PARIS, France, March 25, 2016/ — Five leading women scientists and 15 promising young researchers were honoured yesterday at the 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Ceremony at the Maison de la Mutualité in Paris. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO and Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and Chairman of the L’Oréal Foundation took the opportunity to launch the For Women in Science Manifesto. Already signed by numerous guests of the ceremony, this Manifesto aims to take a stand against the under-representation of women in the sciences. It is available on http://www.ForWomenInScience.com so that everyone can, in turn, support this cause.
A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN SCIENCE
For the past 18 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has encouraged, promoted and honoured women scientists all over the world. More than 2,500 researchers from 112 countries have been distinguished for their extraordinary discoveries and supported at key moments in their careers.
Every year, five eminent women scientists and 15 young researchers from all continents are recognized by their peers and awarded before the general public at the international L’Oréal-UNESCO Ceremony. The 18th edition of the For Women in Science Awards Ceremony was held at the Maison de la Mutualité.
“Our changing world has never been in greater need of women and their discoveries. With the For Women in Science program, the L’Oréal Foundation is committed to promoting these women in science who will change the world. We are determined to fight for science and to build a more beautiful world together,” stated Jean-Paul Agon.
AN AMBITION EXPRESSED IN A MANIFESTO
Since its foundation, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has worked to ensure that women are fairly represented at all levels in science. However, the current situation indicates that much remains to be done with regard to gender balance in science. Most tellingly, women account for only 30% of the world’s researchers(*).
“The UNESCO Science Report shows that the gender disparity is still very evident, particularly in the natural sciences. More equality and parity in the sciences means more opportunities to achieve scientific excellence, which is UNESCO’s mission,” explained Irina Bokova.
The 18th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards concluded with the launch of the For Women in Science Manifesto: a true opinion campaign aimed at engaging the scientific community, the institutional and the general public to step up the pace of change for women in the sciences. Jean-Paul Agon, Irina Bokova, and this year’s President of the Jury, former Laureate and Nobel Prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn, all took the stage to sign the Manifesto. Each of the Laureates and International Rising Talents, as well as the numerous guests in attendance also signed their names to ensure the visibility and public support necessary, so that everyone involved can work together towards gender equality in the sciences.
THE 6 COMMITMENTS OF THE #FORWOMENINSCIENCE MANIFESTO
1/ Encourage girls to explore scientific career paths
2/ Break down the barriers that prevent women scientists from pursuing long term careers in research
3/ Prioritise women’s access to senior positions and leadership positions in the sciences
4/ Celebrate with the general public the contribution that women scientists make to scientific progress and to society
5/ Ensure gender equality through participation and leadership in symposiums and scientific commissions, such as conferences, committees and board meetings
6/ Promote mentoring and networking for young scientists to enable them to plan and develop careers that meet their expectations
To join the movement and sign the Manifesto, visit www.ForWomenInScience.com
(*) Source: Boston Consulting Group in 2013, based on an average of the results obtained in France, Germany, Spain, UK, USA, Japan, and urban China.
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Agence MATRIOCHKA for the L’Oréal Foundation
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Laureates’ video portrait:
Video of the For Women in Science Daily below
About the L’Oréal Foundation
Accompany. Value. Communicate. Support. Move boundaries. The convictions, the core values which drive the L’Oréal Foundation’s commitment to women everyday. A commitment divided into two main areas – science and beauty.
Through its’ For Women in Science program, a worldwide partnership with UNESCO, the L’Oréal Foundation motivates girls in High School to pursue scientific careers, supports women researchers and rewards excellence in a field where women remain underrepresented.
Through its beauty programs, the Foundation assists women affected by illness, who are economically disadvantaged or isolated, to recover their sense of self-esteem and femininity in order to feel better and to fare better. Its’ actions also include providing training programs for beauty industry professions.
Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization supports international scientific cooperation as a catalyst for sustainable development and for peace between people. UNESCO assists countries in the development of their public policies and in building their capabilities in the fields of science, technology, innovation and scientific education. In addition, UNESCO leads several intergovernmental programs for the sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, for biodiversity protection and to promote science’s role in combating climate change and natural disasters. To meet these goals, UNESCO is committed to ending discrimination of all kinds and to promoting equality between women and men.