United Airlines Appoints Estee Lauder Exec to Board as Industry Tries to Increase Gender Diversity



Skift Take

The airline industry has been trying to diversify boards and executive teams as it tries to shed its predominantly male image.

United Airlines appointed Estee Lauder executive Michelle Freyre to its board of directors Monday, making her the second woman to join the carrier’s board this year. 

“Michelle’s extensive experience in business and product strategy will make her an excellent addition to our already strong Board of Directors,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “In each of her previous roles, Michelle has deftly balanced modernizing and celebrating the historic brands she has overseen.”

Freyre is the president of the beauty companies Clinique and Origins, where she oversees the brands’ strategy. She previously was the president of the beauty division at Johnson & Johnson and started her career as an assistant brand manager at Pepsi, according to her LinkedIn. 

In February, United appointed Walgreens CEO Rosalind Brewer to its board. 

Freyre’s appointment would make her the fifth woman on United’s board of directors as former Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president Carolyn Corvi plans to step down at the end of her term. 

United currently has a total of 14 members on its board of directors, including a seat for its pilots union. Currently, nine members of its board are male and five are female. 

Other airlines in the Big Four have a roughly similar gender makeup on their boards. Roughly 20% of the board seats at American, Delta and Southwest are held by women. 

In recent years, the airline industry has been trying to diversify boards and executive teams as it tries to shed its predominantly male image. JetBlue recently appointed Joanna Geraghty, who was the airline’s chief operating officer, as CEO in January, making her the first woman to lead a major U.S. airline. 

And the International Air Transport Association has spearheaded an initiative called “25by2025” to increase gender diversity across the industry. Airlines like American, Delta, United and JetBlue have signed a pledge to increase the number of women in underrepresented areas and senior leadership roles by a minimum of 25% by the next year. 



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top