I believe life is about confidence and when you feel confident, it unlocks your potential, creates opportunity, and can change your life.
Unlocking confidence starts a magical chain reaction that creates a ripple effect and a virtuous circle of positivity. If that one person is empowered, they can go on to change their community, and those communities could go on to change the world.
At Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, a female-founded, female-led business, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, it was our core belief from the very start that if you feel and look your most confident self, you can achieve anything.
I know. I’ve had the privilege of seeing first-hand the confidence-building power skincare and make-up can have on someone to transform lives. Whether it be making someone feel great ahead of a red-carpet moment, a job interview, a special celebration, or simply starting their day with a positive mindset.
We often speak about a gender pay gap, but there is also a proven gender-confidence gap between men and women. Academic research continues to show that a lack of self-confidence in women is a barrier to success in the workplace and in the boardroom, despite women often outperforming men in the same task. This has real-world implications and as a society, we have a shared responsibility to help women feel confident about themselves and help them conquer their world. That’s why I am so proud to support several incredible charities whose work reflects this mission.
For the past 30 years, Women for Women International has helped women survivors of war rebuild their lives. In my role as their global ambassador, we pledged £1m to support over 3,000 women – and last year we supported their Conflict Response Fund helping women affected by the war in Ukraine and more recently the earthquake in Syria which has impacted women already devastated by a decade of war. I’m so passionate about the work they do and in particular the way they raise awareness of and support women living through conflicts that are often forgotten. I will always remember being told the story of women in Sarajevo who felt empowered by wearing lipstick while living through war – wearing a bold red lipstick was a symbol of self-expression and an act of defiance, it was one of the things that gave women the strength and confidence to continue despite the conflict they lived through.
Someone who embodies the power of the confidence ripple effect and virtuous circle is the inspirational Tanzila Khan, the first recipient of The Prince’s Trust International’s Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment Award. A women’s rights activist, entrepreneur, and student from Pakistan, Tanzila founded GirlyThings.PK, a foundation that delivers menstrual products directly to women’s homes across Pakistan. Since winning the award in 2022, Tanzila continues to be a real changemaker in her community and beyond. In my role as the Prince’s Trust ambassador for enterprise, I can’t wait to see what she does next.
We all make choices in how we want to show up in the world, and the impact we want to have. My choice is to reflect the beauty and diversity of women in my campaigns, so people feel seen, so they feel that feeling of confidence, and that they know it is available to them as well. That feeling is universal. I know from working with the biggest actors or models, the power of beauty has to give us that boost of confidence just when you need it. So, when I created my brand I set out to share the secrets of red-carpet glamour and democratise beauty for everyone, everywhere.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we must recognise we all have a role to play, no matter how big or small, to help bridge the gender-confidence gap.
It’s why I always remind my teams to “dare to dream it, dare to believe it, dare to do it” because I want to empower them to have the confidence to take risks and make their own dreams come true.
You can be the change in your own and someone else’s life. Let’s start the positive magical chain reaction together.
Charlotte Tilbury MBE, is a British beauty entrepreneur, makeup artist, and founder & creative director of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty