L’Oréal And Unesco Reward Women Scientists From Around The World. Group

The L'ORÉAL-Helena Rubinstein Awards for the year 2000 were presented today at UNESCO Headquarters to five women scientists working in different continents by L'ORÉAL's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lindsay Owen-Jones, and by UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura.

The five laureates are biologists Joanne Chory (U.S.A.), Valerie Mizrahi (Italian, resident in South Africa), Tuneko Okazaki (Japan), Eugenia Maria Del Pino Veintimilla (Ecuador) and Margarita Salas (Spain). They were chosen by a Jury of fourteen renowned scientists from around the world, chaired by Professor Christian de Duve, 1974 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Moreover, Thressa Campbell Stadtman, a biochemist of international renown from the U.S.A., received the L'ORÉAL Tribute to a Life Achievement for her major scientific work and exceptional career.

During the ceremony, ten UNESCO-L'ORÉAL Fellowships, worth US$10,000 each, were awarded to young women scientists (post-doctoral level) to assist them in pursuing their career in research. They are: Yézoumi Akogo (Togo), Maria del Pilar Jimenez Alzate (Columbia), Dorsaf Essebaï (Tunisia), Rhoda Kariba (Kenya), Margarita Marques Martinez (Spain), Sonia Nasr (Lebanon), Marcia Roye (Jamaica), Tatyana Savchenko (Azerbaijan), Yufeng Wang (China), June Young Park (Republic of Korea).

Deeply committed to research, the L'ORÉAL Group last September signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Through the Programme for Women in Science, L'ORÉAL has pledged to bring to the fore women's fundamental role in research, notably in the life sciences.

Lindsay Owen-Jones declared: "The Programme for Women in Science addresses one of the major questions of this new millennium: the question of science as an agent of progress for humanity, and the participation of women in this area. Research has always been at the heart of L'ORÉAL's activities. Its function is fundamental. Women researchers make an important contribution to the work carried out in our laboratories: more than 55 percent of research executives at L'ORÉAL are women. It seemed natural for us to develop, in co-operation with UNESCO, a programme destined to support and encourage women to take their rightful place in scientific progress. By helping them play their part to the full, it is science itself which will benefit from our effort."

Mr Matsuura for his part said: "I welcome L'ORÉAL's commitment to partner UNESCO in an area where co-operation between the private sector and the organisations of the United Nations system is of growing importance. […] In making these awards, UNESCO and L'ORÉAL are not only encouraging women to play a full role in research. We are partners in a growing movement that is mobilising men and women in favour of a different approach to development, an approach that translates into action our concern for social justice and human welfare, that shows concern for the protection of the natural heritage, that places science at the service of society, and that places women at the forefront of the scientific enterprise".

To learn more about this programme, download the press kit (pdf file) from the For Women in Science website.