RIHE Open Seminar “Understanding female academics in Japan: current status and challenges in social context”/ 25 January 2019

The open seminar will be held as follows:

13:00-15:30, Friday, 25th January, 2019

Room No. 112, RIHE, Hiroshima University

Understanding female academics in Japan: current status and challenges in social context


13:00-13:10     Introduction            Machi Sato (RIHE, Hiroshima University)

13:10-13:30       Exploring junior female academics in Japan and Korea focusing on experiences in the current academic context
         Machi Sato and Yangson Kim (RIHE, Hiroshima University)

13:30-13:50   Gender Imbalance and Gender Differences of Research Activities in Japanese Higher Education
         Jun Sakanashi (School of Human and Social Sciences, Fukuoka Prefectural University)

13:50-14:10   Event history analysis on researcher attributes
         Ayano Fujiwara (National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, MEXT)

14:10-14:30  Stress Coping in Intimate Relationship
         Tai Kurosawa (College of Life Sciences, Ibaraki Christian University)

14:30-15:30         Discussion

Despite the efforts of the Japanese government and universities to recruit more females, the participation of female academics in academia is still very low. According to OECD data (2017), the proportion of female academics in Japanese higher education institutions is about 21%, which is the lowest among OECD countries. Moreover, it is not difficult to find empirical studies that not only relate to gender inequality and differences in research productivity, salary, and satisfaction in Japanese universities (Kimoto, 2015) but also in the professional areas of medicine and economics (Okoshi et al., 2014; Takahashi & Takahashi, 2011). However, there are insufficient studies that provide a detailed and integrated understanding of the status of females and the challenges they face in academia.

Therefore, this open seminar will investigate the current status of female academics in a social context beyond academia as well as looking at gender differences and inequality. We will discuss the main challenges that female junior academics are facing and investigate gender differences in terms of research activity and productivity. In addition, whether socially embedded characteristics could cause gender differences and inequality in higher education will be explored from a Japanese social context based on more integrated points of view. Through the four presentations of this open seminar, participants will be able to discuss and share ideas to suggest effective ways of encouraging and empowering female academics in Japan.


Jun SAKANASHI is a senior lecturer at the School of Human and Social Sciences of Fukuoka Prefectural University from 2017. His research projects focus on gender imbalance and inequality in higher education. He works to find practical measures for gender equality. He was born in Hokkaido, Japan. He graduated from the University of Tokyo and Hokkaido University. He worked in the Office for Gender Equality of Yamagata University, and the College of Community and Human Services of Rikkyo University.

Dr. Ayano Fujiwara is a senior research fellow at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) in Japan. She received her PhD from The University of Tokyo in Japan. Prior to taking her present position, she worked as an assistant professor at Osaka University in Japan. Her research interests lie in innovation and strategy, human resource management, and mobility of researchers. She is currently investigating the effect of mobility of researchers on their performance. She has published a book on innovation management called “Migration of Engineers: New Norm in Globalization” (Hakuto Shobo, 2016.02).

Tai Kurosawa (PhD) is a lecturer at Ibaraki Christian University. His majors are Psychology andClinical Psychology and his main research interests are relationship-focused coping, work-family spillover, and coparenting.


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