Journey for Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Saitama University

Saitama University
Executive Director of the Gender Equality Office
Mieko Tashiro

The Gender Equality Office in Saitama University was established in July 2009 based on the Second Gender Equality Fundamental Plan, and announced a “Saitama University Gender Equality Declaration” in December 2010. This declaration states that the university is committed to playing an active role in promoting a gender equality society in addition to maintaining the state of the university as a place for education, research and employment, based on the spirit of gender equity.

Since the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace was established in 2015, employers (national and local governments, private companies, etc.) have been obligated to formulate and publish an action plan (with target values) for promoting women in the workplace, and publish information that assists women with selecting a workplace. Based on the Act, we also formulated an action plan (FY2016 – FY2021) at the university. With this plan, we set target values for the employment ratio of female faculty members at 40% for departments related to the Humanities and Social Sciences, 30% for the Teacher Training related departments, 20% or over for the Natural Science related departments, and 50% for administrative staff. Based on this action plan, we are making efforts to:

  1. Increase women’s participation in the decision-making process for the university’s operations
  2. Increase recruitment of female faculty members
  3. Improve and enhance the work environment
  4. Enhance awareness about preconceptions regarding gender-fixed roles

Furthermore, in 2017, Saitama University was selected for the “Initiative for the implementation of the diversity research environment” program as set out in the “Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development” run by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). As a result, we were able to create the Diversity Promotion Office within the Gender Equity Office, and hired a new coordinator (assistant faculty member), diversity promotion staff, and an administrative assistant. This Diversity Promotion Office is committed to creating an environment where a variety of faculty members at the university can comfortably work, promoting the recruitment and appointment of female faculty members, and training the next generation. Also, in cooperation with the local government in Saitama, we promote the activities of female researchers and engineers in Saitama Prefecture.

In addition, since April 2018, another action plan (2018 – 2021) has been in progress based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children which was newly established. In order to achieve a university and society where a diverse range of people are respected and can work freely, we are committed to realizing a diversity research environment and promote gender equality by coordinating and cooperating with many people inside and outside the university. We would appreciate your continuing support and guidance.