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Behind The Inspiring Leadership of SK-II's First Female CEO Lee Sue-Kyung

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Behind The Inspiring Leadership of SK-II's First Female CEO Lee Sue-Kyung

If you’ve heard of global Japanese luxury skincare brand SK-II, chances are, you’ve heard a thing or two about it’s CEO Lee Sue-Kyung.As a fearless trailblazer who is shattering the glass ceiling as the global CEO of the Procter & Gamble-owned company, Lee Sue Kyung’s rise to the top of the company is nothing short of remarkable, fueled by her unwavering commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and her passion for empowering women to achieve their full potential. With her visionary leadership and business acumen, Lee Sue-Kyung has transformed SK-II into a global powerhouse, while also earning a reputation as a vocal advocate for gender equality and women's rights. Today, we will take a closer look at the inspiring leadership of Lee Sue-Kyung and how she is changing the face of the beauty industry.

Lee Sue-Kyung joined SK-II in 2008, and over the years, she has held various positions, including global brand manager and brand director for Japan and Korea. She quickly demonstrated her ability to drive growth and innovation, and in 2016, she was appointed as the CEO of SK-II, becoming the first female CEO in the brand's history.

As a female leader in a male-dominated industry, Lee Sue-Kyung is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She believes that a diverse team brings a range of perspectives and experiences, leading to better decision-making and innovation. To this end, she has implemented several initiatives at SK-II to support women and promote gender diversity. SK-II launched the "Change Destiny" campaign in 2016, which aimed to challenge societal norms and empower women to achieve their dreams.

Under Lee's leadership, SK-II has also been committed to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. The brand has launched several initiatives to reduce waste and promote recycling, including the "Future X Smart Store," which uses AI technology to reduce plastic waste and optimize store layouts.


Apart from her work at SK-II, Lee Sue-Kyung is also a member of the board of directors at the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association and the Personal Care Products Council. Her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion has earned her numerous accolades, including the Women's Leadership Award at the 2020 CEW Achiever Awards.

As a leader, Sue-Kyung is known for her strong vision and her ability to inspire and motivate her team. She encourages her employees to take risks and innovate, and she leads by example, constantly pushing herself to learn and grow. In an interview with Channel News Asia, she stated that "my job is to create a culture where people are inspired to come to work every day, to be their best selves, to feel included, and to feel valued."

Lee Sue-Kyung's commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion also extends to championing women's rights and promoting female leadership in the workplace. She believes that women should have equal opportunities to advance their careers and that their voices should be heard at all levels of the organization. Under her leadership, SK-II has implemented several initiatives to support women in the workplace, including mentorship programs and leadership development programs specifically designed for women. In addition, SK-II has partnered with organizations such as UN Women to promote gender equality and women's empowerment.


In an interview with the BBC, Lee stated that "diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our business success, and this includes gender equality." She went on to say that "we are committed to creating a culture where all employees feel valued, respected, and have the opportunity to succeed."

Lee Sue-Kyung's commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and women's rights in the workplace has earned her recognition and respect within the industry. In 2020, she was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Business by Forbes Asia, and she has been a vocal advocate for gender diversity in the beauty industry.

Overall, Lee Sue-Kyung is an inspiring leader who has made significant contributions to the success of SK-II and has championed diversity, inclusion, and women's rights in the workplace. Her dedication to promoting these values serves as a model for other leaders in the industry and beyond.


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