"Women across the country are making scientific breakthroughs every day that are critical to the future of STEM. The For Women in Science program brings these contributions to light with the underlying belief that the world needs science and science needs women," said Lauren Paige, VP-public affairs & strategic initiatives, L'Oréal USA. "As a company that depends on the contributions women make in STEM, L'Oréal is honored to support the next generation of women scientists at a critical stage of their career."
Despite L'Oréal's efforts, women remain underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, although to a lesser degree than in the past, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences, according to the National Science Foundation. According to the NSF, female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than are men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (58%) and biological and medical sciences (48%) and relatively low shares in engineering (13%) and computer and mathematical sciences (25%).
Although women make up 47% of the total US workforce, they are less represented in particular science and engineering occupations, according to the US Department of Labor. For example:
• 39% of chemists and material scientists are women;
• 27.9% of environmental scientists and geoscientists are women;
• 15.6% of chemical engineers are women;
• 12.1% of civil engineers are women;
• 8.3% of electrical and electronics engineers are women;
• 17.2% of industrial engineers are women; and
• 7.2% of mechanical engineers are women.
Since the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program began in 1998, more than 2,250 scientists in over 110 countries have been recognized for their work. In the US, the For Women in Science fellowship program has awarded 60 post-doctoral women scientists nearly $3 million in grants. The 2015 For Women in Science fellows included an exoplanetary astrophysicist, a marine microbiologist, a synthetic biologist, a cancer bioengineer and a condensed matter physicist.
"The L'Oréal For Women in Science fellowship supports female scientists as they reach a crucial moment in their career, when they are especially likely to leak from the scientific pipeline," said Ming Yi, a 2015 For Women in Science fellow. "The fellowship is a meaningful initiative to both support women in science and push for gender equality in STEM, and I am grateful for L'Oréal's support as I advance my research."
The 2016 L'Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship application period begins on November 30, 2015 and runs until February 5, 2016. Candidates should have exceptional academic records and intellectual merit, clearly articulated research proposals with the potential for scientific advancement and outstanding letters of recommendation from advisors. Applicants are also evaluated on their commitment to supporting women and girls in STEM.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) partners with L'Oreal USA to manage the program's two-round application and peer-review process. In the first round, applications are evaluated by experienced scientists in the candidates' respective fields. In the second round, a distinguished jury of eminent scientists evaluates the top-ranked candidates and selects the five winners.
Each year, the program attracts talented applicants from diverse scientific fields, representing some of the nation's leading academic institutions and laboratories. Winners will be announced by September and the awards ceremony will take place in October in Washington, D.C. Applications and additional information are available at www.lorealusa.com/forwomeninscience.