GLOBAL IMAGE MAGAZINE

Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability in Image Consulting Business

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Communities and businesses have put much effort into practicing diversity and inclusion in their everyday life and work.

Diversity Inclusion Sustainability in Image Consulting Business

Good progress has been made in the marketplace. However, we live in an ever-changing and expanding human race on earth hence the practices of diversity and inclusion will not be a finite approach.

We are forever evolving and thriving for the best.

According to a report by McKinsey and Company, May 2020

Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile—up from 21 percent in 2017 and 15 percent in 2014.

Diversity and inclusion are two interconnected concepts—but they are far from interchangeable. Diversity is about the representation or the make-up of an entity.

Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence, and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.

The Approach

Image consulting services and practices have evolved much since I started in 1989 unofficially as a cosmetic sales advisor till present in 2022 when I have been practicing full time in this business since 2006.

The sole reason that keeps me focused to grow in this industry is my passion for people to change and thrive to achieve success on their terms.

Whilst I do not claim to be the “know-it-all” in this industry. I do acknowledge my previous experience in building my business weathering through two recessions (one in the 90s and another in the 2000s) and a still ongoing pandemic which seeming is improving day by day and I do see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The image consulting business has 2 major components which are:

  • People
  • Techniques & Tools

How do we include diversity and inclusion in these 2 components?

People

I have the privilege to work with people from North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and southeast Asia. Everyone is unique and I learn to embrace that uniqueness.

When working with another person, through my years of observation and experience, we need to pay attention to the followings:

  1. Their background – country of origin, education, business/profession, beliefs system, etc.
  2. Their preference.
  3. Their communication style.
  4. Their working style.
  5. Their goals or objective – this is the reason they come to you because they believe you can help them to achieve their goals.
Diversity Inclusion Sustainability in Image Consulting Business

The thrill in business is it is forever changing, growing, and evolving. Every client or person that I work with is different.

I learn much in working with each of my clients. I have enriched my understanding of human beings and myself through embracing the diversity of the people that I meet and work with within business.

I discipline myself in not judging and labeling and this is needed in practicing inclusion. Whenever I notice I fall into the stereotype trap, I immediately bounce back to my awareness and anchor myself to being neutral and non-judgmental.

I have made a promise to myself at the very early stage of my image consulting career that “I see everyone as beautiful as they are and my responsibility is to bring out the beauty in them”.

It is a commitment that keeps me focused on giving my best in every consultation session.

Techniques & Tools 

Due to the diversity in people that we meet at business. Our techniques and tools of coaching and consulting have also evolved with the demand of the market.

Diversity Inclusion Sustainability in Image Consulting Business

From the variation in basic color tools of warm colors for Asians and warm colors for Americans to coaching mechanisms and consulting flow that caters to our clients’ needs.

Below is a consulting process flow that we adopt in our consulting business:

Sustainability

According to Wikipedia, a sustainable business, or a green business, is an enterprise that has a minimal negative impact or potentially a positive effect on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. 

Image consulting business can support sustainability and therefore our business will be sustainable.

Diversity Inclusion Sustainability in Image Consulting Business

One of the activities that I always practice with the client is in recycling and upcycling their apparel. This can help them to save their shopping budget and at the same time impart knowledge on “Conscious Consumption” and “Conscious Buying”.

Conscious Consumption™ is when you only consume what you need. Conscious Buying™ is a concept and process flow that we work with clients on only getting what is needed with the best value for money and investment for at least 3 to 5 years. These two concepts support the triple bottom line.

At the end of the consulting sessions, clients not just walk away with achieving their goal but also at the same time feeling proud of themselves that, they too have supported the sustainability of mother earth.

  • Ana Cheong

    Ana Cheong is the co-founder and principal consultant of AAA Solutions Sdn Bhd, a peak performance consulting firm focused on Organizational Diversity and Sustainability. She co-founded AAA Organization for Community’s Well-being, an NGO facilitating the learning of underprivileged students and the disability community by providing them with learning facilities & aid, knowledge, and skills nationwide. She is also the co-founder and educator of Venus Program, a women empowerment, leadership, and entrepreneurs’ platform that offers online programs and resources to women of all walks of life. She is a certified Chartered Secretary (ICSA). She obtained certification in Change Management, HR, and Talent Management. She is also a Certified Image Professional (CIP, AICI) Association Image Consultant International, USA, and is the Vice President of Certification of AICI International from 2017 to 2021 and was instrumental to the 100% digitalization of all 3 levels of AICI international certification.

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