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L’Oreal has a makeup plan for women
Published on 16 May. 2010 11:42 PM IST
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In a couple of months, Kanchan Bahirat, an M Tech student at IIT-Powai will be heading to the University of Trento in northern Italy for her summer project. It isn’t something that Kanchan, the daughter of a worker in the local municipal market, envisaged when she applied to L’Oreal India’s ‘For Young Women in Science Scholarships’ about six years ago. Kanchan, was one of five recipients of the annual scholarship of Rs 2.5 lakh that made it possible for her to pursue the Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Telecommunications at Terna Engineering College, Navi Mumbai. And then she went on to the prestigious IIT-Powai.
For international cosmetic major, L’Oreal India, these are what they see as their best makeovers—those that go beyond the face and hair to truly empower women. Over the years, L’Oreal’s social initiatives have been linked to three key areas: education, women and science. Dinesh Dayal, COO of L’Oreal India explains that the company’s engagement with science and women is almost inherent to their DNA and a part of company values.
This also explains why the key initiative under their corporate social responsibility banner has been the L’Oreal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ partnership which gives awards of $100,000 to 5 top scientists every year and 15 fellowships of $40,000 each to younger scientists to pursue research in universities outside their home country, stated Economic Times.
Three Indian scientists have received these awards for path breaking research since they were instituted in 1998. At the other end of the spectrum has been the highly localised practice of giving scholarships to girls in Maharashtra for undergraduate studies in science, which began seven years ago.
The company’s latest initiative called ‘Beautiful Beginnings’, which was launched as a part of their centenary celebrations, combines L’Oreal’s key strengths and their vision to make women employable and independent. The company has designed a six month long beauty curriculum, along with the NGO Aide et Action, for girls in the slums who have dropped out of school. In the one-year since the program began, about 200 girls have been trained.
Another signature initiative has been the ‘Hairdressers Against Aids’ module, which is a part of every the training which they administer to approximately 50,000 hairdressers every year.

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