The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has been blazing a trail for female scientists for the past 10 years
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and L’Oréal Canada first joined forces in November 2003 to establish the For Women in Science program with an initial five-year commitment. Ten years later, the FWIS program continues to encourage and promote the participation of women in the field of science.
“By supporting this program, we at L’Oréal Canada feel that we are part of a positive growth,” says Teresa Menna, manager, corporate communications at L’Oréal Canada. “We feel that we are contributing to making a difference in the future of women and the scientific field.”
In 2003, L’Oréal Canada established two mentoring fellowships for doctoral candidates at Canadian universities and followed it up in 2006 with two additional fellowships in research excellence for Canadian post-doctoral scientists. Recipients of the mentoring fellowship commit to participating in the L’Oréal Canada Mentoring Program for Girls in partnership with the non-profit organization Actua, which supports science and technology education, camps and clubs for girls aged eight through 17.
“Over 4,500 girls are the beneficiaries of the Actua mentorship program on an annual basis,” says David Walden, secretary-general of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. “You can see the admiration of the students participating in the mentorship program when they realize that they are talking to a ‘real’ scientist who is a woman. These positive role models are important and I would hope that, in a few years time, we will see some of the girls who were mentored by these women as winners of the L’Oréal awards themselves.”
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