The L’Oréal Foundation stands with women

The L’Oréal Foundation is committed to helping women achieve their full potential and have a positive impact on society by offering support in three areas: scientific research, inclusive beauty and climate action.

Women & Climate: the newest focus of the L’Oréal Foundation

Since 2007, the L’Oréal Foundation has supported women in the fields of scientific research and inclusive beauty. It has now added a third focus: achieving better recognition of women’s rights in the fight against climate change, with two strategic, complementary new partnerships unveiled to mark Gender Day at COP26.

The first initiative, She Grows the Future, in partnership with CARE France, aims to boost women farmers’ resiliency in the face of climate change. In all, over the course of three years, 5,500 women will benefit from projects launched in Madagascar, Ecuador, India and Vietnam—all countries where gender inequality is exacerbated by extreme climate events such as typhoons, flooding and severe drought.

The second initiative sees the Foundation working alongside C40 Cities as part of the Women4Climate programme, launched in 2017 to help women emerge as climate action leaders. The Group has backed this mentorship programme for some time by putting environmentally conscious women executives in touch with emerging women leaders at different stages in the development of their climate solutions. In 2021, under the aegis of the L’Oréal Foundation, the partnership was renewed and expanded to provide support for more than 600 women by 2023.   

For Women in Science launches first festival and a community platform

The L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme recognises women scientists whose important research advances science and helps to improve the world of tomorrow. Since 1998, 122 laureates and more than 3,800 talented young women scientists at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels have received support in over 110 countries.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the L’Oréal Foundation from organising an awards ceremony in 2021, an all-new event was launched instead: the For Women in Science Festival. The Covid-19 public health crisis and pandemic lockdowns exacerbated gender inequality in the scientific world. Women scientists were made invisible in decision-making processes and the media, despite the fact that they played crucial roles in enhancing our knowledge of the virus, treating patients and developing vaccines. An entire day of interviews, roundtables and conferences showcased women’s extraordinary contributions to science, particularly in the tech revolution and health—both crucial issues in the current climate. The discussions also addressed the glass ceiling women scientists still encounter and ways they can overcome systemic prejudice and inequality.

In addition, the L’Oréal Foundation launched an international networking platform in 2021 to bring together all of the programme's beneficiaries in the 116 countries where it operates to create a powerful network of women scientists and promote woman-to-woman mentoring. The platform also provides access to leadership training to accelerate their careers.  

Supporting highly vulnerable women with inclusive beauty

As part of its Beauty for a Better Life programme, the L’Oréal Foundation supports charities that provide free beauty therapy treatments and hairdressing services for women in need. In France, the L’Oréal Foundation helped over 21,000 vulnerable people in 2021. These special moments—which combine beauty treatments, well-being, advice, a listening ear and an opportunity to escape everyday problems for a while—help beneficiaries to reconnect with their bodies.

In 2021, the Foundation decided to invite these women to share their stories in the second season of its Inclusive Beauty podcast: “Se Retrouver”. The episodes explore the lives of women who faced setbacks due to illness, financial hardship or violence, but restored their self-confidence with the help of these organisations and the beauty treatments they provide. In their own voices, the women, who have overcome many challenges, explain how the difficulties they encountered impacted their body image and self-confidence and explain how they managed to change their views for the better and get back to feeling themselves.

Since 2009, L’Oréal has also run an international beauty training programme to help vulnerable people access jobs or business ownership. 5,991 people benefited from training in 2021, taking the total to more than 20,600 people since the programme first launched.