17th Annual L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards

5 Exceptional Women Honored for Their Ground-Breaking Discoveries in the Physical Sciences

PARIS, March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As the International Year of Light celebrates science and knowledge all over the world, the L’Oreal Foundation and UNESCO will present, on March 18th, the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards to five outstanding women scientists and 15 grants to promising young researchers. Each of these women is a brilliant example of scientific excellence. They prove everyday that women can greatly contribute to scientific progress in a field still largely dominated by men.

Well into the 3rd millennium, much progress remains to be made to reach gender balance in science. Only 30% of the world researchers are women and many barriers and obstacles discourage women from entering or pursuing a career in science. Dedicated to both honoring distinguished women scientists and supporting promising young researchers, the L’Oreal-UNESCO program gives five annual Awards and accelerates the careers of 15 exceptional young women chosen among over 230 Fellowships awarded every year all over the world. Since 1998, the For Women in Science program has honored 2,250 greatly talented women in over 110 countries.

The 17th edition of the L’Oreal-UNESCO Awards 

This year’s L’OrealUNESCO For women in Science Awards Ceremony will be held on the evening of March 18th at the Sorbonne in Paris. On the morning of the 18th, a press conference will be held at the Saint James Albany Hotel in Paris. The 5 Laureates will be announced and the 15 fellows will present their research projects in 3 minutes in a “stand-up” way. Laureates and fellows will then give one-on-one interviews.

A unique exhibition celebrating women in science 

Starting today, millions of passengers going through the terminals of the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will discover a unique exhibition of the 5 Laureates by world-renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe.

By traveling the world to meet each of these women, Brigitte Lacombe has created a series of photographs that capture their inspiring spirit and passion. “Aeroports de Paris has been engaged in supporting women in science since 2005. Each year, we support this cause and offer exceptional visibility to increase public awareness,” said Benjamin Perret, Aeroports de Paris’ communications director.

Female scientists who are changing the world 

This year’s 5 Laureates of the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards are being honored for their ground-breaking discoveries in the physical sciences. By studying the infinitely large to the infinitely small, they have pushed back the frontiers of knowledge to explain the most fundamental questions of the universe and contribute to solving some of today’s greatest challenges. Passionate in life as much as in their work, they are also committed to giving back to their communities and transmitting their love of science.

They were selected in the 5 regions of the world by an independent International Awards Jury made up of 12 prominent international scientists who were personally chosen by the President of the Jury and 1999 Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Ahmed Zewail.

AFRICA AND THE ARAB STATES: Prof. Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli – High Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics 

Professor, Mohammed V- Agdal University, Rabat, MOROCCO  

Prof. Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli is being honored for her key contribution to one of the greatest discoveries in physics: proof of the existence of the Higgs Boson, the particle responsible for the creation of mass in the universe. Nicknamed “research activist”, she dedicates much of her time to raising the level of scientific research in her country and has been instrumental in improving Moroccan healthcare by creating the 1st master’s degree in medical physics.

ASIA / PACIFIC: Prof. Yi Xie – Inorganic Chemistry 

Professor, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei, CHINA  

Prof. Yi Xie is being honored for her significant contributions to creating new nanomaterials with promising applications in the conversion of heat or sunlight into electricity. Her work will greatly contribute to lessening pollution and boosting energy efficiency, and will open promising prospects for the future. Committed to preserving our planet, she has dedicated her life to finding new and intelligent solutions to address the environmental challenge.

EUROPE: Prof. Dame Carol Robinson – Physical Chemistry – Mass Spectrometry  

Professor, University of Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM 

Prof. Dame Carole Robinson is being honored for creating a revolutionary method for studying how proteins function, particularly membrane proteins, and establishing a whole new scientific field: gas phase structural biology. Her pioneering work could have a significant impact on medical research. A risk-taker, Prof. Robinson has always done things her way: she left school at 16, passed her PhD at a school for adult learners and took eight years off to raise her children.

LATIN AMERICA: Prof. Thaisa Storchi Bergmann – Physics and Astronomy  

Professor, Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul, Porto Alegre Brasil  

Prof. Thaisa Storchi Bergmann is being honored for her work leading to the understanding of massive black holes, one of the most enigmatic and complex phenomena of the universe: she was the first researcher to discover that matter could escape from black holes. Passionate and determined, she is convinced that education for all is the key to a better world and, through her work, she hopes to contribute to promoting science as a captivating and fun career path.

NORTH AMERICA: Prof. Molly S. Shoichet – Polymer Chemistry 

Professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, chemistry and biomaterials & biomedical engineering, University of Toronto, Canada 

Prof. Molly S. Shoichet is being honored for the development of new materials to regenerate damaged nerve tissue and for a new method that can deliver drugs directly to the spinal cord and brain. Her work is putting chemistry at the service of medicine in spectacular new ways. A people person, she also participates in special athletic events for people with spinal cord injuries, is actively involved in human rights issues and has contributed to launching a social media campaign designed to “connect today’s research with tomorrow’s reality.”

