Henkel has launched the “Martha Schwarzkopf Award for Women in Science”, a new research award to support and recognize outstanding female scientists in the field of hair research. The three winners have now been selected. In addition to winning a prize money, they can benefit from mentoring opportunities such as an exchange with scientists or receive professional support from Henkel to advance their scientific work.
“Gender equality is of great importance to us at Henkel and it is a key element of our holistic diversity strategy. We have recently announced our ambitious goal of gender parity across all management levels at Henkel. Unfortunately, women are also still underrepresented in the field of research and science. With the Martha Schwarzkopf Award, we are therefore committed to promoting talented women in science and supporting them in their research projects,” says Sylvie Nicol, Chief Human Resources Officer at Henkel.
The Martha Schwarzkopf Award is a research award for which European female scientists with a project in hair research or related areas could apply to receive a prize money of 10,000 euros, as well as mentoring support in recognition of their scientific achievements and expertise. The applications were evaluated by an expert jury of female scientists with doctorates in hair research working at Henkel Beauty Care. The winners were now announced at the award ceremony at the Henkel site in Hamburg, Germany. “We are very pleased with the number of compelling and highly qualified applications we have received. For this reason, we decided within the expert jury to award not just one, but three female researchers and also to honor the second and third place with a prize money,” says Andrea Sättler, Corporate Director R&D at Henkel Beauty Care and Chairwoman of the expert jury of the Martha Schwarzkopf Award.
About the winners
The three winners were able to convince the jury with their pioneering spirit and innovative potential, as well as with the relevance of their research projects, and thus prevailed over the other applicants. “The winners’ diverse backgrounds, experiences and areas of research show just how diverse the field of hair research and the applications are. Yet they have one thing in common: their passion and outstanding talent for research,” adds Sättler.
The first place was awarded to Prof. Dr. hab. med. Lidia Rudnicka. She is the Chairwoman of the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland and has contributed to hair research and hair and scalp diseases for more than 30 years. “I am honored and very happy to receive the Martha Schwarzkopf Award for Women in Science. It is an exceptional feeling for me to be recognized for my work of many years. I’d like to use the prize money of 10,000 euros to further develop my YouTube channel #NotJustHairDiseases to educate people about hair diseases,” says Rudnicka.
The prize money of 5,000 euros for second place goes to Dr. rer. nat. Marta Bertolini, Chief Scientific Officer and Deputy Managing Director of Skin & Hair Research Solutions GmbH in Münster. She is a researcher with a particular interest in the metabolism of the hair follicle and the associated changes, especially affecting people with hair loss. Third place goes to dermatologist Andria Constantinou, who is currently pursuing her doctorate at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The practicing dermatologist has proposed a research project to use artificial intelligence to analyze the changes in the microbiome, the natural microorganisms in and around the hair follicle, in the context of hair inflammation. She receives a prize money of 1,000 euros as well as professional support from Henkel in the further development of her project.