Five exceptional women honored for their ground-breaking discoveries in the physical sciences.

As the International Year of Light celebrates science and knowledge all over the world, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO will present, on March 18th, theL’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards to five outstanding women scientists and 15 grants to promising young researchers. Each of these women is a brilliant example of scientific excellence. They prove everyday that women can greatly contribute to scientific progress in a field still largely dominated by men.

Well into the 3rd millennium, much progress remains to be made to reach gender balance in science. Only 30% of the world researchers are women and many barriers and obstacles discourage women from entering or pursuing a career in science. Dedicated to both honoring distinguished women scientists and supporting promising young researchers, the L’Oréal-UNESCO program gives five annual Awards and accelerates the careers of 15 exceptional young women chosen among over 230 Fellowships awarded every year all over the world.  Since 1998, the For Women in Science program has honored 2,250 greatly talented women in over 110 countries.
The 17th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards
This year's L’Oréal-UNESCO For women in Science Awards Ceremony will be held on the evening of March 18th at the Sorbonne in Paris. On the morning of the 18th, a press conference will be held at the Saint James Albany Hotel in Paris. The 5 Laureates will be announced and the 15 fellows will present their research projects in 3 minutes in a “stand-up” way.  Laureates and fellows will then give one-on-one interviews.
A unique exhibition celebrating women in science
Starting today, millions of passengers going through the terminals of the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will discover a unique exhibition of the 5 Laureates by world-renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe.
By traveling the world to meet each of these women, Brigitte Lacombe has created a series of photographs that capture their inspiring spirit and passion. "Aéroports de Paris has been engaged in supporting women in science since 2005. Each year, we support this cause and offer exceptional visibility to increase public awareness", said Benjamin Perret, Aéroports de Paris' communications director.
Female scientists who are changing the world
This year’s 5 Laureates of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awardsare being honored for their ground-breaking discoveries in the physical sciences. By studying the infinitely large to the infinitely small, they have pushed back the frontiers of knowledge to explain the most fundamental questions of the universe and contribute to solving some of today’s greatest challenges. Passionate in life as much as in their work, they are also committed to giving back to their communities and transmitting their love of science.
They were selected in the 5 regions of the world by an independent International Awards Jury made up of 12 prominent international scientists who were personally chosen by the President of the Jury and 1999 Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Ahmed Zewail.