As the global chief executive officer of SK-II, Lee Sue-Kyung shares a unique connection with the beauty brand, as her initials match those of the brand. She now oversees the end-to-end operations of SK-II, a P&G-owned company, covering aspects such as design, innovation, brand proposition, communication, packaging, execution, and customer experience.

The Marriage Market Takeover Campaign

One of Lee’s proudest accomplishments is the 2016 Marriage Market Takeover campaign in Shanghai, China. The campaign, which started in Shanghai before spreading across Asia and the world, aimed to empower women to live their lives on their own terms, regardless of marriage. By replacing traditional matchmaking advertisements with posters of single women and their empowering messages, SK-II sparked a “phenomenal conversation” about societal pressure on women.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

As the first female global CEO of SK-II and the first female CEO of P&G Korea, Lee is no stranger to breaking gender stereotypes and shattering the glass ceiling. When she first became the CEO of P&G Korea, her mother’s unexpected reaction to her new role made her think about the stereotypes associated with leaders and how she wanted to be perceived.

Championing Women’s Rights in the Workplace

Lee is passionate about advocating for women’s rights in the workplace. During her tenure at P&G, she has implemented policies to support women in breaking gender barriers, and increased female representation at the managerial level to 50% in the P&G APAC region. She also helped harmonize maternity leave policies across all Asia-Pacific markets.

Leading with Courage and Knowledge

Lee believes that effective leadership can be achieved without conforming to the aggressive, assertive stereotype often associated with female leaders. Instead, she emphasizes the importance of courage and remaining true to one’s personality and style. Her approach to leadership involves valuing the perspectives of those closest to the business, the consumers, and the market data, rather than relying on hierarchy or years of experience.