Avon announced its support for the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people.
According to the company, expressing support for the UN Standards on LGBTI is a continuation of Avon’s longstanding commitment to social progress and freedom of expression—principles that underpin its business and brand proposition. Avon’s founders were pioneers of women’s financial empowerment long before women’s rights were recognized, and Avon was one of the original signatories to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles. This commitment to the LGBTI Standards is a natural extension of Avon’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
Avon has a strong track record of standing up for LGBTI rights and has championed LGBTI role models including Brazilian pop star and drag queen Pabllo Vittar, and singer and transsexual activist Candy Mel. A recent campaign in Brazil, Avon’s biggest market, included a series of testimonials from Avon ambassadors and beauty entrepreneurs from the LGBTQIA+ community, including local artist Rosa Luz, Brazilian model Bia Gremion and Avon Sales Executive Gaby Varconti.
In Mexico, Avon recently collaborated with the beauty influencer and transgender activist for tolerance, Victoria Volkova, to create Aura, a fragrance that seeks to convey the importance of self-confidence and the belief that true beauty comes from within. The fragrance has been one of the most successful launches of the year for Avon Mexico.
“Avon is an open company, and our underlying principles of respect for rights apply to everyone,” said CEO of Avon Jan Zijderveld. “Discrimination is not welcome at Avon in any shape or form. We want to be a fully inclusive company for LGBTI employees, associates and representatives, and also for our customers and suppliers. Challenging stereotypes is at the heart of many of our campaigns, and we will work to promote positive representations of LGBTI people across our business. Creativity and innovation are unleashed when everyone can flourish. That is the environment in which Avon as a business was built and will thrive.”
The UN Standards were produced in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights and Business and build on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They reflect the input of hundreds of companies across diverse sectors. Over 200 companies worldwide have expressed support for the Standard.
Fabrice Houdart, United Nations Human Rights Officer and co-author of the Standards said: “It is particularly meaningful to have Avon join the early supporters of these Standards as Avon has always been about inclusion, and this is a natural extension of that practice and philosophy. Avon is demonstrating a leadership role in fostering greater inclusion of LGBTI people in the many places it does business. We hope more businesses will follow globally.”
To read more about the UN Standards, click here.