellia Day is marked each year among employees with initiatives to support Friends-International and other non-governmental and non-profit organizations, including a Virtual Ideathon to brainstorm creative solutions to key issues in 2021, and a walkathon to raise funds in 2022."

Shiseido’s social contribution program, the Shiseido Camellia Fund, provides ongoing support for Friends-International and other organizations through employee donation-matching programs and by contributing on behalf of partners during the holiday period. The additional relief provided by Shiseido Travel Retail employees, and on behalf of partners, has supported social impact projects across Southeast Asia.


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