IMCD Brasil creates opportunities for underserved female students to pursue a future in science

The world gender ratio is nearly even; yet, out of the 6.9 million scientists in the world, only 33% are women. In Brazil, gender inequality in the labour market is further highlighted as it ranks 94 in the 2022 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum.

As a company integral to the global supply chain that helps drive scientific innovations across various industries, education and diversity is a pillar of the IMCD Cares Fund. This corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme finances initiatives that help improve the communities where IMCD operates. Addressing the disparity of women in science and in the workforce, IMCD Brasil developed a partnership with Futuras Cientistas (translated Future Female Scientists). This IMCD Cares initiative fosters the educational development of girls attending their third year of public high school in São Paulo, Brazil, thereby helping them realise a future as scientists or entrepreneurs. 

Creating STEM access to students

IMCD Brasil operates five application laboratories in São Paulo, serving product manufacturers in the following industries of personal care and home care, food and nutrition, coatings, construction and pigments. In the month of January 2023, IMCD chemists and scientists dedicated 32 volunteer hours to provide laboratory experience for the eight students (out of 470 applicants) who earned the opportunity to participate in Futuras Cientistas. This is part of the scientific immersion phase of the four-step programme. 
In addition to the scientific immersion phase, once students complete their college entrance exam preparations, IMCD will also contribute to mentorship opportunities that include the students’ participation in tradeshows, workshops and professional events to help guide them in choosing their university courses.  

“It is truly rewarding to develop opportunities for these students to flourish in experiences that may possibly change their lives,” said Nicolas Kaufmann, Americas President, IMCD. 

“My wish is that the success of this programme will not only nurture their passion for science but inspire them to expand their horizons and use their experiences to create a better world and improve the lives of many others.”  

In Futuras Cientistas’ 12-year history, IMCD is the first corporate organisation to sponsor the programme, creating unique scientific experiences for underserved female students in Brazil.

Enabling a future in science

IMCD Brasil’s final contribution to support the girls in chasing a future in science is awarding an IMCD Cares Scholarship of 153,000 reais (approximately 27,000 Euros) to three of the top students of the programme. The scholarship will fund the students’ four-year university degree to complete courses in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The IMCD Cares Scholarship, mentorship and scientific immersion provide STEM education for girls who would otherwise not be able to attend university.  

“This initiative has merged the worlds of academia, industry and government to collaborate in fostering economic and social development. This triple helix model of innovation is an important contribution to Brazil’s progress in addressing women’s access to science,” concluded Nicolas.  

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