For Immediate Release - MONTREAL, November 23, 2021 – During a ceremony held on November 22, 2021 at the French Embassy in Ottawa in presence of Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France in Canada, five young and promising Canadian researchers were honoured and rewarded through the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program, with the support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
These five young women thus joined the international scientific community of 122 Laureates, three of whom have gone on to win Nobel Prizes, and more than 3800 young women researchers, who, over the last 23 years, have benefited from increased recognition within the scientific community.
FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE: A MORE THAN 20-YEAR COMMITMENT
Based on the conviction that the world needs science and science needs women, the Fondation L'Oréal and UNESCO are committed to the promotion of women in science to make them more visible, to make their talent known and to inspire careers for future generations. According to the latest UNESCO Science Report published in June, although the number of women in scientific careers is increasing, reaching just over 33% of researchers(1) worldwide, this evolution is still too slow, and the glass ceiling remains a reality in research: in Europe, 86% of senior academic positions in science are held by men(2), and less than 4% of Nobel prizes in science have been awarded to women.
Each year, the Fondation L'Oréal and UNESCO celebrate the scientific excellence of five eminent women researchers, each from a major region of the world. Since the creation of the For Women in Science program in 1998, 122 Laureates and more than 3,800 talented young scientists, doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows, have been supported and honored in more than 110 countries.
THE 2021 CANADIAN FELLOWS
Since 2003, L’Oréal Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO reward young doctorate and post doctorate women researchers and give away $60 000 CAD in research grants.
The L’Oréal-UNESCO 2021 Excellence in Research Fellowships, each worth $20,000, are awarded to support major postdoctoral research projects undertaken by young Canadians at a pivotal time in their career. They reward excellence and allow top scientists, selected by a panel of experts, to further their research. Dr. Liette Vasseur, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, had the pleasure to present them to:
- Dr. Marie-Laurence Lemay, Phage Biology, University of Montreal
- Dr. Alison McAfee, Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of British Columbia and North Carolina State University
A $10,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and L’Oréal-UNESCO 2021 For Women in Science Supplement was awarded by Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-president Research Partnerships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, to a Canadian scientist involved in a promising research project, namely:
- Dr. Giulia Rossi, Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough
In collaboration with the France Canada Research Fund (FCRF), two fellowships of $5,000 each to encourage and develop scientific and university exchanges between France and Canada, in all areas of knowledge, from fundamental science to human and social sciences were awarded by Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France in Canada and Ruby Heap, Co-president FCRF. The L’Oréal Canada France Canada Research Fund 2021 Fellows are:
- Dr. Bénédicte Tremblay, Nutrition and Bioinformatics, University of Montreal and Montreal Heart Institute
- Dr. Caroline Dubé, Institute of Integrative Biology and Systems, Laval University and California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
“While facing this crisis, we must reinvent the world of tomorrow. We have never needed science so much, an efficient and inclusive science, which draws on all talents and all points of view.”, said An Verhulst-Santos, President and CEO of L’Oréal Canada, in her closing remarks. “Science is essential to rise to the challenges that the world is facing, and gender diversity leads to better science. More than ever, the world needs science and science needs women.”
‘’Women scientists should be celebrated every day of the year. They have steered us through the pandemic in their roles as chiefs of public health and heads of laboratories that develop vaccines. Today we are proud to celebrate five more exceptional women scientists: scientists that are role models for us all and the future of excellence in research.’’ said Liette Vasseur, President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO
“The last two years demonstrated the importance of science in our daily life. The health crisis also reinforced the vital importance of cooperation between likeminded countries in science for the benefit of the entire humanity” said Kareen Rispal, France Ambassador to Canada. “While some regimes refuted reality based on scientific facts and science it is up to us, Canada and France, who share moral and democratic values, to protect scientists and science and make known the benefits they provide to humanity.”
These five fellows will also be invited to participate in the L’Oréal Canada For Girls in Science Mentoring program, in partnership with the UNESCO School Network of Canada and Let’s Talk Science, where they will encourage the vocations of girls in high school, bust myths about careers in science and hopefully, inspire others to follow in their footsteps to make the world a better, more inclusive place.
About L’Oréal Canada
L’Oréal Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of L’Oréal Group, the largest cosmetics company in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, the company had sales of $1.18 billion in 2020 and employs more than 1,450 people. The company holds a portfolio of 36 brands, encompassing all aspects of beauty, and is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, salons, pharmacies, drugstores, and branded retail. L'Oréal Canada, whose operations are carbon neutral, supports the L'Oréal Foundation’s programs such as L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science, which has promoted the advancement of women in science in Canada since 2003, Beauty for a better life, a social reintegration program in hairdressing for immigrant women since 2017.
About the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. By promoting UNESCO values, priorities and programs in Canada and by bringing the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage, the Commission contributes to a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.
About the France Canada Research Fund (FCRF)
The France Canada Research Fund (FCRF) is a flagship instrument of French-Canadian scientific cooperation, created in 2000 by the Embassy of France in Canada and a consortium of 16 Canadian universities. In its 19 years of existence, the FCRF has funded more than 300 joint research projects. Today, with 20 member universities, it continues to support some 20 new projects each year led by French and Canadian teams that are collaborating for the first time.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds visionaries, explorers and innovators who are searching for the scientific and technical breakthroughs that will benefit our country. We are Canada’s largest supporter of discovery and innovation. We work with universities, colleges, businesses and not-for-profits to remove barriers, develop opportunities and attract new expertise to make Canada’s research community thrive. We give Canadian scientists and engineers the means to go further because we believe in research without borders and beyond frontiers.
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