ABOUT THE L’Oreal FOUNDATION

The L’Oreal Foundation is committed to two main causes, that of Women in Science and Beauty for a Better Life. Based on values of excellence, generosity and creativity, science is at the core of the Foundation’s commitments, most particularly its commitment to supporting women researchers through its For Women in Science program, a worldwide initiative in partnership with UNESCO. As well, rooted in the belief that beauty care is an essential need met by passionate professionals skilled in creating human relationships, the Foundation has launched several programs anchored by a vision of beauty as a path toward a fairer and more generous society. The Foundation is committed to assisting the economically disadvantaged and those suffering from physical and mental ailments in regaining their sense of self-esteem through beauty care and training in beauty care professions. http://www.fondationloreal.com

ABOUT UNESCO

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO has pursued its mission of promoting science at the service of sustainable development and peace. It stresses policies and the reinforcement of capacities in science, technology and innovation, science education, sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, the protection of biodiversity and addressing the issue of climate change. The Organization also has an overarching objective to eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote equality between men and women, especially in scientific research.

ABOUT AEROPORTS DE PARIS

Aeroports de Paris builds, develops and manages airports including Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget. In 2012, Aeroports de Paris handled almost 89 million passengers, 2.3 million tonnes of freight and mail in Paris, and 40 million passengers at airports abroad. Boasting an exceptional geographic location and a major catchment area, Aeroports de Paris Group is pursuing its strategy of adapting and modernising its terminal facilities and upgrading quality of services; the Group also intends to develop its retail and real estate businesses. In 2012, Group revenue stood at EUR2,640 million and net income at EUR341 million.Registered office: 291, boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris, France. A public limited company (Societe Anonyme) with share capital of EUR296,881,806. Registered in the Paris Trade and Company underno. 552 016 628 RCS Paris.

Additional information and visuals are available on:

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PRESS CONTACTS

Agence MATRIOCHKA for the L’Oreal Foundation
Caroline Grangie / +33(0)6-24-49-28-14 / caroline@mtrchk.com 

For the L’Oreal Foundation
Catalina Gonzales Decker / +33(0)6-13-03-11-65 / Catalina.GONZALESDECKER@loreal.com 

For UNESCO
Sue Williams / +33(0)1-45-68-17-06 / s.williams@unesco.org
Agnès Bardon /+33(0)1-45-68-17-67 / a.bardon@unesco.org 

For Aeroports de Paris
Elise Hermant / +33(0)1-43-35-70-70 / elise.hermant@adp.fr

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Triumph Launches “Find the One” Campaign

LONDON, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

After the success of the Stand Up for Fit campaign, Triumph sets out on a mission to help 500,000 women to “Find the One”, the perfectly fitting bra.

Triumph’s “Find the One” campaign is part of our ongoing mission to help as many women as possible to find the perfectly fitting bra. The right bra is completely life-changing: it means no more pinching, no more straps or underwire that dig in – only weightless support, total comfort and a beautifully shaped silhouette. For 129 years, we have been helping women to look and feel their best, so we know that when they feel comfortable and secure in their lingerie, they glow with confidence, look fabulous and feel incredible.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:
http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7456851-triumph-launches-find-the-one-campaign/

Last year’s Stand Up for Fit campaign measured a staggering 380,000 women for the right bra – beating the original target of 100,000. This overwhelmingly positive response pushed us to raise the stakes even higher with our global “Find the One” campaign and aim to fit half a million women with that very special, super comfortable bra, the one that they will share the rest of their lives with.

“Find the One” is endorsed by six influential fashion and lifestyle bloggers and a beauty expert, alongside 44 ladies from different parts of Europe.

These women appear in a global “Find the One” campaign film, directed by the acclaimed Ivana Bobic that engages audiences by playing on the idea of finding the “The One” in love. The movie is edited so that each lady appears to be describing her search for the perfect partner, when it is revealed she is actually talking about the perfect bra.

Appearing in the film are:

  • Sasha Wilkins, founder of libertylondongirl.com
  • Cora Harrington, founder of thelingerieaddict.com
  • Anna-Lea Popp, founder of fashionhippieloves.com
  • Ella Catliff, founder of ella-lapetiteanglaise.com
  • Sali Hughes, founder of salihughesbeauty.com
  • Lindsey Calla, founder of callainmotion.com
  • Valentine Vanesse, founder of helloitsvalentine.fr

The main campaign film will be accompanied by a series of shorts featuring the fashion influencers and beauty experts sharing a range of helpful tips and presenting their favourite Triumph styles.

Eszter Szijarto, Head of Brand Marketing at Triumph, comments: “‘Find the One empowers women to discover the joys of the perfect bra. At Triumph, we care deeply about helping womens confidence to shine through and our aim is to bring this feeling to as many ladies as possible.

We have also developed an accessible, informative and feminine online environment – the “Find the One” Hub – where users can get advice, book a bra fitting, buy the ideal bra and, of course, view the films.

By talking about the enjoyment and pleasure of the bra finding process, the “Find the One” campaign wishes to inspire women to join the mission and share the benefits of finding “The One”.

