“More than half of American women are the breadwinners in their households, but women still earn 77 cents on every dollar that a man earns,” began Elana Drell Szyfer, chief executive officer of Laura Geller Beauty and the keynote speaker at the second annual CEW Beauty’s Top Talent Awards. The event, which was held Wednesday, honors future leaders in the industry selected by CEW board members. “At fortune 500 companies, women account for just 17 percent of board members, 15 percent of c-suite executives and 5 percent of ceo’s.”

She continued, “It is events like this where women on their way up have caught the attention and respect of women at the top that we acknowledge that the beauty industry is a great place for women and we are all lucky to be a part of it.”

This year’s honorees included Claire Fermont-Langlais, senior marketing director of innovation at Calvin Klein Fragrances, Coty Inc.; Jenine Guerriero, director of fine fragrance marketing at Givaudan; Althea Knight, executive director of research and development at Aveda, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.; Helen Murphy, director of the scent design group, fine fragrances at International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.; Amy Whang, vice president of cosmetics at L’Oréal Paris, and Miriam Whippen, regional director of Clarins USA.

The winners, recognized for their contributions and future potential, each received an education grant for executive leadership training from the American Association of University Women.

As part of her keynote speaker duties, Drell Szyfer left the audience with a slew of advice on how to succeed in the beauty industry.

“Be yourself, it’s easier,” she said. “Treat people with respect — you will see them again. Silence is just as loud as speaking. Pick your battles. It’s OK not to know; it’s even more OK to be wrong. Hire smart people. Soon enough, everyone is younger than you. The best answer to a bad e-mail is ‘delete.’ And finally, don’t feel guilty. You can have it all, but where would you put it?”

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