L’Oréal Caribe, UNESCO seek to recognise C’bean female researchers Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

For the second year in a row, L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science (FWIS) will celebrate its Young Talents Caribbean Region programme, which aims to promote the participation of and recognise women in science in the Caribbean.

This regional FWIS programme stems from a partnership between L’Oréal Caribe, the UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, with the support of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences and AAAS Caribbean Division.

It seeks to connect the dots between Caribbean development challenges, scientific research, and female empowerment by recognizing and honoring two young scientists with an endowment of US$10,000 to further develop their scientific endeavours. Applications are open until May 27to secure one of the coveted spots as one of the next two esteemed women recipients of this prestigious award.

The inaugural FWIS programme received over 30 highly compelling applications, awarding two remarkable researchers from Trinidad and Jamaica, specialising 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, MPhil., 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 continue the For Women in Science programme in the region. This initiative gives Caribbean women in STEM the visibility and resources needed to help them continue to excel in their fields, advance their careers and establish themselves as leaders and role models for the next generation of girls and young women”, said Gilles Delaunay, General Manager L’Oréal Caribe.

The Young Talents Caribbean Region L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme serves to recognise and reward exceptional young female researchers across various scientific disciplines, including life and environmental sciences, material sciences, mathematics, computer and information sciences, engineering sciences, and technology. This second edition will also present two endowments, in the fall of 2024, to the selected talented researchers currently in doctoral, post-doctoral studies or in early stage of their scientific research career.

The Jury of this L’Oréal-UNESCO Young Talents Caribbean for Women in Science me will be constituted by leading members of the Caribbean academia. 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 program, has not only significantly contributed to fostering a more inclusive environment for women in scientific careers, but it is also promoting a gender responsive cultural shift, which is so critical to sustainable development and women empowerment.” said Dr Anna Paolini, Director and Representative, UNESCO Office for the Caribbean.

The need for a Young Talents Caribbean For Women in Science programme becomes apparent when we confront the persisting inequalities and the existence of a glass ceiling within the realm of academic research: Only 18 per cent of senior academic positions in science are currently occupied by women, while on a global scale, only four per cent of women have been honored with Nobel Prizes in science, emphasizing the stark gender imbalance that continues to prevail within the scientific community. Since 1998, the For Women in Science programs around the world have upheld the conviction that the world needs science, and science needs women in the pursuit of gender equality in STEM.

“Last year marked a significant milestone in our region with this competitive grant. We hope that this will not only encourage the publication of more research but also embolden women scientists to leverage their work for the region’s development. The forward-looking vision is for this initiative to endure in our region for many years to come.”, said Professor Mark Wuddivira, President of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences.

For more information about L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science, please visithttps://www.forwomeninscience.com/challenge/show/102.