Find the One bra for you at http://triumph.com/findtheone

#FindTheOne

Spring /Summer 2015
Triumph International
Martina Loehner
T +49-89-5111-8219
martina.loehner@triumph.com
http://www.triumph.com

Exposure
Karin Silverstein
T +44(0)20-7907-7215
karin.silverstein@exposure.net

Video: 
http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7456851-triumph-launches-find-the-one-campaign/

Women’s Tennis Global TV and Digital Audiences Leap 22.5%* to Cement Place as World’s Most Popular Women’s Sport

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Most-watched tournament of the year, BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, attracted 26.9 million viewers 
  • Viewership projected to rise year-on-year as women’s tennis draws new audiences and will offer greater media exposure from 2017 following recent half billion US dollar Perform deal to produce 2,000 televised matches 

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced new global TV and digital audience figures.  The end-of-season report by SMG Insight, reported a staggering year-on-year leap in 2014 viewership, up 22.5% from 2013, for the dedicated broadcast of 22 WTA premier tournaments, emphasizing the ever-growing excitement around women’s tennis.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150219/731209)

The most-watched tournament of the year was BNP Paribas WTA Finals presented by SC Global Singapore, attracting 26.9 million viewers across seven days of tennis. Day 5 of the tournament, which saw both semifinals played, was the most-watched day of the tournament, where the Top 8 singles and Top 8 doubles teams compete for a $6.5 million prize fund, increasing to $7 million in 2015.

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, freshly-crowned Premier Mandatory Tournament of the Year, voted by WTA players, provided the season’s most-watched day of broadcast in 2014. 4.6 million fans accessed the semifinals from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The event also generated the largest growth in audience, a rise of 95.4%, almost doubling from 11.76 million viewers in 2013 to 22.98 million in 2014.

The 2015 BNP Paribas Open (March 9-22) will prove even more popular with the return of 19-time Grand Slam winner and World No.1 Serena Williams to Indian Wells following a 14-year hiatus.

The Miami Open presented by Itau (March 25-April 5), delivered the largest online digital audience of the year; 9% of the season’s total online digital viewers watched coverage of the tournament.

Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO said: “We knew 2014 was going to be good, but it was beyond expectations.  Fans want to get close to the athletes and follow them when they want, where they want, season-long, as they play tournaments around the world.  By continuing to put an inspiring and competitive product on court, day in and day out, we aim to provide a premier, compelling global sport entertainment experience for fans to enjoy. Our goal is to deepen the connection between fans and players by creating greater access to our content, distributing it on TV and digital channels, across mobile, and engage with fans on social media. What was so exciting in 2014 was to see how much fans enjoyed watching and engaging with our game.”

Top 5 tournaments in terms of largest cumulative TV and digital audiences in 2014:

  1. BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global: 26,928,804
  2. Miami Open presented by Itau: 23,065,116
  3. BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells): 22,975,675
  4. Rogers Cup (Toronto): 20,271,499
  5. Mutua Madrid Open: 18,659,536

FDA Approves 3D-Koning Breast CT

— First Ever Cone Beam Breast CT for Diagnostic Imaging of the Breast

ROCHESTER, New York, Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Koning Corporation, a leading developer of advanced medical imaging systems announced today that the FDA has approved their Koning Breast CT (KBCT) system and KBCT-guided biopsy bracket. This approval signals that KBCT has undergone and successfully completed all aspects of FDA’s rigorous Pre- Market Approval (PMA) process for medical devices to include extensive clinical study. KBCT is intended to provide three-dimensional (3D) images for diagnostic imaging of the breast.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150130/172570LOGO

“This FDA approval represents a major step forward for breast imaging and women’s health care,” said Ruola Ning, PhD, Koning’s President and Founder, a pioneer and leading expert in Cone Beam CT Technology and sole inventor of cone beam breast CT technology. “KBCT represents a revolutionary advancement in breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer is a growing worldwide women’s health issue impacting hundreds of thousands of women. We are very proud to now be able to offer our technology to benefit women here in the United States.”

KBCT is the first ever commercially available, 3D breast CT scanner designed specifically to image the entire breast with a single scan without compression of the breast tissue. The system acquires hundreds of images in ten seconds producing ‘true’ 3D images allowing a fast procedure with excellent patient comfort. Optional accessories for KBCT include a biopsy bracket to enable KBCT-guided breast biopsies of suspicious lesions, and a collimator which is used to limit the x-ray beam to the area of interest. The biopsy bracket provides 3D targeting at comparable or lower radiation exposure compared to stereotactic guided biopsy.

In a September 2014 FDA Consumer Health Information “3D Technologies Poised to Change How Doctors Diagnose Cancer” (http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm416312.htm) FDA reported that thanks to the regulatory work being done by a team of scientists at FDA that soon, three-dimensional (3D) images in actual 3D might help your doctor find hidden tumors and better diagnose cancers. The article indicated that: for patients, the (breast CT) procedure is more comfortable than regular mammography because the breast isn’t compressed. Also, there’s less radiation exposure than during a CT exam of the entire chest because only the breast is exposed to X-rays. The (breast CT) images have less distortion than mammography, and the system is optimized to differentiate between the breast’s soft tissue and cancer tissue. These images will be very different from 2D mammograms. They’re truly 3D images of the entire breast from any orientation. You can scroll through the slices (up and down, left and right) and get a unique view of the breast like never before. It gives doctors tremendous freedom in how they look at the interior of the breast and evaluate its structures. It’s almost like seeing the anatomy itself.

Over 680 patient scans on KBCT were conducted at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care (Rochester, New York) and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC-Rochester, New York), with additional collaboration at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (Wooster, Massachusetts) which culminated in a large reader study conducted at the Medical College of South Carolina (MUSC) with Dr. Etta Pisano, a world renowned expert in Breast Imaging, serving as the Principal Investigator. “The results we have seen with 3D-KBCT have been remarkable compared to 2D imaging and there is no compression of the tissue making Breast CT a much more comfortable and painless procedure for women. I believe that 3D-KBCT will likely play a major role for multiple applications in breast imaging,” Dr. Pisano said.

