L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science: Empowering a Generation of Female Researchers

Young Talents Caribbean Region

St. Augustine, Trinidad, 27 November 2023The world needs science and science needs women”. The Young Talents Caribbean Region L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science (FWIS) program is a partnership between L’Oréal Caribe, the UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, with the support of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences – seeking to connect the dots between Caribbean development challenges, scientific research, and female empowerment by recognizing and honoring two young scientists with an endowment of $10,000 USD to further develop their scientific endeavors.

The inaugural FWIS Awards Ceremony was held last Friday, November 24, at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad during the 23rd Biennial Conference and General Meeting 2023 of the Caribbean Academy of Science. The event attracted notable figures within the scientific community of the Caribbean, all to celebrate the achievements of two bright, accomplished, young women whose futures in STEM are still unfolding.

The 2023 FWIS recipients in the Caribbean specialize in the fields of soil science and geography contributing to research on climate change and its effects in the region.

Sarah Buckland, PhD., whose research on climate change at the University of West Indies, Mona in Jamaica presents how its effects can be seen in agriculture, with special interest in seasonal climate patterns to manage risks during dry seasons, like the 2014-2015 droughts in Jamaica.

Sunshine De Caires, MSc., whose research on environmental science and agriculture in the face of climate change at the University of West Indies, St. Augustine in Trinidad focuses on understanding and predicting the effects climate change has on the soil quality in the Caribbean, while also contributing to sustainable land management, a necessary component in the preservation of precious ecosystems in the region.

L’Oréal Caribe is proud to recognize this first For Women in Science program in our region. This initiative gives Caribbean women in STEM the visibility and resource contributions needed to help them excel in their fields, advance their careers and establish themselves as leaders and role models for the next generation of girls and young women. We are delighted to showcase this inaugural class of FWIS awardees, who will undoubtedly carry on this legacy, complete groundbreaking research and inspire others to impact the world through their game-changing science”, said Gilles Delaunay, General Manager L’Oréal Caribe.

The For Women in Science philanthropic program embodies L'Oréal's fundamental belief in the indispensable connection between science and women. This initiative aspires to cultivate a doctorate, postdoctoral, and early career community of women, empowering them to persist in their research, attain leadership roles, and become inspirational mentors for the generations of women and girls that will follow in their path.

The Young Talents Caribbean Region marked the 53rd national and regional L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science program around the world, covering 24 islands in the region. The peer review and jury deliberation was chaired by members from the Caribbean Academy of Sciences. The candidates are evaluated based on their intellectual merit, research potential, scientific excellence, and their commitment to supporting women and girls in science. 

“Our joint global initiative, the For Women in Science programme, has not only significantly contributed to fostering a more inclusive environment for women in scientific careers, but it has also catalyzed a broader societal transformation among institutions, partners, public authorities, and the scientific and academic community. This has fostered a genuine cultural shift which is so critical to sustainable development.” said Dr. Anna Paolini, Director and Representative, UNESCO Office for the Caribbean.

The need for a Young Talents Caribbean For Women in Science program becomes apparent when we confront the persisting inequalities and the existence of a glass ceiling within the realm of academic research: Only 18% of senior academic positions in science are currently occupied by women, while on a global scale, only 4% of women have been honored with Nobel Prizes in science, emphasizing the stark gender imbalance that continues to prevail within the scientific community.

“On June 27th, 2023, a significant milestone was achieved in our region through the signing of a Tripartite Agreement between L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Programme, represented by UNESCO Office for the Caribbean and L’Oréal Caribe, and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (CAS). This collaborative effort, committed to by CAS, marks a positive step towards sustained support for this well needed programme. The agreement signifies a commitment to the long-term empowerment of women scientists in the region. With the introduction of this competitive grant, we hope that this will not only to encourage the publication of more research but also to spur women scientists to leverage their work for the region's development. The forward-looking vision is for this impactful initiative to endure in our region for many years to come.”, said Professor Raymond Jagessar, President of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences.

For more information about L'Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science, please visit https://www.forwomeninscience.com/challenge/show/75.

About L’Oréal Caribe

L'Oréal is recognized as the world's leading beauty company, holding a wide variety of brands within four main divisions: Consumer Products Division, Professional Products Division, Luxe and Dermatological Beauty. From its offices in Puerto Rico, L’Oréal Caribe overseas operations across 25 Caribbean islands, with the purpose of creating the beauty that moves the world, with a focus on beauty as inclusive, ethical, generous, and committed to social and environmental sustainability. With a broad portfolio of 31 international brands and ambitious sustainability commitments in our L'Oréal for the Future programme, we offer each and every person around the world the very best in terms of quality, efficacy, safety, transparency, and responsibility, while celebrating beauty in its infinite plurality. For more information visit https://www.loreal.com/en/caribe/.


The mission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is to contribute to peacebuilding, poverty eradication, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through its unique expertise in education, science, culture, communication, and information. Gender equality is one of UNESCO's global priorities, while Small Island Developing States are a priority group within the Organization. UNESCO is the only specialized agency of the United Nations with a specific mandate in the sciences, symbolized by the 'S' in its acronym. Through its science-related programmes, UNESCO contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, supporting developing countries build their scientific and technological capacities, and assisting member states in their efforts to develop science policies, and promoting effective public policies that integrate local and indigenous knowledge systems. UNESCO promotes scientific research and expertise in developing countries. The Organization leads several intergovernmental programmes on the sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, biodiversity conservation, and the use of science to address climate change and disaster risk reduction.

About Caribbean Academy of Sciences

Since its establishment in 1988, the Caribbean Academy of Sciences has represented the Caribbean region in international scientific bodies and maintains collaborative agreements with other academies and academic institutions. It is organized into five divisions covering the natural, agricultural, medical, engineering, and social sciences. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental body with the following objectives to: i) provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among scientists on significant issues related to the application of science and technology for development; ii) serve as a source of scientific and technological advice to regional governmental and non-governmental organizations; iii) facilitate cooperation among scientists, promote the execution and coordination of scientific research in all its aspects; iv) establish links with relevant research organizations, assisting in facilitating their mutual interaction; v) recognize and reward outstanding performance and achievements within the region in the fields of science and technology;  vi) undertake and collaborate in the compilation and publication of the results of scientific research; vii) enhance the level of scientific awareness in the region and increase public understanding and appreciation of the importance and potential of science and technology in human progress, and; viii) establish and maintain high standards and ethics in all scientific endeavors.


Daniel Franceschini: [email protected]


Patricia Lewin, UNESCO Office for the Caribbean

[email protected]

Rosa Vargas, Corporate Affairs & Engagement, L’Oréal Caribe

[email protected]

L’Oréal-UNESCO Caribbean Region: [email protected]

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