Black women have historically been underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. P&G brands Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders and Gold Series from Pantene are determined to help change that by supporting the growth and development of future Black female STEM-focused innovators through a new initiative. Together with CVS this fall, P&G will award $200,000 in scholarships to Black women pursuing a degree in STEM subjects at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and UNCF member schools, facilitated through long-time higher education partner UNCF (United Negro College Fund).
The Rooted in Science scholarships will be administered by UNCF, an organization dedicated to helping as many talented, deserving Black men and women as possible get to and through college successfully. To apply for a scholarship, please visit https://uncf.org/scholarships. Applications will be open from November 15, 2020 through January 4, 2021, and recipients will be announced on January 28, 2021. There will be 16 scholarship recipients who will be awarded $5,000 a year for up to two years. Scholarship funds are intended to help college juniors and seniors with expenses associated with the pursuit of their degrees as 45.9% of Black students enrolled in four-year public institutions complete their degrees in six years. This is partially because 65% of Black college students are independent, which means they must balance obtaining a degree with full-time work, family responsibilities and more.
“Providing these resources to young, Black women studying STEM is deeply important to P&G as we hope to help further diversify the field and pave the way for future generations,” said Lela Coffey, Vice President P&G Multicultural Hair Care. “STEM and diversity are at the core of our brands and ensuring representation of Black women in these roles is essential for developing future innovations in beauty and personal care products that continue to support and reflect the needs of modern Black women.”
Both P&G brands are #RootedinScience. Gold Series from Pantene was formulated by Black scientists, Ph.D.s, dermatologists and stylists, and provides superior moisture benefits. Through decades of cutting-edge innovation and technology, plus on-going research of textured hair, Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders was tested on African-ancestry hair for scalp and hair health.
Black men and women make up 11% of the U.S. workforce, but only hold 9% of the jobs in STEM. Even though our nation’s 100-plus HBCUs make up just 3% of colleges and universities, they produce 27% of Black students with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields.
“During our 75 years of working together, P&G has been a very reliable partner for UNCF,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “With the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the United States and hitting communities of color particularly hard, we need as many students studying STEM fields as possible, as those careers are likely to be the bulk of our future pandemic frontliners—our future doctors, nurses, teachers and technologists. This new scholarship program helps fill a growing gap that HBCU students and other Black students have often fallen behind in due to a lack of funds. Thank you, P&G, for helping to open more doors to better futures for us all.”