IEEE Japan Council Women in Engineering Affinity Group
Lecture by Prof. Mitiko Go, President of Ochanomizu University
In the afternoon of Saturday, March 1, 2008,
Prof. Mitiko Go, President of Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan gave
us a talk on "My Career Developed in International Society", based on
her own experience as a woman researcher who has developed a career in a
She noted the most challenging time for women researchers is a
child-rearing period when they have to take care of their children.
However, once these women survive this period, she asserted, they will
come out fully-developed researchers, founded on competence and
confidence built up over the difficult time.
Therefore, she points out at the necessity to provide a support system
for women researchers in the period of child-rearing.
President Go's own experience is a case in point. It is during her
child-rearing period that she made a pioneering discovery in
biochemistry, a feat praised globally by such prominent researchers as
Dr. Gilbert, a Nobel recipient in chemistry, which offered her a way
forward to professorship from a lecturer.
She is engaged in various activities to support women researchers
encouraging their career not only as President of Ochanomizu University,
but also as member of public councils that drive the future of science
and technology in Japan.
It was a quite successful lecture that was well-attended (around 70
attendees) and received overwhelming feedback.
Read the report in Japanese.
Panel Discussion "How to develop business career?"
The panel discussion was held at the large lecture room of the main
building of Ocha-no-mizu University on June 18th 2008. Four active
women engineer were invited to talk about how they build up their career
and how they enjoy their life. More than hundred and ten people
participated in the discussion. Moreover, half of the participants were
Prof. Michiko Go, who delivered her lecture at the seminar sponsored by
WIE in March, started the discussion with opening greetings. Prof. Go
mentioned that the number of women engineer at the top of companies are
less than that in the leading positions of universities or research
institutes, and talked about her hope of educating women engineer who
can be an active leader at companies.
Prof. Masumi Narita of Tokyo International University, Department of
Language Communication presided over the event. Four panelists were
given five minutes to talk on the topic. First speaker was Dr. Miwako
Doi of Toshiba Research Center. She worked on Word Processing, VG/CG,
Device, Wearable/Ubiquitous computing, mainly in the area of Human
Interface (HI) for thirty years. At the end, she showed a picture of her
carrying Mikoshi (portable shrine) to introduce us of her activeness at
Second Speaker was Ms. Yukari Tsuji, chief researcher of NTT corporation.
Ms. Tsuji not only worked in research institution but also has a wide
experience of working at corporate business and as a MIT Sloan Fellow.
Ms. Tsuji told us about the three points she always keeps in mind: 1)
accept diversity and think versatile, 2) prioritize and choose the best
for now, 3) enjoy when you should. She showed the picture of her
enjoying Halloween party at the end.
Next speaker was Ms. Kumi Hatsukano, chief of PV Second Product
Development Division Design Group at Nissan. She started working on car
designing after finishing her Master degree from Waseda University. She
is the first woman manager in this area. Every morning Ms. Hatsukano
goes out with her husband and two year old child and three of them come
back home together. In most family, as wife has the final authority to
decide car purchase; women perspective is very important for the car
companies. Nissan is promoting women participation in the company.
Last speaker was Dr. Takako Hashimoto, specialist of Ricoh Research and
Development, main division and WIE Japan Chief Secretary. Dr. Hashimoto
started her career in company after graduating from Ocha-no-mizu
University, School of Science, Department of Chemistry. She worked on
data base and multimedia. She said that the reason she could continue
her work was following; understanding boss and workplace environment ,
motivation for work, nearby role models and friends, reliable mothers'
network and cooperative family.
The discussion was followed by answers from the panelists to the
questions collected previously from participants and some useful
comments from the audience.
Q1) How do you choose your career when you were a student?
