Education

The role of the Cosmetic Industry in promoting or encouraging women in STEM

No doubt, women are the biggest target audience of the beauty and cosmetic industries. Most products designed and created by these industries serve to make women feel a lot more beautiful, confident and empowered. As a great asset and tool that beauty is, I believe that women should be directly involved, not just as recipients of these products but also as part of the researchers, developers and eventual producers of said cosmetic or beauty products.

At a time, it was unheard of women to be interested in anything else other than looking beautiful to attract a man’s attention, getting married, having children and keeping a home. Today, however, we have lots of women studying and working in various sectors of the economy. Although we have lots of women in the workforce, there are still a good number of people who believe that areas like STEM and various R&D are for men.

Today, we have lots of women slaying the playing ground of STEM and crushing stereotypes. The beauty and cosmetic industries are doing great to recognize and empower women who have shown exceptional promise and done excellently well in that regard. Companies like The Estée Lauder Companies, a Beauty and Cosmetic giant founded by a woman, launched two global awards on April 8, 2018, to put a spotlight on both exceptional achievements of female scientists and those working to promote greater inclusiveness. Their Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Science and for Innovating Science are designed to recognize inspirational early-career female researchers and those who have worked to champion women and girls’ interest and participation in STEM for girls and women around the globe.

Since its creation 21 years ago, the Foundation L’Oréal, alongside UNESCO, has devoutly committed to increasing the number of women in scientific research. By awarding prizes and fellowships in international, regional and national ceremonies, the Fondation L’Oréal recognizes and supports the career of brilliant women scientists.

On November 1, 2018, L’Oréal Paris announced the 2018 Women of Worth Honorees, recognizing 10 extraordinary women across the United States who are selflessly making a difference in their communities through volunteerism. Women of Worth is the signature philanthropic program inspired by the L’Oréal Paris tagline, “Because You’re Worth It,” and honours the intrinsic worth of everyday women inspiring others and creating positive change.

Each with their own inspiring journey, the Women of Worth are united by a singular vision of giving back to their communities to champion a range of charitable causes. From advocating youth literacy programs, empowering women victims of cyberbullying, to providing sustainable food solutions, these women are finding unique and innovative ways to tackle some of society’s most pressing issues for the greater good.

It is quite a relief to know that the Cosmetic industries have taken it as part of their cooperate responsibilities to help inspire and empower women and young girls who have chosen to be involved in STEM in whatever capacity they can. It helps to foster gender inclusiveness, encourage women in STEM and show younger generations that women are not just at the receiving end of beauty products but they also help in the research, development and eventual production stage.

As part of what I am strongly passionate about, I really wish that our indigenous or Nigerian beauty industries would step up their game in their support for women in STEM and beauty/cosmetics Research and development. I believe that they should, however little they can, identify with and applaud women who excel in these male-dominated fields. They should also sponsor programs or be a part of movements that seek to encourage our young girls to delve into these areas of interest. I believe that they could include this as part of their cooperate responsibility and make it one of their passions. This would go a long way in empowering young girls who love STEM in our society.

Adewuyi Roseline is passionate about the girl child. Growing up, she had a lot of questions about her identity. She is on the journey to ensure that young girls rise above limitations, smash stereotypes in their communities.

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