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Throughout its history, Fair & Lovely has inspired women to go for their dreams, even if they were at odds with what society expected them to do.
In the 80’s, when society expected women to marry mostly via arranged marriages, Fair & Lovely gave them hope that women could marry by choice. In the 90s, when women desired not just marriage but also an equal partnership, Fair & Lovely inspired them to believe that this was possible. In the 2000s, when society believed that a woman’s place was at home, Fair & Lovely encouraged her to choose her own career. And today, when despite much progress, women still don’t get equal opportunities and society continues to impose barriers for women, Fair & Lovely will give women the confidence to overcome their own hesitations & fears to achieve their true potential.
Fair & Lovely wants to create a positive change in the society in its own small way – by helping women get the confidence to pursue their dreams and ambitions. Fair & Lovely will do this by not just inspiring women but also enabling them by giving opportunities like higher education, career and entrepreneurship via the Fair & Lovely Foundation.
Women across Asia and Africa face multiple physical and socio-cultural barriers to getting quality career guidance and education, both critical to accessing employment opportunities. The ILO has identified uneven access to education, especially technical education, as one reason why women’s labour force participation (15-64 years) in India, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, key markets for Fair and Lovely, is less than 30% versus 70-80% for men.
Set up in 2003, Fair and Lovely Foundation, one of Unilever’s first USLP programmes, brings alive Fair and Lovely’s mission to help women secure a better future through education. For 15 years the brand has supported women through higher education scholarships that have helped 2000 women achieve their dreams.
However, the high cost per scholarship has meant that less than 1% of women who apply receive support. Determined to create impact at scale, in 2017, the brand launched a mobile platform www.fairandlovelyfoundation.in that provides free career guidance resources and online courses – all accessible on her mobile phone. The content is world class, curated from the world’s best digital education providers. The brand forged partnerships with Harvard and MIT-backed edX.org, IT skills training firm, NIIT Limited and English language training specialist, English Edge with plans to add more providers each year.
To date, over 160,000 career tests, 150,000 course enrolments and 12,000 hours of courseware have been facilitated through the platform. The initiative has expanded the reach of Fair and Lovely’s social mission from 2000 girls in 15 years to 200,000 in a single year. The initiative has contributed to Fair and Lovely retaining its leadership in India and becoming the fastest growing brand among the 500 million euro plus skincare brands.
The brand seeks to reach at least 5 million women across Asia and Africa via Fair and Lovely Foundation by 2020.