Five leading women scientists and 15 promising young researchers were honoured on 25 March at the Sorbonne University in Paris where the launch of the For Women in Science Manifesto was held. Already signed by each guest present at the Ceremony, this Manifesto aims to tackle the under-representation of women in the sciences. 

For the past 18 years, the LOréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has encouraged, promoted and honoured women scientists all over the world. This year, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO are taking the next step towards change: the launch of the For Women in Science Manifesto to raise awareness and mobilize the public’s active support for the cause of women in science.

Jean-Paul AgonIrina Bokova, and this year’s President of the Jury, former Laureate and Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, all signed the Manifesto, along with the Laureates, International Rising Talents and 800 guests in attendance to ensure the visibility and public support necessary, so that everyone involved can work together towards gender equality in the sciences.

Collective strength is what we want to see emerge tonight from our Manifesto. Beyond the scientific and institutional communities, we want to give everyone the chance to sign the For Women in Science Manifesto and join the cause, stated Jean-Paul Agon.

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) supports international scientific cooperation as a catalyst for sustainable development and for peace between people.

Accompany. Value. Communicate. Support. Move boundaries. These are the core values which drive the L’Oréal Foundation’s commitment to women everyday. A commitment divided into two main areas – science and beauty.

The six 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 womens 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