About Koning

Koning Corporation is an International Medical Imaging Company with offices in New York and Tianjin, China (Koning (Tianjin) Medical Equipment Co. LTD), developing and marketing “state of the art” Cone Beam CT Scanners. Development of the KBCT has been supported in part by NIH grant (1R44 CA103236), SBIR Bridge Grant (2R44 CA 103236-05) and Federal Government Grant (W81XWH-09-1-0441). KBCT has been approved for sale in Canada, Australia, and the European Union (CE Mark). Koning anticipates CFDA approval for China soon.

Contact Information
John Neugebauer 
VP Sales and Marketing 
john.n@koningcorporation.com

David Conover
Public Relations and Communications 
david.conover@koningcorporation.com

http://www.koningcorporation.com

Phone: +1-585-214-2459

International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women & Girls

UN and the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) commemorate the International Day for the Elimination Violence against Women and Girls with focus on Ending Family Violence & Making it everyone responsibility

BEIJING, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — As the world marks the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, the UN System in China joins the Government of China in calling for everyone to work together to address the scourge of domestic violence in families.

Domestic violence continues to be a global pandemic, with up to 70 per cent of women experiencing violence in their lifetime. This year the focus will also be on the impact of violence within the family, especially on children, who often bear the brunt of being exposed as well as victims of domestic violence. 

In China, once considered a “family matter”, the issue of domestic violence has received growing attention, especially given increased media reporting on individual cases. Evidence clearly demonstrates that domestic violence can have a devastating impact in the family. Violence against women and girls is rooted in and reproduces power imbalances between women and men in family and society.

Anyone may be a victim of domestic violence, but some groups are more vulnerable including women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly. Collectively, domestic violence and abuse of women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities committed by intimate partners and/or caregivers in the home is defined as family violence. Children who grow up witnessing and experiencing violence can perpetuate this cycle when they become adults.

“Violence within a family has terrible consequences not just for those individuals, but also on the larger community and within society as a whole. Global evidence clearly demonstrates the impact of domestic violence can have major financial, social and emotional costs that can lead to long term damage,” said Alain Noudehou, the UN Resident Coordinator in China . “Yet we know that violence within a family can be prevented. By changing social norms and ending gender discrimination, to empowering families with better coping strategies to manage daily pressures, to making sure we have strong laws and protection mechanisms, we can address it, if all stakeholders are engaged.”

Currently, 125 countries around the world have laws that criminalize various forms of family violence. In China, the Family Violence Law, which has been drafted and awaiting final passage through the National People’s Congress, would provide comprehensive national legislation on family violence.

The UN Inter-Agency Task Force, which was set up in May 2012, has been working with the Government of China on the drafting of the legislation that intends to provide comprehensive protection for all forms of family violence, including all forms of physical, mental, and sexual abuse or neglect within a family. Technical assistance from within the UN and global experts has focused on how to include protection and assistance to survivors, to punish and rehabilitate perpetrators, as well as highlight the different practices countries have adopted to ensure the respect, protection and fulfillment of the rights of survivors of family violence in national court proceedings and the ensuing rehabilitation and integration services. 

The International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women (EVAW) held every year on the 25th November and first adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999, is a day for everyone to work together in a concerted manner to raise awareness, challenge cultural norms that harm women and children, provide support for violence survivors, and advocate for the adoption and implementation of comprehensive laws to protect them.

To commemorate the day, the All China Women’s Federation, (ACWF), in partnership with the UN Inter Agency Task Force against Family Violence, will host a special media event with experts that will seek to highlight the situation in China, and build momentum to prevent it.  

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PPP Launched to Improve Prevention of Women’s Cancers and Quality of Cancer Registries in Latin America and the Caribbean

NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

  • PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Foundation and International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) combine efforts to improve breast and cervical cancer prevention and control.
  • The partnership aims to improve understanding and practices among primary health care providers and patients for breast cancer screening and early detection as well as increase capacity of cancer registries in the region.
  • Three-year joint project is receiving $600,000 funding from IFPMA as well as in-kind contributions such as communications and infrastructure supplies.

The PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Foundation and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) announced today a partnership to jointly build regional capacity to fight woman’s cancers in Latin America and the Caribbean. The three-year collaboration will allow the first phase of a $5M initiative to focus on women’s cancers in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Americas. Breast and cervical cancer are amid the most common cancers affecting women. Approximately 128,000 women died from breast cancer (92,000) and cervical cancer (36,000) in 2012.

The partnership aims to increase awareness of breast and cervical cancer and improve screening and earlier detection services to reduce the numbers of women who prematurely die from these cancers. In addition, the partnership will work with healthcare providers to improve their knowledge about innovative screening strategies.

The second key component of the collaboration is to improve the quality and completeness of cancer registries in selected Latin American countries. Cancer registries are necessary tools for cancer control, as knowledge of a country’s particular cancer situation helps make informed decisions on the targeted interventions to reduce incidence and mortality. Currently only two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Costa Rica and Uruguay) have national high quality population based cancer registries (PBCR).