At the end, Dr. Hideko Kunii, WIE Japan Chair, greeted all and
introduced activities of WIE. She told about her confidence in the
achievement of women engineers. IEEE is a academic society where 370,000
members or more exist all over the world. She asked to participate as
the member of a global community of WIE (Women in Engineering) to
contribute to the promotion and the support of the female engineer and
A1) When I was looking for work, many of my friends chose working in a
bank or brokerage firm but I thought about the end of bubble economy and
chose a company with versatile business (Tsuji). I wanted to make
something I use, something close to me and so I chose making cars. I
went to graduate school because I wanted to acquire some special skill
before starting to work (Hatsukano).
Q2) How did you face difficult obstacles?
A2) When I became leader, I had some difficulties. I tried to make a
good working environment for my colleagues (Doi). I am facing
difficulties now for my small kid. But everybody is cooperating as I
tried hard for my career so far and they have faith in me (Hatsukano).
Q3) How do you manage both your work and child care?
A3) I utilize flexible working time system. When I have some appointment
at the evening, I wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to start my work (
Tsuji). I think it is good as the stress from child care goes away when
I do work in the office (Hashimoto).
Q4) What do you think is the advantage for women in a working place?
A4) I think women are more considerate and can accept more diversity
than men (Hashimoto). As a housewife I understand the needs of consumers
which is important for product development. At workplace I try to
distribute the work best suited to the person (Doi).
Q5) Though I am not yet married and would like to continue my work, when
do you think is the best time for giving birth?
A5) If you are not confident about your physical strength, it is better
to give birth at the very beginning of your career when you can catch up.
Otherwise, you should build up a stable position before giving birth (
Hatsukano). I think anytime is OK. Now-a-days there are many helpful
role models for you to follow (Hashimoto).
Q6) What do you think is important for communication with others?
A6) It is important to have an eye contact during greetings. When you
get busy, unconsciously you put on an avoiding aura. Put off the aura
when you notice and make chance to talk to your neighbour (Tsuji). Try
to talk something other than only greetings and be a good listener. (Doi)
Q7) Do you have any message for the young generation?
A7) Though it is important to strengthen your skill, it is also
important to take challenge to new things and increase your abilities (
Doi). Enjoy now and you'll have more fun tomorrow (Tsuji). Enjoy your
work. If you have a better chance, go for it. (Hatsukano) Have a
challenging target and try! (Hashimoto)
The panel discussion was concluded by Dr. Mihoko Otake, WIE Japan vice
Chair and the chairperson of this panel discussion with a vote of thanks
to all guests and participants for making the program a success and her
hope for planning again such program in the future.
Ninety of the ninety two participants said they were satisfied with this
Some of the comments from the participants are as follows;
"I am glad to hear directly from working women."
"I am going to start thinking about my own career."
"I become hopeful."
(*)This report includes only part of the panel discussion.
reported by Mihoko Otake, translated by Basabi Chakraborty (IEEE Japan Council WIE Affinity Group)
Read the report in Japanese.
Lecture by Dr. Rob Reilly
On Tuesday, July 15, 2008, there was a lecture talk by Dr. Rob Reilly,
Chair of the IEEE Education Society's Chapters at Tokyo Institute of
His talk was entitled 'Thinking Outside the Box We Exist In: You Can
Win a Nobel Prize', and provided insight into how we could reach for
the stars and actually achieve greatness. It provided insight into how
we think inside the box and what we can do to think outside the box and
The talk was co-sponsored with The Center for Research and Development
of Educational Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, IEEE
Education Society Japan Chapter, and IEEE Tokyo Tech Student Branch.
Aichi Industry-Academia-Government Forum for the Promotion of a Gender
Equal Society Symposium
- Diversity creates our Future - Towards a society that promotes Individuality and Competence -
(10th November, 2008, Nagoya University Noyori Conference Hall)
On 10th November, 2008, WIE in cooperation with Aichi Employers' Association, Nagoya University,
The Office for Gender Equality Nagoya City, Aichi prefecture held the following program with
lecture, panel discussion and workshop on career path for women and need of diversity.
