While the scientific competence of men and women may be on an equal footing, there is an undeniable divergence between men's and women's careers in the sciences after they reach their late 20s and early 30s. At each successive stage on the career path, women drop out at higher rates than men. For women in science, the critical years occur during the transition from post-doctoral student to becoming a career scientist, which often coincides with starting a family. The L'Oréal USA Fellowships encourage young women to continue their careers in science, by both supporting them financially and helping them strengthen their networks in the scientific community.
"The world benefits from many new discoveries that scientists and their research yield, and the need for trained scientists and researchers has increased," said Laurent Attal, President and CEO, L'Oréal USA. "Women continue to be underrepresented in many important scientific disciplines and L'Oréal believes that more can be done to encourage and support women in all fields of science. We firmly believe that science needs women."
Drawing from a competitive pool of talented post-doctoral researchers, the L'Oréal USA Fellowships for Women In Science enable young scientists to continue working toward breakthroughs in their research. Women scientists like these Fellows often serve as inspirational role models, encouraging girls across the country to stay interested in science.
The 2006 L'Oréal USA Fellows are:
Each year since its inception, the L'Oréal USA Fellowships for Women In Science program has attracted increasingly strong applications from women conducting innovative and groundbreaking research. A distinguished jury of eight eminent scientists -- presided over by Ralph J. Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences, and including former L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Award laureates and others -- selects the five fellowship beneficiaries. Because this year's applicants were exceptionally compelling, the selection criteria of the 2006 winners advanced beyond the program's standard measurements (scientific excellence, prestigous academic records, strong track record of productivity, etc.) to seek out the select few who truly have the highest probability of making scientific advances.
"We should not – and cannot – expect to achieve great success without realizing and utilizing the full potential offered by so many bright, young minds in the fields of science," said Dr. Cicerone. "That's why awards that offer support and highlight the value of such extraordinary talents -- like those of the young women being honored by L'Oréal USA this year -- are key to keeping the pipeline of women in science forthcoming."
The L'ORÉAL USA Fellowships For Women in Science program, which has recognized 15 U.S. women with distinction since its launch in 2003, is a component of the international L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science program. This multi-dimensional program includes the L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards, presented annually to five leading women career scientists, one per continent, and the UNESCO-L'ORÉAL International Fellowships, granted annually to 15 promising young women scientists (doctorate or post-doctorate) from the regions of Africa, the Arab States, Asia/Pacific, Europe/North America and Latin America/Caribbean.
Since the L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science international program started in 1998, 132 women from 60 countries have been recognized for their contributions to scientific progress. The program seeks to encourage women scientists to persevere under sometimes challenging circumstances, such as social stigmas and gender biases. By giving women in science a public face, the program aims to provide the next generation of women scientists with inspirational role models.
In 2006, L'Oréal and UNESCO launched AGORA, an online forum that focuses on women and science. The community of eminent international scientists, including Nobel laureates, as well as all L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Award Laureates and Fellows, are invited to share their ideas and experiences of various issues, including those concerning women in science. For more information, please visit: www.agora.forwomeninscience.com.
For more information on the L'ORÉAL-UNESCO For Women in Science program, please visit www.forwomeninscience.com
L'ORÉAL is a worldwide leader in the cosmetics industry, developing innovative products to meet the diverse needs of customers in 130 countries worldwide. Over 2,900 people work in the Group's 13 research centers, located in France, Asia and America. Their findings are responsible for the registration of hundreds of patents annually. L'Oréal also devotes over 3% of sales annually to research and development – an investment unmatched anywhere else in the industry. Women represent 55% of L'Oréal's research and development workforce. For more information, please visit: www.loreal.com
For more information or to arrange interviews with the Fellows, L'Oréal USA or members of the Jury, please contact:
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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