Boss Lady

Why the beauty industry remains a strong career for women


We hear increasingly more about raising the numbers of women in the so-called ‘traditionally male’ fields… science, technology, engineering. And then we also hear increasingly more about poor treatment of women in those fields: scientists saying there should be gender-segregation in laboratories, and appalling stories of women being harassed and vilified in the IT world. Is it any wonder the beauty industry remains a strong career for women … and there are sound reasons for that.

First, there is a wide range of job options available. Second, progression within the industry is unlimited and you can choose between taking a purely vocational path; promotion into senior management; and even owning a salon of your own. Third, if you also have to juggle your career with family commitments there are numerous flexible work options available, plus it is not difficult to return to work after maternity leave. Add all those up and you have a strong career for women, when compared to other fields.

Entering the industry

Whether you want to train to be a hairdresser, beauty consultant, nail technician, make-up artist or any of the wide range of career options available in the beauty industry, the good news is that it’s still relatively easy to get started. The industry is renowned for offering a great number of apprenticeships, so trainees can get paid while still receiving training, both hands-on and at college. In an age when young people can rack up huge debts on student loans before they have even worked one day, this vocational option is becoming ever more appealing.

The majority of women who enter the industry, in whatever fashion, are usually hugely interested in the subject of hair and beauty. This interest when combined with the fact that these are customer facing roles, makes it ideal it you want a job where you work with people directly, assisting them in an area which is beneficial.

Furthering your career

Once you have qualified in whatever area of the beauty industry you choose, it is usual to spend several years gaining experience and solidifying your career in your area of expertise.

If you decide to move into management or want to own a beauty based business of your own, such as a hairdressing or beauty salon, you may feel the need to gain some additional qualifications in business fields. If you work in retail for one of the large global beauty brands, in-house training is often offered as you work your way up the career ladder, and this can be a huge perk of the job.

Alternatively if you prefer to go into business for yourself then further study may be required. The good news is there are many colleges who understand that people often need to complete academic study while still continuing to work and therefore offer part-time degree courses.


The beauty industry is also a great career if you want to work on a freelance basis to give yourself flexibility. To that end, some hairdressers and make-up artists will go the route of specialising and focus on preparing women for special events such as weddings, parties or photo shoots.

While paternity leave is improving for Fathers, the bottom line is that most childcare responsibility still lies with the Mother. Fortunately, women in the beauty industry don’t suffer such a big stall in their career if they take time out for maternity leave or child rearing. If you own your own salon you can employ a manager to step in while you need to commit time elsewhere. Other women take their skills and build a more flexible lifestyle, so they offer a mobile hairdressing or beauty service. In addition, in the retail beauty industry there are often a larger percentage of part-time positions available.

The rise of the female CEO

For women who want to take their careers all the way to the top, the beauty industry has traditionally been a more favourable environment in which to succeed. This has been particularly true when women have wanted to move the beauty industry in a more ethical direction and utilise products and treatments which are both organic and not tested on animals. This trend began with Anita Roddick who founded the Body Shop in 1976 and has continued to this day, with many more women starting their own ethical beauty based companies.

The beauty industry is also a fairly stable one which doesn’t suffer huge peaks and troughs and therefore doesn’t lay many people off annually. This makes it an attractive career option for many young women who want a profession with longevity and one which they can combine with a family, while still being able to take their career to the very highest level should they wish to.

About Helen Wallis

Helen Wallis is a keen and experienced writer in the area of business and digital marketing. She likes to write about new and innovative lines of business along with providing tips for start-ups.

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