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ELC and Nature Research Announce Winners of Annual Inspiring & Innovating Science Awards

The 2020 Inspiring & Innovating Science Awards celebrate and support the achievements of leading women in science globally

Samira Asgari and Melina Masnatta, founder of Chicas en Tecnología
Samira Asgari and Melina Masnatta, founder of Chicas en Tecnología

As the world continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) continues to remain committed to fostering the next generation of exceptional female talent in STEM. Now more than ever, the company is proud to continue our partnership with Nature Research for a third year in a row to support gender equity and showcase outstanding work in STEM. ELC and Nature Research’s  two awards celebrate and support the achievements of women in science and of those who work to encourage girls and young women to engage with STEM subjects and who work to support women to stay in STEM careers around the world.

This year, ELC and Nature Research announced the winners for the Inspiring and Innovating Science Awards in a virtual ceremony. The winners were chosen out of a pool of over 240 remarkable applicants, with applicants based in, or with active projects in, over 70 countries. Each honoree will receive a grant of $30,000 to spend on initiatives related to the award and a grant of up to $5,200 for APC funding or event funding to promote their work.

The Inspiring and Innovating Science Award in the Scientific Achievement category was presented to Samira Asgari, a computational biologist whose research strives to understand how human history shapes global genetic diversity and how this genetic diversity translates to phenotypic diversity. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, where her work focuses on statistical and population genetics to investigate how admixture information can be leveraged to learn about a populations’ history and to identify new genotype-phenotype relationships.

The Award in the Science Outreach category was presented to Chicas en Tecnología. Since 2015, Chicas en Tecnología has sought to reduce the gender gap in the technological entrepreneurial environment by motivating, training and mentoring young women and the next generation of leaders in technology. In an era where technology is transforming the way we live and interact, Chicas en Tecnología believes that women’s voices and perspectives must be included.

Each year, award nominees receive access to an exclusive mentoring and networking community site, and this year, Sara Moss, Vice Chairman and Lisa Napolione, Senior Vice President, Global Research and Development proudly represented ELC on the mentoring site. Although her career has been in the legal field, Sara Moss shared lessons on how to succeed as a minority in traditionally male-dominated fields, “Grit is not about just doing it – it is about persevering with passion and loving what you do. To succeed in the long run, you must also be resilient. You will be knocked down, but when you get back up and learn from those experiences, you will come out stronger than ever.”

In an interview with Nature Research posted to the mentoring site, Lisa Napolione spoke about the importance of guiding mentees through the breadth of opportunities available to them. “I think the key to empowering others is to really listen. Listening allows mentors to truly understand what the mentee’s needs are and where they are coming from. As a mentor, one will never have all the answers… What I find is you learn just as much from your mentees as they do from you. It really goes both ways.”

ELC’s partnership with Nature Research to showcase leading women in STEM continues to exemplify the company’s shared value of inclusivity and ongoing commitment to mentoring women at every stage in their careers. While ELC celebrates this year’s astounding award winners and nominees, the company also continues to celebrate the 1,900 scientists, engineers and technical professionals that are a part of our global R&D workforce at ELC, and recognizes that it is this diverse talent – 60% of which are women – that drives innovation at The Estee Lauder Companies.

Learn more about this year’s award winners and ELC’s partnership with Nature Research.

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