From L’Oreal Paris to Glossier : The Secret To Switching Career Lanes Effortlessly, According to Diarrha N’Diaye

BNS: What’s the most significant “I’ve made it” moment to date?  There are many. I mean I am first-generation girl from the West Side of Ha...

BNS: What’s the most significant “I’ve made it” moment to date? 

There are many. I mean I am first-generation girl from the West Side of Harlem. But the one that comes fresh to mind was the moment I was sitting in the interview room, right before interviewing with Emily Weiss. Not because I had “made it” in any way, but how far I’ve come. Her devotion to disrupting such an antiquated industry had been a long time inspiration for me. That very moment reminded me that you truly can do anything you put your mind, energy and heart into.

BNS: Leaving established brands can be scary, the access and cachet can be particularly difficult to let go of – what gave you the courage to make the leap? 

So true! It was scary jumping from the safety net. Let’s be real, people react differently a “powerful” email address (not to mention the health benefits – haha!). But, I love to work with integrity. When my gut is nauseous every morning before work, I know this isn’t for me. When I am doing a disservice to the brown and black women coming after me, I know this isn’t for me. When I am suddenly no longer scared to walk away anymore, I know God got me.

BNS: Tell us about your new projects

I am currently consulting, still in the beauty space. Outside of this, I am working on a very special project that’s so near and dear to my heart, but too early to share details with the world. Let’s just say it’s in the beauty world and for us!

BNS: What would you like to change about the beauty industry globally? What would you want to do differently? 

If it were up to me skin bleaching would be illegal- worldwide. It hurts us deeper than the surface. Somewhere along the way it had been normalized, especially in Asia and Africa, and it makes me so sad. I want young brown girls (and their moms and aunties) to embrace their beautiful, melaninated hue. I think it all starts with education, re-writing the “beauty” narrative and gaining more allies to help support the cause.

BNS: Share a major setback that taught you something?

There was one year – right before I joined L’Oreal- I interviewed for a total of 20 different jobs in my field;  I got none of them. I heard every excuse in the book – under qualified, too qualified, budget changes, new marketing structure, etc. I was devastated, but never discouraged. When I finally let go and let God I got a random email from a L’Oreal recruiter. It’s amazing what happens when you use those setbacks to step it up. In that moment, I was reminded what’s for you will be yours. If it’s not time for said thing to happen, it simply won’t. Finding peace in that is so crucial. I try to keep that same energy throughout my journey.

BNS: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? 

I never know how to answer this question because I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be here 5 years ago. One thing I know I’d like to accomplish: setting up an enrichment program for women in Senegal to learn how generate income and build sustainable businesses. There has been some traction in recent years but there’s still a lot of work to do to empower young women. We are not just staying home anymore – we are contributing, we are vocal and we are deserving.

Source: BellaNaija