L'Oréal Wants to See More Women in STEM

And what they're doing to support the movement.

L'Oreal Women in STEM

Getty Images

While there's no question that gender inequality is an issue across the spectrum, when it comes to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the numbers are drastic.

According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) — a non-profit that works to advance equity for women and girls — women only make up 28% of the workforce in STEM industries,. Of that cipher, engineering has the least amount of representation.

Thankfully, major companies like L'Oréal are looking to flip the script and help bring more women into the space in the upcoming years. That's why the company launched The L'Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program 18 years ago, awarding over $4 million in grants to 90 postdoctoral women scientists over time.

And they don't plan on slowing down any time soon.

"Advancing women in science has been L’Oréal’s global commitment for more than 20 years," Marissa Pagnani McGowan, L'Oréal's Chief Sustainability Officer tells InStyle. "L’Oréal recognized that as a leader in the field of science and research, we have a responsibility to help close the gender gap in science and support women in persisting in the field. The 'For Women In Science' program was created out of a simple belief: The world needs science, and science needs women. Our mission is as critical as ever."

In 2022, L'Oréal worked with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to award five women scientists grants: Sandya Subramanian, a biomedical engineer at Stanford University; Sarah Burnett, a mathematician at UCLA; Marina LaForgia, a plant ecologist at UC Davis; Sikoya Ashburn, a neuroscientist at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Margot Wohl, a neuroethologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

To apply for the fellowship in 2023 and have a chance at being awarded $60,000 for research in a STEM field, interested applicants should have completed their PhD and started postdoctoral research by Friday, January 27, 2023 at 5 p.m. EST. Applications, along with rules and regulations, can be found here.

While L'Oréal has done amazing work to make way for more women to enter the industry, it can't do it alone. With that said, McGowan has some advice for how people outside of the company can help.

"We need to continue increasing the number of women serving as mentors, as well as raise the visibility of successful women scientists overall," she tells us. "Our hope is that by promoting the experiences of what makes our former program fellows stay and thrive in science — things like independent funding and mentorship — that we can help more women do the same."

Related Articles