Esi Eggleston Bracey is a beauty industry veteran with more than 27 years of experience leading major brands like CoverGirl and Max Factor. She now serves as the executive vice president and COO of personal care at Unilever North America, where she's pioneering industry-wide conversations around sustainability and inclusivity through her work on brands like Dove, Tresemme, and Shea Moisture. Here's what makes her feel powerful.
I feel most powerful when....
"I’m making a difference. A mantra that I live by is 'Passion Power,' which means allowing your passion to fuel your purpose. My long-standing passion has been helping women, girls, and underserved communities thrive through beauty confidence, wellbeing, and passionate living. With the crisis that we're in, there is so much need and so much opportunity to make a difference since women and underserved communities have been disproportionately impacted."
Power to me means...
"Power is the exponential sustainable impact you have on others. I remember fundraising to run the New York City marathon in 2017. I was blown away by how many others were inspired to run, and who they inspired. I recall the person who inspired me, my dear friend and sorority sister, Pamela. She had tremendous power through her positive ripple effect on others."
What do you do when you feel powerless?
"This is a difficult time. I find myself trying to cover up and push through the pain and, at the same time, I know it’s important for us to be authentic and open. It’s the only way we will heal. We are facing a crisis of humanity. The issues of institutional racism are real. Like many of us, I’m in pain, but I also have hope. I’ve never seen a more diverse community standing for change and taking action against these horrific acts of hate and violence. We need to seize the moment and commit to change.
"Being sequestered in our homes, it felt impossible to make an impact, so I decided to reflect and think about what I could do. I get empowered by reflecting, engaging others, and taking action, so I talked to my network of friends, family, and neighbours. I asked myself, Who in my network could help our community in this time of crisis? That’s how I helped start CauseWeCareNow — HEART. What began as the Harlem Emergency Aid Response Team has now expanded to broader efforts to help keep at-risk and underserved communities safe."
What is your power anthem?
"I feel so charged and empowered when I listen to 'Run the World (Girls)’ by Beyoncé. That’s a passion power anthem if I’ve ever heard one!"
Who's your power icon?
"A lion because I’m a Leo – roar!"
What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?
"Five-inch high, badass boots with a fun unexpected element. The right boots can make any outfit."