L'Oréal endowed its Corporate Foundation in 2007 as part of its ambitious, long-term commitment to social responsibility. Its mission is to form even closer ties with the surrounding communities and to share the company’s success with them. In May 2012, the Foundation secured a new mandate and decided to concentrate its philanthropic initiatives on the two pillars on which L’Oréal has built its success for over a century: science and beauty.
Supporting women in science
At L’Oréal – a company founded by a chemist – scientific knowledge is seen as a driving force for progress that fosters excellence, generosity and creativity. To promote these values, the Foundation supports initiatives that make science accessible to all by sharing its magic and encouraging interest. For example, since 1998, the Foundation has partnered with UNESCO on the For Women in Science programme, which supports women worldwide, enabling them to participate fully in scientific research and tackle the key challenges facing our planet. The scheme includes 108 countries to date, and in its 14 years of existence has recognized 72 experienced women researchers and awarded fellowships to 1,430 doctoral candidates and young graduates. If further evidence were needed of L’Oréal’s commitment to this cause, in 2012, the company stepped up its support for young women scientists in France: each year 25 (compared with 10 in previous years) will now receive a grant of 15,000 euros.
Beauty: strengthening social ties
L’Oréal also focuses its philanthropic initiatives on beauty, convinced that it can drastically improve the lives of vulnerable individuals by restoring their self-confidence and rebuilding social ties. In Africa and Asia, for instance, the Foundation is funding reconstructive surgery, while in France it is developing an aesthetic therapy programme to help fragilized adults, teenagers and children feel good about their appearance. The L’Oréal Foundation is also harnessing the Group’s vast network of partner hairdressers and providing them with resources to back major causes such as HIV prevention and social inclusion. Finally, with Beauty for a Better Life, L’Oréal’s new international education programme on the beauty professions, the company is demonstrating that beauty also has the power of opening the way for people to a better future.