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L’Oréal USA Launches Empowering Site: For Girls In Science

What do 1940’s film star Hedy Lamarr (left) and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (right) have in common?
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Both are legends in technology!
Technology touches every part of modern life and these women have influenced everything from web 2.0 to military communications. We pick up this gem and so much more from the recently launched www.forgirlsinscience.org, a website designed to inspire and empower girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M).  Featuring everything from videos of women scientists on the job, a career personality quiz, facts on famous women in S.T.E.M., career opportunities in S.T.E.M. fields to summer and weekend camps, and much more -- the website serves up science, technology, engineering and math in a way that is engaging, interactive and, yes, cool.
10Carouselecard“At L’Oréal USA, we are all about science,” said Rebecca Caruso, EVP, Corporate Communications and External Affairs. “Ours is a company that is heavily committed to science.  It’s part of our DNA and, we know that it can turn the impossible into the possible a dream into reality, and reinvent the future.  We also know the depressing statistics about women in science and have been working to change them, first through our For Women In Science program and now through For Girls In Science. We are on the cusp of making science come alive for young girls in a compelling and relevant way.”

10Image2www.forgirlsinscience.org was developed following a series of focus groups with girls ages 13-18, exploring their perceptions about S.T.E.M.  The focus groups validated that many young girls are passionate about science, technology; engineering and math but often fall off the path to pursuing careers in S.T.E.M. because they don’t see role models they can relate to or experience science in ways that are compelling to them.  The goal of the For Girls In Science website is to foster a much-needed community for young girls to see scientists that they want to emulate, to learn about careers that may interest them, to help them explore and connect with others with similar interests in science, technology, engineering and math. L’Oréal USA also wanted to create a website where budding scientists can learn about S.T.E.M. in a fun and interactive way.  It is a place where girls can be inspired by amazing women who have dreamed, created and invented before them.

Throughout L’Oréal’s 100-plus year history, science and research have been integral parts of the company.  For the past fourteen years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has been recognizing accomplished women scientists around the globe.  In 2003, L’Oréal USA launched the L’Oréal USA Fellowships For Women In Science program.  Entering its 10th year, L’Oréal USA annually recognizes and rewards five U.S.-based women researchers with Fellowships to be put towards their postdoctoral research.  Looking to the future, L’Oréal USA wanted to build upon that program by reaching and encouraging the next generation of young girls.  Thus, the For Girls In Science website www.forgirlsinscience.org was born
BONUS:
Get to know some amazing technology mavens!
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Hedy Lamarr (November 9, 1913 – January 19, 2000)
Although actress Hedy Lamarr was called “the most beautiful woman in film,” this meant little to her. “Any girl can be glamorous,” said the star. “All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”

Instead of standing still, Lamarr busied herself with the creation of a wartime communications system. Her invention laid the groundwork for today’s cellular telephone technology.
Born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler in Vienna, Austria, Lamarr was a model for Maybelline and co-starred with film legends including Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. In the summer of 1940, at the peak of her movie career, Lamarr had a conversation with composer George Anthiel, a neighbor. What began as chitchat became an idea for a radio-controlled torpedo, a useful invention considering World War II was underway.
Lamarr had learned about weapons from her first husband, a military aircraft manufacturer. After fine-tuning their idea, Lamarr and Anthiel patented their “Secret Communication System” in 1942.
The U.S. Navy passed on their invention citing its large size. But in 1957, engineers at the Sylvania Electronic Systems Division studied it and created a similar tool. The Sylvania system was used successfully in a 1962 U.S. naval blockade against Cuba. Unfortunately for Lamarr, her patent had expired three years earlier. However, modern inventors consider her invention to be the foundation of frequency-changing devices, including the one that the U.S. government uses in its Milstar defense communication satellite system. It is also the basis for many of the technologies we use daily, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
While Lamarr’s life as an inventor was significantly shorter than her time as an actress, this beautiful woman proved that glamour and beauty can definitely be smart and exceptional.
 
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Sheryl Sandberg (b. August 28, 1969)
Anyone who has seen The Social Network, which chronicles the early days of Facebook, is familiar with the ‘boys club’ attitude that shaped much of the company’s early days. So it may be surprising that today founder Mark Zuckerberg’s number two person is a married mother of two.
Sandberg, who joined the company in 2008, is responsible for managing Facebook’s sales, marketing, business development, human resources and communications. Yet her biggest professional challenge requires all of the skills that she learned in her previous job as Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google—as well as a lot of creativity: Sandberg is responsible for finding a way to make a profit off of the personal likes, dislikes and other information available to Facebook from its 750 million users—without making these people, who represent 11% of the world’s population, feel as if their privacy has been invaded.
Clearly she has figured out a way to do this, as the social networking site continues to get more users and become more profitable. Her success has been recognized and since 2008 she has been ranked as one of the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune magazine. And in 2012, she became the first woman to sit on Facebook’s board of directors.
Sandberg, who graduated from Harvard in 1991 with a B.A. in economics and 1995 with an M.B.A., lives in Atherton, California. In 2011, when speaking to the graduating class of Barnard College, she shared a major secret of her success: “The one thing I’ve learned working with great entrepreneurs—Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Google—that if you want to make a difference, you better think big and dream big, right from day one,” she said, adding, “…Fortune does favor the bold, and I promise that you will never know what you’re capable of unless you try.”
 
For more information on the L’Oréal USA For Girls In Science program, visit: http://www.forgirlsinscience.org/, visit us on Facebook/forgirlsinscience, or on Twitter @ForGirlsinSci.