L'Oreal is out to prove this to be untrue. Beauty and science can actually go together and produce great results. Tackling the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, science and gender equality are equally vital to drive sustainable development. Despite this truth, women account for only 30% of the world’s researchers, and with even lower percentages at higher decision-making levels. In response, L’Oréal and UNESCO founded the For Women in Science (FWIS) program in 1998 with the mission to empower more women in the field of sciences by increasing the number of women in scientific research, promoting more young women to enter the profession, and to assist them once their careers are in progress.
Since the launch of FWIS, the program has supported more than 3,100 women scientists from 117 countries, and celebrated 102 renowned scientists at the peak of their careers including three who have won a Nobel Prize. The program has increased the visibility, career opportunities, and self-confidence of women scientists across the world. The Philippines has had the privilege of seeing Dr. Lourdes Cruz win as a Global Laureate (2010) for her work with snail toxins, and has had four Filipina scientists awarded as National Fellows (2011 and 2012).
June 5, 2018 marks a milestone for the Philippines as FWIS celebrates the return of the program in the Country through the awarding of the newest FWIS National Fellow. The program’s return to the Philippines cements L’Oréal’s strong commitment to pushing women empowerment and leadership in science in the Philippines. “The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program was founded with the mission to ensure that critical research across various fields in science takes full advantage of the intelligence, creativity, and passion of women,” shares Ms. Carmel Valencia, Corporate Communications Manager of L’Oréal Philippines.
More than just an awarding ceremony, the forum tackled the multifaceted challenges of gender inequality in the field of science, recognized women’s contributions across various fields, and underscored the critical need for their full participation in driving the sustainable development agenda.
To solidify their commitment to drive increased women participation and success in the field of science, a six-point manifesto was signed by representatives from L’Oréal, UNESCO, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), and the scientific community.