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Firmenich Charitable Foundation establishes scholarship with New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Social Justice Center

The foundation seeks to accelerate career potential for underrepresented individuals in the fragrance industry

New York, NY, November 16th, 2022 -

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, is the first fragrance house to partner with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), on the establishment of a scholarship created for BIPOC  students.  The Firmenich Foundation Diversity Scholarship at FIT aims to promote equal representation within the college’s undergraduate Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing (CFM) program and includes an internship and professional mentorship. The scholarship also provides tuition assistance for a graduate student in the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management master’s program. 


Matthew Furner, President, The Firmenich Charitable Foundation, said: “Firmenich is a proud leader with EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) certification, and has long prioritized an inclusive culture through diversity in its workforce, an absence of gender wage gaps as well as equitable recruitment, training, and mentorship programs. Building on this ethos, we’re thrilled to offer our first ever Firmenich Foundation Diversity Scholarship with FIT, which has been a leader in nurturing diverse talent while maximizing their professional potential. Together, we aim to set a high standard of excellence, encouraging the beauty and fashion community to reflect the perspectives and aspirations of our consumers.”


With this commitment, Firmenich hopes to alleviate obstacles and help accelerate racially and ethnically diverse talent advancement from the classroom to executive level. Robin Mason, President North America for Fine Fragrance, said: “As a proud alumnus of the FIT Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing bachelor’s degree program, I’m humbled to play a part in creating opportunity for the next generation of fragrance leaders. By prioritizing representation in our industry through academia, we help foster a crucial educational environment, otherwise seen as inaccessible. At Firmenich, we hope these efforts will champion ambitious students, helping them to thrive and surpass their personal benchmarks, setting the foundation for a successful trajectory ahead.”


"We are deeply grateful for Firmenich's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by establishing scholarship support for students of the Cosmetics and Fragrance bachelor’s and master’s programs at FIT,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT. "This generous gift from Firmenich will transform the lives of deserving students through extraordinary educational and career opportunities, while helping to ensure that the fragrance industry represents and champions diversity in all its forms."


Jerry Vittoria, Firmenich President of Fine Fragrance Worldwide and The Fragrance Foundation Chairman, said: “The Fragrance Foundation also supports a scholarship at FIT and I’m elated to work with two fragrance industry leaders which are taking steps to pave the path for a new generation of diverse and talented industry experts through FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Programs.”


In addition to a passion for the fragrance industry, scholarship applicants must meet certain academic criteria and present letters of recommendation to show their dedication to the cosmetic and fragrance marketing field of study. Alyssa Burch, a senior in the FIT program, was recently named the 2022 recipient. “As the beauty industry constantly changes, there is one thing that remains true: no matter your background, creativity thrives when everyone brings their diverse ideas to the table,” said Burch.


Established in 2010, the Firmenich Charitable Foundation was created to support the company’s philanthropic work. A separate legal entity from the business group, the Foundation is grounded in its responsible business culture and driven by a long Firmenich family tradition of giving within the communities Firmenich operates in. Today the Foundation is aligned with the Group’s ESG ambitions, placing a clear focus on supporting people, planet, and local communities. Learn more about The Firmenich Foundation here:


Andrea Duarte
+1 917.687.5352

About Firmenich 

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, and has been family-owned for 127 years. Firmenich is a leading business-to-business company specialized in the research, creation, manufacture and sale of perfumes, flavors, and ingredients. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, Firmenich offers its customers superior innovation in formulation, a broad and high-quality palette of ingredients, and proprietary technologies including biotechnology, encapsulation, olfactory science, and taste modulation. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 4.7 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2022. More information about Firmenich is available at



About FIT

A part of the State University of New York, FIT has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology throughout its history. Providing almost 9,000 students with an uncommon blend of hands-on, practical experience, theory, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, the college offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation and collaboration. Its distinctive curriculum is geared to today’s rapidly growing creative economy, including fields such as computer animation, toy design, production management, film and media, and cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers nearly 50 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the new creative economy. Further information about the Social Justice Center at FIT is available at