For Women in Science #ChangeTheNumbers: fight stereotypes against women in science!

The L‘Oréal Foundation organised a Press Conference in Paris on Wednesday the 16th of September, at the Maison de la Chimie, to announce the results of an international opinion study conducted in collaboration with Opinionway, hoping to aid in understanding the causes of disparities affecting women in science and the obstacles they face in their professional careers. David Macdonald, Philanthopy Director for the Science Programs at the L‘Oréal Foundation, took this opportunity to launch the #ChangeTheNumbers campaign which aims to engage public opinion and help change attitudes and stereotypes.

Elizabeth Blackburn, Laureate of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award in 2008 and Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009, spoke passionately about the need for a change:

“Having had to overcome prejudices myself throughout my career, it seems essential to me to participate in this fundamental movement in order to significantly push boundaries.”

Edifying results

The study was conducted with more than 5 000 Europeans in France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy. Three findings are significant:

1 / The stereotypes are still deeply rooted in mentalities

67% of Europeans interviewed think that women don't have the capabilities to access high-level scientific positions.

2 / An underestimated problem

Respondents estimated that women within scientific fields hold 28% of the highest academic functions within the European Union, however the reality is that women hold only 11% of these functions.

3 / A desire to change the situation

Only 3% of scientific Nobel Prizes have been awarded to women since the creation of the Prize in 1901 : 63% of respondents would like to see an increase to 50%.

With its now 17-year commitment to Women in Science, the L'Oréal Foundation is launching #ChangeTheNumbers.

It’s time to change the numbers! This is why the L'Oréal Foundation launched #ChangeTheNumbers, a digital campaign to help change attitudes and stereotypes regarding women in science.

You are invited to discover the results of the survey via an interactive quiz and to spread these messages amongst your community. Discover it now at

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