Beirut, April 2018 – The L’Oréal Foundation celebrated the 20th anniversary of the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science program, at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on March 22, 2018.
During the ceremony, the program honored five prominent women for their major scientific contribution in the fields of medicine, paleontology, molecular biology and ecology. In addition, 15 promising female scientists were recognized as International Rising Talents, including Dr. Areej Abuhamad from Jordan, one of the regional fellows, awarded at the ceremony in Lebanon last October.
Over the past 20 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science program has achieved great progress in women’s participation and roles in science. Since then, it has supported more than 3,000 talented female scientists through research fellowships, across 117 countries. These fellowships are awarded annually to 275 promising scientists, at national and regional ceremonies.
Despite the program’s success, a big gap still exists in terms of participation of women in science relative to men. To encourage collaboration between the two genders, both the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO seized the opportunity to launch an ambitious new initiative on the 20th anniversary of their program: “Male Champions for Women in Science”. The latter will engage male leaders through a charter of commitments to encourage them to work with their female colleagues and therefore change the system and consequently harness the potential of women for the benefit of all.
Twenty-five eminent male scientists have already committed to the initiative, including mathematicians, geneticists and from Lebanon, Professor Mouin Hamze, Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research and Jury President of L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science’s regional program.