Influence is an important currency not just in our industry but in how trends and culture shifts — influence is something fundamental to younger demographics such as Gen Z and Gen X, they understand that a united front has the power to create change. Social influence has brought much meaningful change to issues such as diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability in our industry. This time around, rather than looking to influencers and industry figures, we’ll be breaking down how institutions and hierarchy have a role in influencing how diverse and inclusive our industry can be and how their influence trickles down into our society moulding the future generations to come.

Influence is a two-way transaction, from the masses to upper management and vice versa, these days we are much more vigilant of the people calling the shots and the select few sitting in influential positions and what they do with their power. We have read many articles about brands and associations implementing diversity committees to eliminate unconscious biases in industries such as the film and fashion industry which have suffered numerous diversity faux pas especially when it comes to awards and spotlighting talent. However, how effective has it really been and is it effective if the systems and legislation makers are biassed?

Industries such as music, beauty, and arts are still predominantly dominated by cis-gendered white men – this year The Brit awards gender-neutral award nominees are only white male nominees and The Oscars have no Black actors nominated in the lead acting categories and women shut out for best director.

So what does this mean in the hair industry? The select few who sit in seats of power are the decision-makers who mold our industry and highlight the movers and shakers who become the faces of our industry. This has a great social impact on issues within our industry — in a world where representation is so essential for young dreamers . The industry is only now entering a space where women, POC and LGBTQ+ identifying persons are getting more representation and accolades within the industry. However, are they being given the same opportunities to sit in influential positions to create a more diverse and inclusive industry?