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Changing the Face of Science

The L’Oréal-UNESCO Partnership For Women in Science

For the past twelve years, L’Oréal and UNESCO have taken the initiative in recognizing women whose research contributes to changing the world. These top-ranking scientists embrace universal challenges ranging from health and the environment to social actions, and represent the key to the future.

Yet the role of women in science still needs to be defended. At the global level, women hold over half of university degrees, but only 30 percent are in the sciences or technology. In the United States, a recent study by the Center for American Progress shows that a woman scientist with a Ph.D., married with children, has a 35 percent lower chance of being granted tenure than a man with the same family situation.

Paradoxically, according to a 2009 TNS Sofres survey conducted in 10 countries in partnership with the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation and UNESCO, 84 percent of respondents believe that science lies at the heart of their daily life.

Through the For Women in Science program, L’Oréal and UNESCO work together to promote the cause of women in science by highlighting scientific excellence and encouraging young women to pursue scientific careers.

  • Each year, 5 eminent women scientists are honored by the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards, one per continent, for their outstanding scientific contributions and commitment to research.
  • Each year, Fellowships are awarded to promising young women to encourage them to pursue careers in science.
  • Over the past twelve years, nearly 1,000 women have been recognized: 62 “For Women in Science” Award Laureates from 28 countries; 864 Fellowships for young women researchers in 93 countries.

For many young researchers, the program today represents an invaluable source of motivation and inspiration.