Catherine Barber

VP Global Education, Talent Development & Events

Why is CEW membership important to you?

CEW Connects Empowered Women.   I joined CEW when I moved back to New York after 13 years in Paris and London and it became an important way for me to meet like-minded women in Beauty and a resource for invaluable insights and information about the state of our industry. While I cannot wait to be able to attend the in-person evening events at the Harmonie Club again, seeing friends, ex-colleagues, and meeting new, I believe CEW has done an extraordinary job pivoting to content-rich virtual events which I try to never miss!  One of the lessons the pandemic has taught us is the importance of connection, of reaching out to our network.  I am extremely grateful to be a member of CEW and I highly recommend it to anyone involved in the Cosmetics industry.

How do you think Covid-19 will impact the future of the beauty industry?

Demand for expertise and an experience.  I believe that just as there is going to be an explosion of bucket-list travel for those who have the means, I believe there is pent-up demand for in-person expertise.  While we are all incredibly grateful for ecommerce and quick delivery during the pandemic, I am hearing over and over again that clients want to come in-store, touch and feel our beauty products, and most importantly, speak with an expert.  This is why Education and Events are so important.  Brands that offer service excellence and an experience from a well-educated Beauty Advisor who truly cares, will win.

What do you feel is the most important quality for someone to possess in order to have a successful career?

EQ (emotional quotient / intelligence).  There are of course many hard and soft skills that together make a well-rounded successful professional.  If I were to pick one, it would be EQ; having the awareness of your own emotions and the emotions of those around you and the ability to use this intel to help form opinions and make decisions.  In every discipline, but especially in Education, it is important to be aware – to be able to read the person in front of you and for that matter to be able to read yourself – to have empathy, curiosity, the ability to truly listen, understand and the courage and confidence to make a results-oriented decision.

What do you love most about working in the beauty Industry?

Helping others feel more confident in themselves.  Whether I am in-store working with a client, helping uncover and solve her beauty needs or coaching a team member, what I love is educating, inspiring, and motivating others, leaving each person I touch smarter and more confident in their own talent and in themselves.   That is the ‘beauty’ in the beauty industry.