“Reduction of mortality in women’s cancers lies in the ability to detect them at an early stage. The disparities in women’s access to early detection strategies and early care in the Americas is incredible,” said Dr. Ward-Robinson. “This project will create a framework from which to reduce the mortality of these cancers and improve patient outcomes. PAHO Foundation’s partnership with IFPMA illustrates how, by working together with the private sector, we strive to protect and promote the health of everyone in the Americas”.

“Partnerships are the way forward when dealing with complex challenges such as those posed by NCDs. Working across sectors enables partners to generate health outcomes that are transformational, hence sustainable. We are delighted to join forces with the PAHO Foundation to implement innovative strategies that help alleviate the NCD burden in low- and middle-income countries”, adds Eduardo Pisani, Director General, IFPMA.

ANN INC. Furthers Strategic International Expansion With Entry Into Mexico

–Fashion retailer LOFT opens first of three stores planned for 2014–

NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN) today announced the opening of its first LOFT store in Mexico, continuing the Company’s international expansion.  The store is located in the Antea Lifestyle Center in Queretaro, with additional locations planned for later this year in Mexico City’s Parque Toreo Mall and Puebla’s Angelopolis Mall.  ANN INC. is working with its franchise partner Grupo Axo to establish its retail presence in Mexico.

Kay Krill, ANN INC.’s President and CEO, noted, “Entering Mexico is a natural next step in our international expansion strategy that takes advantage of our brands’ strong recognition and client loyalty throughout North America.  This developing strategy is integral to our efforts to continue to grow our client base and further broaden our geographic reach, following our successful entry into Canada in Fall 2012.  Overall, we are delighted that women in Mexico now have greater access to LOFT’s modern, versatile style, and we look forward to expanding our presence in this market in the future.”

The LOFT stores in Mexico will include women’s apparel and accessories, in addition to an extensive petite collection. The new stores will deliver a personalized shopping experience in a warm and welcoming environment designed to encourage interaction among shoppers and LOFT Associates.  The signature LOFT “style closet”, which leads into the fitting rooms, will contain the must-have pieces for the season and allow for clients to collaborate with Associates in a fun and social setting.

ABOUT LOFT
At LOFT, we connect with women on a genuine level—we’re equal parts trusted stylist, confidante and friend who tells it like it is. We give women fashion advice, outfit ideas for all occasions and inspiration to make their style aspirations attainable. We believe in offering versatile, relatable, and affordable styles, all with a modern feminine appeal, thoughtful details, and flattering fits.  As of August 2, 2014, LOFT operated 544 stores across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, as well as online at LOFT.com. LOFT is a division of ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN).

ABOUT GRUPO AXO:
Grupo Axo was founded in 1994 to represent and distribute internationally renowned brands in the Mexican market. It is a strategic and commercial business partner for the operation of these brands through a retail and wholesale distribution strategy. As of 2014, Grupo Axo operates +2,000 points of sale within the Country’s major department stores and +180 free-standing stores. 

Grupo Axo represents Alejandra Quesada, Brooks Brothers, Brunello Cucinelli, Chaps, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Emporio Armani, Etro, Express, Guess, Kate Spade NY, LOFT, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rapsodia, Theory, Thomas Pink, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria´s Secret Beauty & Accessories.

ABOUT ANN INC.
ANN INC. is the parent Company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women’s specialty retail fashion brands in North America.  As of August 2, 2014, the Company operated 1,040 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.  Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available online in more than 100 countries worldwide at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com.  Visit ANNINC.com for more information (NYSE: ANN).

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The forward-looking statements may use the words “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “project,” “may,” “believe” and similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements also include representations of the expectations or beliefs of the Company concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties, including:

  • the Company’s ability to anticipate and respond to changing client preferences and fashion trends and provide a balanced assortment of merchandise that satisfies client demands in a timely manner;
  • the effectiveness of the Company’s brand awareness and marketing programs, its ability to maintain brand image, engage new and existing clients, drive traffic to its stores and websites and gain market share;
  • the effect of competitive pressures from other retailers;
  • the Company’s reliance on key management and its ability to hire, retain and develop qualified associates as well as ensure that the Company has the appropriate organizational structure and processes in place to achieve its strategic initiatives;
  • the performance and operation of the Company’s websites and the risks associated with Internet sales;
  • the impact of a privacy breach and the resulting effect on the Company’s business and reputation;
  • the Company’s reliance on third-party manufacturers and key vendors, including operational risks such as reduced production capacity, errors in complying with merchandise specifications, insufficient quality control and failure to meet production deadlines;
  • the impact of fluctuations in sourcing costs, in particular, increases in the costs of raw materials, labor and transportation;
  • the Company’s reliance on foreign sources of production and the associated risks of doing business in foreign markets;
  • the Company’s dependence on its Louisville distribution center and third-party distribution and transportation providers;
  • the Company’s ability to successfully upgrade and maintain its information systems in a timely and secure manner to support the needs of the organization and to operate in accordance with its business continuity plan in the event of a disruption;
  • the Company’s ability to successfully optimize implementation of its omni-channel retail strategy and maintain a relevant and reliable omni-channel experience for its clients;
  • the Company’s ability to manage inventory levels and changes in merchandise mix as well as optimize the operational aspects of its omni-channel fulfillment strategy;
  • the Company’s ability to successfully execute brand goals, objectives and new concepts and strategies, including international expansion;
  • the Company’s ability to secure and protect trademarks and other intellectual property rights;
  • a significant change in the regulatory environment applicable to the Company’s business and the Company’s ability to comply with legal and regulatory requirements;
  • the effect of general economic conditions on consumer spending and the Company’s liquidity and capital resources;
  • the impact of fluctuations in sales and profitability on the Company’s stock price;
  • the failure by independent manufacturers to comply with the Company’s social compliance program requirements or applicable laws and regulations;
  • the potential impact of natural disasters, extreme weather, public health concerns, acts of war or terrorism in the United States or worldwide;
  • the Company’s ability to successfully manage store growth and optimize the productivity and profitability of its store portfolio;
  • the Company’s dependence on shopping malls and other retail centers to attract clients and the impact of potential consolidation of commercial and retail landlords on the Company’s ability to negotiate favorable rental terms; and
  • the effect of tax matters on its business operations.

