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Meet BIIA, the Beauty Nonprofit Aiming to Introduce an Industrywide Standard for Inclusivity

Founded by talent managers Stephanie Piza and Jake Webb, the Beauty in Inclusivity Association seeks to create the diversity and inclusivity equivalent of Leaping Bunny certification.

Talent managers Stephanie Piza and Jake Webb have joined forces to launch the Beauty In Inclusivity Association, a nonprofit organization that aims to help brands become more inclusive and give rise to an industrywide inclusivity benchmark.

“We’re building proprietary auditing tools that can assess the inclusivity of brands, so it’s not a test of ‘Hey, how inclusive are you?’ It’s really a journey we want to take brands on of, ‘Hey, how do we continue to educate ourselves and improve?'” said Webb.

The pair will lead brands in a 12-month intensive program, during which participants’ product launches, campaigns, photoshoots, employee and company culture, and more, will be evaluated in order to determine where each brand stands in terms of inclusivity and what meaningful strides it can make to do better.

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“It’s a holistic approach in which we look at all of the components of inclusivity and the DNA of a brand, and how that transfers to the consumer,” said Webb, adding that the end objective is for brands to earn their BIIA certification, which will subsequently be displayed (in the form of the BIIA logo) on their products, both online and in-store.

“The goal is that in the next five years, we can build BIIA out as a sustainable organization that can hopefully be as helpful to diversity and inclusivity as Leaping Bunny is to vegan and cruelty-free,” he said.

The Beauty in Inclusivity logo.
The Beauty in Inclusivity logo. courtesy photo

BIIA has teamed with Snapchat in order to amplify this mission.

Through the platform, the organization will highlight the on-set experiences of diverse beauty industry talent (including models, makeup artists and more), and showcase a range of editorial content that expresses the organization’s purpose in a visual, artistic way.

“Snapchat has been a great partner to us through our work with talent over the years — we’re very mission-aligned, and it was just a no-brainer that we wanted to get them on board,” said Piza, whose conversations with Webb about the all-too-common, adverse on-set experiences of their clientele was what initially sparked the idea for BIIA.

“We just realized that we kept seeing the same roadblocks, where our clients would be on-set with hair stylists who were inexperienced in working with and styling textured hair, or makeup artists who were not equipped with a shade range of products that matched the range of skin tones they are working with,” she said.

Through BIIA, Piza and Webb want to bring forth true inclusivity in the beauty industry, which they say starts at the product development stage and runs through the model and talent casting stages and beyond.

“The long-term goal would be for every beauty brand to have or want to have the BIIA certification stamped on their products, and care to do their due diligence in being a truly inclusive brand,” said Webb.