How do you find out about how women feel?
Our recent “Women’s Confidence Survey in Asia” asked women aged between 20 and 29 to rate their levels of confidence and say what would boost it. Almost half lacked confidence and about the same proportion were unsatisfied with their career progression. They are looking for mentoring support, networking events, and seminars on stress management and career success. In our global survey, “What is Beautiful?”, 75% of women aged under 45 in Asia and Europe agreed that inner beauty is more important than ever after two years of the pandemic.
Both surveys show a shift in the way people think about the things that really matter, and they help us redefine what “beautiful” means to them. The findings have given us insights into how to empower our female customers – not only to help them enhance their outer beauty, but also to boost their self-confidence and inspire them to glow from the inside, which is more important.
How are you addressing this through A.S. Watson’s products?
Watsons has launched its “The New Beautiful” campaign to promote inner beauty and empower women with the social purpose, “Look Good, Do Good, Feel Great.” A series of activities across Asia – with the themes “Go Green, Go Smile, and Go Empower” – aims to boost women’s confidence and inspire them to be better versions of themselves. There will be career and mental health seminars, and we have expanded our Sustainable Choices product range. We’ve just launched “Watsons VR Get Active Park” in Asia, a virtual playland made up of a game zone, an exercise arena, a virtual Watsons store, and a rewards station. The park offers a virtual immersive experience that helps customers stay active and healthy while at home. So far, we have attracted over 1.2 million visits, letting us strengthen our bonds with customers who live active lifestyles.
The empowerment of women has far-reaching benefits, and we firmly believe it is the right thing to do.
How does helping your customers like this translate into commercial impact?
The empowerment of women has far-reaching benefits, and we firmly believe it is the right thing to do. It has a positive impact on women’s lives and families and on society as a whole. In many economies, women are increasingly represented in the labour force and among university students, and they have greater control over household spending. We hope that A.S. Watson retail brands will be their top choices when they buy health, beauty, and personal-care products for themselves and their families.
What are the main challenges when addressing inclusivity and diversity?
Our starting point was to recognize the importance of inclusivity and diversity a few years ago. It then became clear that it’s not about numbers alone. The more fundamental challenge is the culture. It involves staff engagement and education for everyone in the organization – to change the way they think, the way they work, and the way they get along with each other. Everyone has to give up prejudice, stereotypes, and bias. They must be humble and open to change. At the leadership level, we are committed to empowering our colleagues to talk about the challenge and developing new ideas and solutions together. It is critically important to ensure that there are benefits for employees and for our business too.