Further description of these risks and uncertainties and other important factors are set forth in the Company’s latest Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to Item 1A – Risk Factors and Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations therein, and in the Company’s other filings with the SEC.  Although these forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectations concerning future events, actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results.  The Company does not assume any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements at any time for any reason. 

Students at Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute Tackle Acquaintance/Date-Rape Crisis with Marketable Solutions

– Mobile-technology prototypes shift focus to bystander students, encouraging intercession

– #InnovateAgainstRape social-media launch invites ideas for products and services

PITTSBURGH, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Amid increasing reports of sexual assaults among college students, the Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is applying its distinctive innovation approach to accelerate marketable solutions to combat acquaintance/date rape. Two novel product prototypes, targeted to the college population and designed by graduate-student teams, employ mobile technology to galvanize bystander intervention and engender shared community responsibility.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7281051-carnegie-mellon-integrated-innovation-institute-students-innovate-against-rape

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140729/130918

The products, coined SPOT (A Problem) and NightOwl, are emblematic of the Institute’s continued mission to sponsor projects with a social purpose. In this case, the Institute ultimately seeks to help reverse what some students, lawmakers and others have deemed a “pervasive rape culture” in America, especially at the university level. Carnegie Mellon has filed provisional patents on both prototypes on the students’ behalf.

Of the roughly 12 million women enrolled in American colleges and universities, an estimated 20 to 25 percent, approximately three million, will experience rape or attempted rape.[1] Intimate partners or acquaintances perpetrate between 80 and 90 percent of such attacks,[2] with the majority committed by men. For myriad reasons that are widely debated, including the role of intoxication, fewer than one in 20 attacks are reported[3] and those that are have proved difficult to prosecute.

“Finding solutions to on-campus sexual assaults is as complicated as the issue itself and education-focused efforts need to be amplified with action-based solutions,” said Institute Co-Director Eric Anderson, an associate professor in the School of Design and associate dean of the College of Fine Arts “Those emerging from among the affected demographic may hold the most promise to engage peers and resolve the situation.”

Institute students addressed the problem of acquaintance/date rape as a market challenge – an unmet need – from a product development perspective, according to Institute Executive in Residence, Donna Sturgess. “They asked, what would be effective with this demographic? What could motivate action in an environment where social challenges may prevent someone from interceding?” said Sturgess, who oversaw the projects and is also president and founding partner of Buyology Inc., and former global head of innovation at GlaxoSmithKline.

Employing the Institute’s hallmark integrated-innovation methodology, graduate-student teams with engineering, design and business backgrounds developed the prototypes as part of their capstone projects underwritten by the Institute. Through extensive research they found: 1) most current solutions put the onus of prevention on potential victims making them susceptible to blame; 2) education efforts aimed at potential perpetrators are slow to spur social change; and 3) while bystanders may be best able to prevent attacks, people are hesitant to intercede, either from fear of consequences, lack of confidence in their assessment of the situation or an assumption that others will act.

Carnegie Mellon’s Interim Provost Nathan Urban calls this a “critical moment” as universities across the country confront this issue. “We are extremely proud to see potential solutions to this nationwide problem developed here at the Integrated Innovation Institute. Products such as NightOwl and SPOT could provide students and administrators with tangible but simple means to collectively reduce sexual misconduct. They represent an important first step toward changing student attitudes and reducing the incidence of rape, on campus and off.”

Generally, university-led efforts to address sexual violence have focused primarily on education programs and working with fraternities, sororities and clubs to curb binge drinking, hazing and other risky behaviors. However, no clear solution has emerged to fully prevent sexual crimes on campus.

“We are taking a long view of finding ways to ‘innovate against rape,’ with other potential solutions to follow,” said Jonathan Cagan, a Co-Director of the Institute, the Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. “Our approach at the Institute offers fresh, cross-collaborative thinking that has led to two viable, action-based tools intended as complements to continuing educational efforts and other solutions underway on college campuses.”

