The future of technology Sep 6, 2021

Conscious consumerism and commitment to life: The future of technology with Avon’s Chief Technology Officer, Karen McElhatton

The future of technology

This month we celebrate 135 years of Avon… and we’re just getting started. Technology has played an integral part in our journey, but where can technology can take us in the future? We grabbed a coffee with Avon’s Chief Technology Officer, Karen McElhatton, to sound her out on what the big shifts and trends tell us about the future of technology.

Hi Karen. What are the big themes in technology you see playing out in the next decade?

“I’m seeing a huge trend towards sustainability. We often think of technology as the environmental saving grace – but in fact, technology can also have a significantly negative impact on our environment. We need to make sure that as the fourth largest pure play beauty company in the world, we are conscious of this and are making sustainable choices on how we use technology.

Interesting – people rarely think of technology as an environmental concern. What else are you seeing in technology trends?

“The demand for skills in technology is outpacing the supply. More and more jobs are requiring some form of technical skill – even those which are typically manual. With such a high demand for technology skills, we need to think more broadly about how we can engage people who may not have traditionally been attracted to a career in technology. I believe Avon is primed to do this through the unique relationship we have with our millions-strong network of Representatives across the world. This network is predominantly female, so I’d love to convert some of these women into techies and bring better balance to the industry.”

What a great ambition and so in line with Avon’s purpose. How do you see the technology agenda bringing Avon’s purpose to life?

“We’ve got this incredibly unique opportunity at Avon to put technology in the hands of our Representatives and help them achieve their dreams – but at the same time, we should be using this touchpoint to inspire them about technology. I see it as a domino effect: if these people can see the impact of technology, perhaps they can educate and influence others to love it, too.”

And finally, what do you love most about working at Avon?

“One of the reasons I was attracted to Avon was the amazing opportunity we have to bring this much loved brand (and best kept secret) back into the hearts and minds of people across the world. I loved the clear sense of shared purpose that both Avon and Natura &Co have and wanted to be part of that.”

Find out more about working in technology at Avon here, with the recent launch of our Women in Technology network