In a series of conversations with top women beauty leaders about the passion points within their jobs, Estée Lauder executive Susan Akkad said that leading with compassion and empathy, as well as innovating in an inclusive beauty arena, is what inspires her in her work.

“My career journey has had a unique start, as it began at age 19, when I was privileged with the chance to do a semester abroad at the American University in Cairo in 1984. This started my lifelong love affair with the intersection of culture, beauty, and women’s empowerment—especially as they differ in how they are expressed across geographies. When it comes to this incredible world of Inclusive Beauty, I am passionate about the idea of creating deeply resonating and relevant concepts that are locally inspired. I tap into this idea for new development or execution plans that, when brought full circle, inspire and empower others. My strategy for success is simple: use empathy and understanding of the local consumer mindset to advise on multi-ethnic strategy and the best ways to tailor products and communication to be more meaningful to our diverse range of consumers.” — Susan Akkad, Senior Vice President, Local & Cultural Innovation,

Susan Akkad is a 2022 CEW Achiever Award Honoree. To learn more about Susan’s career journey, secrets to success, and what she’s learned along the way, be sure to participate in this year’s CEW Women’s Leadership Awards hybrid event taking place over two days, June 2 (in-person luncheon) and June 3 (virtual interviews with Honorees). Susan will be one of 15 women honored across multiple companies and executive levels during this exclusive event celebrating female leadership.