uekiToshiya Ueki

Executive Vice President of Tohoku University
Chairman of Tohoku University Committee of Gender Equality
Director of Tohoku University Center for Gender Equality Promotion

Tohoku University was the first national university in Japan to open its doors to women with the admission of three female students to the Faculty of Science in 1913. Carrying on that tradition, in 2001, the university led the nation with the establishment of the Committee of Gender Equality, a campus-wide organization, followed by adoption of the Tohoku University Declaration on Promoting Gender Equality in 2002. The university has actively endeavored to rectify disparities between men and women, improve the research and work environment, and provide work-life balance support, including the establishment and operation of on-campus childcare facilities.

Efforts to promote gender equality gathered momentum from 2006, notably with the establishment of the Office for Women Researchers, the selection for support by the Ministry of Education and Science (MEXT) of the Tohoku Women’s Hurdling Project (for three years starting 2006) and the Tohoku Leading Women’s Jump Up Project for 2013 (for five years starting 2009). These projects have been so successful that the university has continued to fund them from its own budget since 2014. With the selection in 2016 of Tohoku University’s Morinomiyako Project for Empowering Women in Research under MEXT’s Initiative for Realizing Diversity in the Research Environment (Distinctive Features Type), we plan to continue our efforts to improve conditions for women researchers.

To commemorate 100 years since the admission of the first female students, in 2013 Tohoku University published the Tohoku University Gender Equality Policy and hosted commemorative symposiums and other events. Reflecting on its history of addressing gender equality and preparing for the next 100 years, the university reorganized the Office for Women Researchers, and in April 2014, inaugurated the Tohoku University Center for Gender Equality Promotion aimed at facilitating the promotion of gender equality.

Based on the Gender Equality Policy, the Center for Gender Equality Promotion has initiated seven programs to support the Tohoku University Committee of Gender Equality: 1) Providing work-life balance support/improving conditions, 2) Nurturing female leaders, 3) Nurturing the next generation, 4) Honoring achievements, 5) Facilitating local collaboration, 6) Promoting internationalization, and 7) Creating a support organization.

We plan to keep promoting gender equality through a variety of initiatives going forward and look forward to your continued support and cooperation.

December 2016