Olay is committing to address coding bias in the beauty industry by helping double the number of women and triple the number of women of color in the STEM industry by 2030 with its #DecodetheBias initiative.
Olay’s campaign is made up of three main elements: raising awareness about bias, sending at least 1,000 women to code camp to inspire them to pursue STEM careers and auditing Olay’s own web-based tool to identify bias issues.
Olay plans to raise awareness about coded bias in the beauty industry by highlighting how data, code and AI reinforce exclusionary beauty standards and exclude women of color.
The campaign will feature a one-minute TV spot nationwide and targeted print campaigns. It will include Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League (AJL), whose work brought awareness to the existence of coded biases across the internet and within social apps.
Olay is working with Black Girls CODE to provide women of color an introduction to coding through its 2022 summer camps program.
The brand used AJL audit partner O'Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing (ORCAA) to assess the Olay Skin Advisor’s AI for issues of bias and recommended steps for remediation. Buolamwini provided expertise throughout the process.
The campaign adds to Olay’s recent diversity initiatives. In 2019, Olay donated $500,000 to Girls Who Code to support the next generation of female scientists, engineers, programmers and space explorers. In 2020, Olay pledged $1 million to support women in STEM, beginning with a $520,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to provide direct support for women of color.
Stephanie Headley, vice president of Olay, Proctor & Gamble, says, “Olay remains committed to equality & inclusion—and champions a more diverse and inclusive standard of beauty in which there is not one, but many, representations of what is beautiful. This campaign, in partnership with Joy Buolamwini of the Algorithmic Justice League, highlights one example of how a lack of diversity in STEM and computer science fields can reinforce the norms. By diversifying who codes, we are creating a new future that is more digitally representative of all. We are excited to work with Black Girls CODE to provide that spark and encouragement to enter the field. This is one step to bringing greater equity and inclusion to our online spaces that will also get us closer to achieving Olay’s goal to triple the number of women of color in STEM fields by 2030.”