Products designed for a specific demographic
Understanding that the peak rate of victimization occurs in the 16-19 year-old age group, followed by those aged 20-24,[4] the student teams explored solutions that would be comfortable for the demographic – meaning inherently unobtrusive and inconspicuous from a social adoption standpoint – yet be effective as tools for interceding. The resulting prototypes:

  • NightOwl is a social (peer-to-peer) mobile application that provides users with an anonymous way to report dangerous situations at social events. A temporary, location-based messaging platform, it encourages social sharing of music playlists and pictures – features aimed at increasing implementation – while simultaneously promoting shared responsibility to look out for other partygoers’ safety. Users can report potentially harmful behavior in their own words or via preset messages directly to the host or to other attendees – for instance, a friend of a guest who may be at risk – enabling swift and effective action.
  • SPOT (A Problem) combines an integrated mobile application and wristband, and seeks to incentivize fraternities to exercise collective responsibility for keeping events safe. Based on a crowd source feedback system, event guests use the application to send information about aggressive or unsafe behavior in real time to fraternity-designated risk managers who receive messages via an associated wristband that vibrates and emits visual (light) alerts. Incentives for adoption include reduced assaults and improved reputation – both of which are linked to lower fees, dues and insurance costs (an added benefit).

The student inventors envision modifications to make the products useful in other venues, such as bars, concerts and large student group/professional organization events.

To spur public discussion the Institute has also established a dedicated “Innovate Against Rape” website, Facebook page and hashtag for social media (#InnovateAgainstRape) to encourage others to share their ideas for new products and services that could prevent sexual violence. Sturgess said the bold logo for #InnovateAgainstRape, with its toppled letter A, signifies the Institute’s mission to help mitigate the problem of sexual assault.

“No single entity can solve this issue, but the combined efforts and skill sets of nonprofits, businesses, academic institutions, activists, social organizations and others can help end sexual assault by addressing it from all angles,” said Peter Boatwright, a co-director of the Institute, and the Carnegie Bosch Professor of Marketing at the Tepper School of Business. “We look forward to engaging with other concerned groups as the Institute continues to pursue resolutions to this vexing societal problem.”

About The Integrated Innovation Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
The Integrated Innovation Institute, formally launched this year, is a joint initiative of the College of Engineering, the College of Fine Arts and the Tepper School of Business. The Institute is built on primary disciplines in product and service innovation covering functional performance (engineering), human interface (design), and economic value (business). The Institute focuses on education and research in innovation methods and practice and is unique among top educational institutions in that it unites the three disciplines to cross train students to become elite innovators, enhancing the effectiveness of thinking and generating results. The Institute confers professional master degree programs, conducts proprietary applied research, and extends its training through executive education, customized company programs and open-enrollment consortia.

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.

[1] U.S. Department of Justice, “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” 2000.
[2] U.S. Department of Justice, “Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Are Doing About It,” 2005.
[3] U.S. Department of Justice, “The Sexual Victimization of College Women,” 2000.
[4] The Women’s Center, Inc.

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Olivia Goodman/Jennifer Robinson
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Olivia.Goodman@gabbe.com +1-732-277-5625 (cell)
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On the Cusp of Gender Parity – But Leaking Pipeline Means Hong Kong Women Still Under-Represented at Senior Levels

HONG KONG, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Hong Kong is seeing an encouraging improvement in gender parity across the total workforce and at junior and middle levels, but women are still under-represented in senior positions, according to the study ‘Gender Diversity Benchmark for Asia 2014′ (GDBA 2014) released today. The lead sponsor of the report is Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as part of its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Download the media briefing and the launch event photos: http://www.communitybusiness.org/events/2014/GDBA2014/GDBA2014_Launch.htm

The study benchmarks the gender diversity of more than 30 multinational companies in six markets across Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is conducted by Community Business, a leading not-for-profit organisation specialising in corporate responsibility and a thought leader on diversity and inclusion in Asia.

The report reveals that when it comes to the average representation of women in the total workforce and at junior levels, companies in Hong Kong are achieving or exceeding gender parity. The average representation of women in the total workforce in Hong Kong is 50.9%, ranking third in Asia. This compares with 44.3% when the survey was last conducted in 2011. At junior levels the average representation of women is 57.5%, and despite ranking fifth across the region at this level, 83.3% of companies in Hong Kong have 50% or more women at this level. At middle levels too, the average percentage of women continues to be reasonably strong at 45.7%, above the regional average at this level of 39.0%. 

However, women locally continue to face barriers to senior positions with the representation of women in senior management levels at only 29.4%. While higher than the regional average of 24.3%, the biggest leak in the pipeline remains between middle to senior level positions, with an average 35.8% drop in the representation of women between these levels. This puts the city third in Asia, behind Mainland China (35.6%) and Malaysia (34.0%) which rank first and second respectively, but ahead of Singapore in fourth place (23.7%).

Findings show that across the region companies have taken commendable steps to create an enabling environment for women and policies such as flexible working practices are well established in all markets.  This is true in Hong Kong too, although Hong Kong performs below the regional average on a number of the indicators, including maternity leave (87.1 days versus regional average of 101.1 days) and paternity leave (5.0 days versus a regional average of 5.2 days).

The senior executives interviewed and featured in the study generally acknowledged that, based on the findings of this GDBA 2014, the representation of women in senior positions remains low in Asia.  However, for the most part they were optimistic about the future, pointing to the growing recognition of the link between increased gender diversity and enhanced business performance. They highlighted the importance of driving cultural change in organisations from the top, and shared the key role that they are playing — leading by example and proactively engaging men and women on this issue.

