As of 6th, March 2019
The Basic Act for a Gender-Equal Society (Act No. 78 of June 23, 1999) puts the realization of Gender Equal society on the front burner for determining the framework of 21st-century Japan. In response to this stated social necessity, the government’s Headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality set a numerical target, “hoping to increase the share of women in leadership positions to at least 30% by 2020 in all fields in society.” The Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan (Cabinet decision on January 22, 2016) states that it is fundamentally important to develop an environment in which women can demonstrate their abilities to the fullest and promote their active participation to stimulate science, technology, and innovation (STI) activities, incorporating different perspectives and excellent ideas. The Fourth Science and Technology Basic Plan has already set targets for shares of women researchers in the new requirement: 30% for all natural sciences; 20% for physical science; 15% for engineering; 30% for agriculture; and 30% for a total of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacology. To achieve the target levels promptly, the government will promote the related efforts comprehensively by orchestrating all industry, academia, and government efforts.
The basic philosophy of Nagaoka University of Technology is to “create GIGAKU with a proactive approach to societal change, produces engineers with practical, creative capabilities and a spirit of service who will lead society into the future.” In light of that philosophy, it is our responsibility to realize a society in which our female faculty staff, as well as female students and graduates, can participate actively in a real sense. For that reason, the university established the Committee for Gender Equality in 2009 and compiled a policy related to the promotion of gender equality in 2010. In the same year, it formulated an Action Plan for Support to Develop the Next Generation (two phases). In 2016, the Plan was revised into the Plan for Support to Develop the Next Generation and Promote Active Participation of Women. Since the university made it public, it has undertaken efforts comprehensively. Nevertheless, as of May 1, 2018, the share of female faculty staff at the university was 8.8%: 4.0% for women professors, 12.5% for women associate professors, and 11.8% for women assistant professors. The percentage of women in managerial positions was 6.9%. However, the share of female undergraduates was 10.2%. That of female postgraduates was 11.6%, with 9.0% for master’s students and 27.2% for doctoral students.
It is fundamentally important to eliminate various barriers to break through the current situation. An important objective for the active participation of future women engineers and researchers is that men and women alike harmonize study or work and personal life, achieving a suitable work–life balance. Nagaoka University of Technology established the Office for Gender Equality in 2018 to ensure its implementation. In May 2018, the university was certified for the UNESCO Chairs Programme as the first university of engineering in Japan. It will make efforts to achieve gender equality in international goals (SDGs). We hereby establish the “Nagaoka University of Technology Basic Plan for Gender Equality” (hereinafter designated as the “Basic Plan”) (2019) to promote it systematically, expressively stating the more concrete goals and matters to be promoted.
- Promote change in student, faculty, and other staff’s awareness to foster engineers and researchers in this era of a declining birth rate and aging population. Develop a support system to live a university life equally, irrespective of age, gender, or nationality of students. Make efforts to increase female students and to broaden the range.
- Promote change in awareness to work equally, irrespective of age, gender, or nationality of faculty and other staff, and improve a support system aimed at optimizing a work-life balance. In addition, endeavor to disseminate the day-off and leave systems thoroughly for life events such as childbirth, childcare, and nursing, and encourage taking of personal leaves of absence by making efforts to reduce extra working hours and to encourage taking annual paid leave.
- Actively recruit women to increase the share of female faculty staff to about 15% by March 2022 and actively appoint women to increase the share of women in management positions to about 20%.
III. Matters to be Promoted
Efforts to increase women engineers and researchers
- Make efforts to expand and improve career choices for female students to become engineers and researchers.
- Engage in activities to raise the interest of female students in science and engineering.
- Make efforts to realize a society in which women engineers and researchers can actively participate, cooperating with local communities, other institutions, and industry.
- Conduct personnel affairs of faculty and other staff based on the promotion of gender equality.
Efforts for equal student life
- Provide support to live a university life equally, irrespective of age, gender, and nationality of students.
- Support undergraduates and postgraduates who have difficulties with childbirth and childcare by, for example, providing information.
Efforts to improve the workplace environment for faculty and other staff
- Promote change in awareness to work equally, irrespective of age, gender, and nationality of faculty and other staff, and develop a support system for the purpose.
- Prepare a support system and scheme aimed at optimizing work-life balance to respond flexibly to faculty and other staff members’ life events, and aimed at encouraging them to change awareness of it.
Visualization of effort
Endeavor to collect and release information about the internal investigation, analysis, and statistics.