Uoma Beauty, a pioneering inclusivity-focused beauty brand, recently announced that Sharon Chuter, its esteemed founder and CEO, will be stepping down from her role after five transformative years at the helm of the company.
Sharon Chuter, recognised for her visionary leadership and dedication to inclusivity, has been instrumental in establishing Uoma Beauty. Since its inception in 2018, Uoma Beauty has redefined beauty standards and created a platform for women of colour to express their unique beauty.
Chuter’s decision to step down stems from a need for self-care and recuperation after experiencing burnout. In an Instagram post, Chuter explained, “After five years of little sleep, long days, amazing times with my teams, and incredible experiences that were challenging yet beautiful, I have relinquished all operational involvement in Uoma Beauty.”
Concurrently, a broader shift is occurring in the beauty industry as female founders choose to opt out. So, why are so many female founders who battled gender bias and pregnancy discrimination for a level playing field leaving their businesses behind?
We spoke with Claire Kettell, founder of renowned beauty and hairdresser salon supplier SalonServe, established in 1994, for her views; she told us,
“The industry is female-dominated, and it always pleases me to see a successful woman at the helm. The loss of the founder’s unique vision and personal touch is always a sad day and potentially could lead to diluting the brand’s identity. It would be a travesty if we lost that personal touch because of the challenges of managing a rapidly growing beauty business.”
Looking back, this seems to be an ongoing trajectory. In May of last year, Glossier founder and visionary Emily Weiss stepped down from her position as CEO after eight years of nurturing her natural beauty-centric brand. Around the same time, the co-founder of online cosmetics store Cult Beauty, Alexia Inge stepped down, citing “exhaustion” as the reason for her departure.
This holds significance in today’s society as the beauty industry has long been one of the only domains where women have taken centre stage, leading with their unique visions and transformative ideas. Women founders often bring unique personal perspectives and experiences to their brands, shaping their identities and resonating with diverse consumer segments.
With their departure, there is a risk of losing this authentic voice and connection, impacting brand loyalty and differentiation. And let’s not forget; female founders have been at the forefront of driving innovation within the industry, introducing novel products and pushing boundaries.
Yet, there’s something bubbling beneath the surface of the beauty sphere. There’s a quiet but noticeable exodus of female founders choosing to leave beauty brands behind, and it’s beginning to raise a few questions about the industry’s future trajectory.