Commenting on the findings, Fern Ngai, CEO of Community Business said: “Overall we are pleased to see some signs of real progress in this latest study. Of course, much more needs to be done and performance varies across the region. Here in Hong Kong as in other markets, women continue to be under-represented at senior levels in organisations and we need to continue to address this.  However, overall these gradually improving numbers show that moving the needle and achieving greater gender balance, if not gender parity at all levels, is indeed an achievable goal in Hong Kong.”

“A diverse workforce is fundamental to the success of our business, providing a broader range of experience and perspective from the best talent available” says Bernhard Steiner, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific Chief Risk Officer, who chairs the company’s regional diversity and inclusion council. “This report shows encouraging progress in junior and middle management in Hong Kong and Asia. Ensuring that progress is mirrored in senior leadership roles is not just a women’s issue, but I believe should be a leadership priority. We are proud of the progress made to date within our organisation and this report further reinforces our sustained commitment to promote gender diversity across the region.”

Regional Highlights:

  • Encouraging signs of progress: Comparing performance with the 2009 and 2011 studies, there is a general upward trend in all markets with the most noticeable improvements taking place in Mainland China and Malaysia.
  • Strong representation at junior and middle levels: In all markets except India, the average representation of women at junior levels exceeds 50%, whilst in Mainland China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, it exceeds 40% at middle levels.
  • Gender parity — an achievable goal: A significant number of companies are now achieving gender parity at certain levels in their organisations — showing that this is an increasingly achievable goal. Over half of companies in Mainland China (65.5%) and Malaysia (52.9%) have achieved or exceeded gender parity at middle levels, whilst over a third (35.3%) of companies in Malaysia have done the same at senior levels.
  • Widening gap in performance:  However, the progression is more pronounced in certain markets than others, widening the gap between the best and worst performing countries in the region. Mainland China (35.6%) and Malaysia (34.0%) show the most marked improvement — particularly in terms of the representation of women at senior levels, whilst Japan (11.0%) and India (10.6%) show nominal change and are barely achieving double digit figures at this level.
  • Regional averages remain low: Despite signs of improvement in certain markets, the overall representation of women at middle and senior levels remains low across the six markets. The regional average at middle levels is 39.0% and this falls to just 24.3% at senior levels.
  • Leaking pipeline an on-going challenge in all markets in Asia: Companies continue to experience a significant loss of women from one level to the next. The average rate of decrease across the region is 30.7% from junior to middle levels and 37.8% from middle to senior levels. The leaking pipeline is a particular issue in India from junior to middle levels (-45.9%) and in Japan from middle to senior levels (-61.3%).
  • Demonstrated commitment to creating enabling environments: Companies have taken commendable steps to create an enabling environment for their women. In particular, maternity leave, paternity leave and flexible work arrangements are offered by virtually all companies in all markets, whilst women’s networks, on-ramping support and professional development programmes are also widely embraced by companies.
  • Existence of policies and programmes does not necessarily correlate to strong performance: More companies in Japan and India offer support to working parents and professional development programmes for women than in the other markets — and yet the average representation of women at middle and senior levels in these markets are the lowest. Similarly, companies in Malaysia offer the shortest maternity leave and the least support to women in the form of women’s networks, on-ramping support and professional development – yet Malaysia performs well on all data points.

The research is also funded by Secondary Sponsors Brown-Forman and Google.   

 “We were pleased to have had an opportunity to be a Secondary Sponsor of this Gender Diversity Benchmark for Asia 2014 by Community Business. Women are key to the growth and sustainability for our business as well as the countries in which our business operates. That means many of our mental models related to women in the workplace must not only change but it is essential that men play a role in that process.” said Ralph de Charbert, Chief Diversity Officer at Brown-Forman.

“This report reminds us that, while the past few years have resulted in positive change for the representation of women at all levels, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Equipped with this data, we can better understand the extent of the challenges for gender diversity in Asia, track progress over time, and be a bigger part of the solution.” said Keerthana Mohan, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Google.

The table below shows the average representation of women (%) at different levels — on a regional basis as well as the best and worst performing geographies:

Total Workforce %
& ranking

Junior Levels %
& ranking

Middle Levels %
& ranking

Senior Levels %
& ranking

REGIONAL AVERAGE

47.5%

56.3%

39.0%

24.3%

Mainland China

56.7 (2)

64.9 (1)

49.6 (2)

35.6 (1)

Hong Kong

50.9 (3)

57.5 (5)

45.7 (3)

29.4 (3)

India

26.6 (6)

30.3 (6)

16.4 (6)

10.6 (6)

Japan

42.6 (5)

59.2 (3)

28.4 (5)

11.0 (5)

Malaysia

58.1 (1)

63.0 (2)

50.3 (1)

34.0 (2)

Singapore

48.2 (4)

58.5 (4)

40.6 (4)

23.7 (4)

Dedicated to progressing discussion on gender issues and boarder topics of diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace, Community Business will hold its bi-annual regional Diversity & Inclusion in Asia Conference on 11 & 12 November 2014 in Hong Kong. This Conference, since its debut in 2005, has become the primary forum for discussion on D&I issues as they relate to Asia — with an established reputation for bringing together the most inspirational and informed speakers on the subject and pushing the boundaries of discussion. For the first time, Community Business offers a programme of sessions and activities on Day 1 of the Conference around the gender topics. This Day 1 programme is designed specifically for those looking to leverage the competitive advantage that female talent brings to leadership and organisational success in Asia. For more information, http://programme.communitybusiness.org/diasiaconf2014/.