Jakarta, 8 November 2018 – For 15 consecutive years, L’Oreal Indonesia as a science-based company continues to provide concrete support for female scientists. L’Oreal Indonesia realizes that science and scientists play an important role in providing solution for future challenges. Tonight, in addition to awarding 4 female scientists, L’Oréal-UNESCO also celebrated 15 years of L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science National program. The event was attended by Prof. Dr. Arief Rachman, Executive Chairman of the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Culture; and Umesh Phadke, President Director, L’Oréal Indonesia. L’Oréal Indonesia strengthens its commitment to consistently encourage the advancement of female scientists in Indonesia.
Gender equality along with the condition of science and women in Indonesia should be given more attention. According to UNESCO data, although the number of Indonesian female students graduating in science is quite high at 52%, the number of female students at doctoral level is only 35%. Meaning, the number of female students who pursue a career and studies in science is still low. In addition, out of total scientists in Indonesia, the total number of female scientists is only 31%. This number is the lowest among neighboring countries, such as in the Philippines and Thailand, where the number of female scientists is more than 50%.
“Since 2004, we have been committed to supporting the role of female scientists for the lives of mankind through their research. We believe that women who are involved in science are able to change the world. Because the world needs science and science needs women,” said Umesh Phadke, President Director, L’Oréal Indonesia.
“For 15 years we have consistently produced new role models with major contribution in the world of science, not only for today but moreover to provide solutions for future challenges. This is proven by several research results by FWIS alumnae that can already be enjoyed by the public. For example, environmentally friendly plastic packaging by Doctor Noryawati Mulyono, or sorghum rice for consumption of diabetics by Doctor Desta Wirnas. Many of FWIS alumnae now hold prestigious positions in the science world, such as Doctor Ines Atmosukarto who is the President Director of Lipotek at a biotechnology company in Australia; and Professor Doctor Fatma Sri Wahyuni who is Professor of Pharmacy at Andalas University, North Sumatra; to mention a few.”
Through the FWIS slogan, L’Oréal Indonesia and the Indonesia National Commission for UNESCO slowly eradicate public stigma regarding science and female scientists. “Based on UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the number of female scientists is still relatively low, less than one third of the total number of scientists. There still lingers a perception indicating that science is not female friendly,” said Prof. Dr. Arief Rachman, Executive Chairman of the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Culture. ”By having more women playing a role in science, we not only answer the issues of gender inequality, but also ensure that the researches are truly the best and have gone through considerations that may have been put aside before, such as gender, to make the researches be inclusive and beneficial for public at large.”
Not only FWIS, L’Oréal Indonesia also has L’Oréal Sorority in Science program aimed at female students; and L’Oréal Girls in Science, for high school students. These programs have one thing in common, which is choosing interested females, who are still students, or who dedicate their career for science, to develop scientific innovations and contribute to sustainable development and the advancement of the people of Indonesia. Since its beginning, the program have been acknowledged by three ministries, namely the Ministry of Education and Culture; the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection; and the Ministry of Research and Technology. This program has produced 53 female scientists, out of which 5 are recognized internationally.