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International Women's Day: Q&A With OLAPLEX CEO, JuE Wong!
March 08, 2021
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International Women's Day: Q&A With OLAPLEX CEO, JuE Wong!

As we celebrate women who have championed achievements in cultural, political, social, and political sectors, there’s one particular voice we’d like to hear this International Women’s Day. OLAPLEX is a diverse company with mostly women in critical roles, including our CEO, JuE Wong. JuE’s career spans decades as a leader in the beauty, and now our fearless leader!

As we celebrate women’s achievements, we also know there are generations of women looking for inspiration to start their businesses, move into leadership roles, and gain inspiration from a woman who has done it all. Pop on an OLAPLEX treatment, it’s time to dive into the influential world of JuE Wong:

JuE, you're a beauty industry maven and the highly revered CEO of OLAPLEX. Please tell our readers, how did you get to where you are now? Was it a slow climb, or did you take the beauty world by storm?

In every team I have had the privilege to lead, like a sponge, I soak up their energy and articulate our collective purpose. And that allows me to help take us to as far as we can go as a team. When that happens, I leave every team knowing that they have come into their own and the legacy of the organization is in their capable hands. I move on knowing I have done my best for them. Through this process, I have built and cultivated relationships that I can call on when I need their counsel, guidance and even just a friendly ear, they are always there for me as I will be there for them. So my path is neither slow or fast, my teams will either advocate for me or not. Their experience with me has determined my path in the beauty industry. History will tell if I have added value or made a difference. Whatever the outcome, I know I have made friends, enemies and through it all, it has made me a better shepherd.

What obstacles have you championed as a female minority forging her path in the highly competitive beauty industry? Is there any lesson you learned the hard way that you can share with female entrepreneurs out there?

As a WOC, I am aware of my responsibility to pave the way for women behind me and to pay it forward. I would not be where I am today without support from superiors and teammates who believe in me and gave me a chance. For instance my break into prestige beauty was because the President of a company who gave me the way in. I would not be where I am today without her belief in me, I have always told everyone whom I have touched who asked me what I want from them and I tell them: I only asked that you lend a helping hand to another woman as they climb the ladder of life. 

Women of color are breaking glass ceilings to become the heroes of their careers and stories. From the beginning of your career to now, what are your top three tips for maintaining a successful, sustainable career?

1) Bring someone along

2) Pay it forward and

3) You have heard people telling you to do" what you love" but I tell them: Do what frightens you because "Regrets are never about failures but about things you want to do and never did."

It's International Women's Day, and we'd love some inspiration from you. The beauty industry is a rare one, with most hair professionals being women by 80%! With a percentage like this, we can't help but notice other industries that need to catch on and give women more opportunities. How can the world of business become a more equal and diverse place?

Statistics are very clear, when qualified women are in the mix in the Boardroom and in senior executive positions, companies perform better financially, socially and culturally* (see stats below). The EQ of women with their IQ is a powerful asset and should be leveraged. I sit on Boards that push this agenda in a collaborative way and I subscribe to RBG's advice: "Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade."

*A working paper by The Peterson Institute for International Economics studied 22,000 companies in 91 countries and found that the typical firm experiences a 15 percent increase in profitability when it goes from having no women in corporate leadership (C-suite, Board of Directors) to 30 percent female representation. 

Okay, we need to know. What does your current OLAPLEX routine? Is there a particular product in the line you can't get enough of right now?

I am a product junkie, from all the companies I have worked for, I have kept a product in my regimen. I use 14 products every day on my skin! Olaplex has been my quarantine hair saver. I would never have survived letting my hair grow beyond my waist if it was not for Olaplex from the No. 0 to the No.7! But my must-have would be No. 0 as I actually see the few split ends I have melt away!  

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