In spite of being a working day, the number of participants, not only from Aichi prefecture but also from outside, exceeded 90.
Aichi Industry-Academia-Government Forum for the Promotion of a Gender
Equal Society Symposium Program:
- 13:10-13:40 Keynote Presentation
Dr. Hideko Kunii, IEEE JC WIE Chair, delivered her keynote presentation on the topic "For the
Progress of Female Participation - Promotion of Diversity". In her lecture she stressed the
importance of advancing the measures for developing the system and consciousness about women
participation by a top down approach in a spiraling manner.
- 13:50-15:20 Panel Discussion
Six panelists from Industry, Academy and Government presented their respective views on the
problem of career development of women and how to deal with the problem.
Ms. Hisami Inaba presided over the discussion.
- Panelists and Coordinator
- Hisami Inaba (Freelance Announcer/ Former Tokai Television Announcer)
- Toshiko Iwata (Aichi Prefecture)
- Naomi Ohshima (Nagoya City)
- Hirokatsu Matsumoto (Aichi Employers' Association)
- Takako Hashimoto (Ricoh Company ltd., WIE Official)
- Yutaka Takeda (Nagoya University)
- Hiroko Tsukamura (Nagoya University)
- 15:50-17:00 Workshop
The workshop was held with seven different themes. The people from Aichi prefecture, Nagoya city,
Nagoya university, and WIE worked as workshop facilitators and discussed ardently with
participants on respective themes.
- Diversity in industry
- The choice of being a Government Employee
- Service innovation in aged society
- Career development of a foreign researcher
- Diverse career path
- Work-life balance of a researcher
- Work and child rearing support and progress of career
Reported by Emi Yano. Translated by Basabi Chakraborty (IEEE Japan Council WIE Affinity Group)
Read this report in Japanese.
The First Symposium of Center for Women in Research of Tsuda College
Thinking of support for women researchers engaged in technology field based
on case of America and Japan (a meeting room at Tsuda Hall, Sendagaya,
Campus, Tsuda College, Nov. 23, 2008)
The symposium was hosted by Center for Women in Research of Tsuda College,
sponsored by NWEC (National Women's Education Center, Japan) and Ministry
of Internal Affairs and Communications, in association with IPSJ (the
Information Processing Society of Japan), EPMEWSE (Japan Inter-Society
Liaison Association Committee for Promoting Equal Participation of Men and
Women in Science and Engineering), IEICE (the Institute of Electronics,
Information and Communication Engineers) and WIE Japan. There are two
sections in the symposium.
In the first section, excellent lectures were delivered by Mr. Shigeyuki
Kubota (Deputy Director-GeneralInformation and Communications Policy
Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications), Dr. Caroline
Simard (Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, America), and Dr.
Yoshikazu Touyama (Visiting professor, Japan Women's University). The
importance of strengthening international competitiveness in ICT field, and
the support for women researchers engaged in technology field in America
and Japan were also introduced.
The second section was a panel discussion participated by Ms. Rieko
Yamamoto (Fujitsu Laboratories, Ltd.), Dr. Nathalie Cavasin (Waseda
University), Dr. Takako Hashimoto (Ricoh Co., Ltd./WIE Japan). The
participants narrated career-building measurements, issues and
countermeasures based on their experiences. The speeches and panel
discussion made it clear and deepen understood that the common grounds and
differences among challenges to women researchers who engaged in technology
field in America and Japan. Meanwhile, issues about network building for
women researchers, role model presentation, essentiality of inspiring and
mentoring female students during education, and many viewpoints on relevant
solutions in future were mentioned.
In these activities, participants included not only women researchers of
WIE Japan, but also males and even foreign researchers, which turned
diversity into reality. More activities of supporting researchers will be
held in future.
Reported by Takako Hashimoto. Translated by Jien Kato (IEEE Japan Council WIE Affinity Group)
Read this report in Japanese.