The 2016 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Ceremony

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06 October 2017

On October 25th 2016 we celebrated the announcement of the 2016 Fellows at the prestigious L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science ceremony. We were lucky enough to host the ceremony in our newly renovated L'Oréal Australia head office in Melbourne, overlooking Albert Park lake and the city lights.

We were delighted to have distinguished guests Honourable Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria, The Chair of the UNESCO National Commission, Annmarie O’Keefe and Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins attend. Governor Dessau captivated the guests, talking of her passion for female leaders particularly in STEMM, and her confidence for the future.

Our MC, Mel Doyle engaged the guests with her charm and witty character throughout the evening. Doyle, herself an inspiring public figure, spoke of her own experiences and challenges faced in balancing family and career.

2016 marked 10 years of the For Women in Science Fellowship in Australia & New Zealand, in which Christine Burke, Corporate Communications Director of L'Oréal Australia introduced the past Fellows of the program and discussed L'Oréal’s commitment to the future of women in science. Click here to view the Celebrating 10 years FWIS video.

Doyle, introduced the stars of the event, our four Fellows, Angela, Jenny, Erin and Camilla who spoke of their research and their future work, whilst also answering some of the tricky questions, including a question to Camilla on her opinion of the changes needed to help women remain in science?

To which Camilla addressed the audience We need Universities and research institutions to have policies that take into account career breaks and recognise women scientists for their achievements. We have taken some great steps in the right direction, but we need more re-entry fellowships, proper assessment of research metrics relative to opportunity, and networks of mentors. Policies like those will ensure that we retain all of our brightest minds, regardless of gender.”

The ceremony provided a platform for our Fellows to introduce themselves as leading figures within their scientific fields and discuss the impact of their research. Our guests, including scientific leaders and champions of change were able to celebrate these talented early-career researchers, and acknowledge the need to keep women in science in Australia and New Zealand. Our guests outside of the scientific community got a glimpse into the somewhat mysterious world of science and research. Although the science which explains the Fellows research, which included the chemical interactions between the particles within our atmosphere, and the synthesis of non-organic polymers, was initially overwhelming, all of our guests spoke of their genuine interest, amazement and respect for our Fellows work.

By engaging guests both within and outside of the scientific community we hope to remove the divide which can often exist between scientists and other influencing mediums, including media, industry and key stakeholders. At the For Women in Science ceremony our guests become unified as one community, genuinely invested in rectifying the gender imbalance of women in STEMM, and passionate about scientific research within Australia and New Zealand, but also globally.


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