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Promoting Gender Equality at NAIST
Working to create an environment in which female researchers can thrive
The important challenge we face is to rise as a “nation of science and technology” with increased international competitiveness to ensure the happiness of the people in a safe and secure society that strikes a balance between protection of the global environment and sustainable economic development. In keeping with our Basic Plan for Science and Technology, the Nara Institute of Science and Technology promotes the three priority areas of information science, biological sciences, and materials science as well as the fusion of world-class research and advanced graduate education. Through this approach, NAIST promotes innovation through collaboration among industry, the government and the community while meeting its social mission and responsibilities to society and contributing internationally as a research base for science and technology. To fulfill this mission in the future, we will rely solely on the power of the individual; thus, it is essential that we ensure the development of talented personnel, especially female teachers and researchers. We are improving the research environment at NAIST and establishing a flexible system and framework; it is very important that we achieve a proper work-life balance that accommodates both educational and research activities as well as aspects of family life such as raising children.
Fields of Science and Technology promoted by NAIST
Fields of Science and Technology promoted by NAIST
Status of Female Researchers at NAIST
As of May 1, 2016, the university had a faculty comprising 195 teaching staff and researchers in its advanced education and research environment. Yet the percentage of female faculty remained very low, at only 11.3 percent overall. These faculty members include three female full professor (representing 5.4 percent); no female associate professors (representing 0 percent); and 19 female assistant professors/assistants (representing 19.8 percent). The ratio of female graduate students to all graduate students was 20.4 percent.

The university has adopted the Supporting Activities for Female Researchers for grants from MEXT Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology covering a three-year period beginning in fiscal 2009. As part of this program, the Gender Equality Promotion Office was set up directly under the office of the president to enable willing and capable female teaching staff and researchers to contribute to original and innovative research and increased international competitiveness. We are committed to reducing the various barriers and the burdens specific to women by instituting NAIST-type positive action (including study of the contract renewal system and placement of research technical assistants); childcare with additional benefits; a system for supporting research and education at home; and a network of local female researchers. In addition to increasing the number of female researchers in our university, we are working to achieve gender equality throughout the university. We are creating a valuable research environment and reform system supporting science and technology as well as a healthy work-life-balance.

Breakdown of Male and Female Researchers
(at May 1, 2016)
NAIST’s Gender Equality Promotion Office Supports Career Advancement.
NAIST established the Gender Equality Promotion Office on September 1, 2009, in order to promote gender equality throughout society under the Supporting Activities for Female Researchers, thus creating the Development Program for Female Researchers in Science and Technology. At the end of each three-year implementation period, we will continue to provide various assistance measures to improve the productivity of the research by female researchers while helping to accelerate their career advancement. We also provide leadership training for female researchers responsible for science and technology. Click here for a detailed program plan of NAIST Gender Equality Promotion Office.
Initiatives to Help Researchers Achieve a Work-Life Balance
University-wide Support for Gender Equality
  1. Establishment and management of the Gender Equality Promotion Office
  2. Consideration for recruitment and promotion of female researchers
  3. Introduction of a work-life balance system offering flexible working hours/implementation of a survey on work-life balance
  4. Improvement of the “Mandala at home”/ubiquitous research and educational network environment
Female Researchers/NAIST’s Approach to Positive Action
  1. Placement of academic assistants: About three years for female researchers (professors or PD) who are raising children
  2. Childcare with additional benefits: Planned contracting of a childcare company and securing of an on-campus nursery
Awareness Campaign and Information Support
  1. Establishment of the Keihanna Female Researcher Network: An exchange forum among female researchers, engineers, and graduate students, role model presentation, recruitment bridge for unemployed fellow researchers and assistants, etc.
  2. Holding of a symposium
  3. Setup of the Open-Campus Booth of the Gender Equality Promotion Office: Introduction of initiatives, awareness campaigns, career counseling, etc.
  4. Development and management of a website
  5. Presentation of brochures, letters, role models, etc.
Gender Equality Management/Implementation System

May 1, 2016

Gender Equality Management/Implementation System