For Women in Science Programme

A pioneering programme for the promotion of women in science

UNESCO and the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation seek to recognise women researchers who, through the scope of their work, have contributed to overcoming today's global challenges.

Faced with global challenges such as the acceleration of new technologies, aging populations or the threat to biodiversity, UNESCO and L’Oréal remain convinced that these women researchers will have a major impact on society and lay the foundations for the future. As such, UNESCO and L’Oréal want to contribute to their recognition and provide them with the means to continue their commitment to science with energy and passion.

Since 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards have recognised more than 92 laureates from 30 countries, exceptional women who have made great advances in scientific research.  Two of them have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

For Women In Science Manifesto

This Manifesto sets out to improve women’s access to science at all levels and in all disciplines.

It was presented and signed by Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal and head of the L’Oréal Foundation, and Elizabeth Blackburn, President of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Jury.

Each year, the For Women in Science Programme highlights scientific excellence and encourages talent through:

  • The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards, given each year to five outstanding women scientists – one per continent – for the contributions of their research, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society.
  • The UNESCO-L’Oréal international Fellowships. Granted annually since 2000 to 15 promising young women scientists, at the doctoral or post-doctoral level, they encourage international scientific cooperation and the development of cross-cultural networks.
  • The L'Oréal National Fellowships with the support of the UNESCO National Commissions, which anchor the For Women in Science programmes in countries around the world, while respecting their particularities and specific needs.

Prof. Ada Yonath, Winner of the l'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science in 2008, went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009. © Micheline Pelletier for L'Oréal Corporate Foundation.

In its aim to promote and encourage women throughout their scientific careers, the For Women in Science partnership has also developed a global network of International, Regional and National Fellowship programmes aimed at supporting young women who represent the future of science. To date, Fellowships have been granted to more than 2,530 women in 112 countries, permitting them to pursue their research in institutions at home or abroad. The programme has become a benchmark of scientific excellence on an international scale. It brings visibility to outstanding women scientists and thus provides strong role models to girls and young women considering science careers.

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