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As the 4th Chair of IEEE Japan Council Women In Engineering Affinity Group, please allow me a few words as I assume my duties.
First, let me commend the efforts of our First Chair Professor Michiko Kuroda, the Second Chair Dr. Hideko Kunii, the Third Chair Professor Basabi Chakraborty, and the board members as well as all the others who have contributed. WIE Japan has marked 8 years since its establishment in May 2005. We made great progress by promoting various activities for supporting female researchers and engineers. Our activities have been highly evaluated both at home and abroad and on 2009. We received both IEEE WIE Affinity Group of the Year Award and IEEE R10 WIE Affinity Group of the Year Award. This reflects our persistence efforts in nurturing female engineers and researchers, improving the status, and their international contributions.
Women researchers' and engineers' status in Japan has been improved gradually, but it is still very low, ranking 98th in the Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum. Still a lot of problems remain for the women to take active role in the field of engineering. Particularly in Japan, women's outside activity is not encouraged by feudal mindedness and conservative regional limitations.
In addition to this, the prolonged economic recession and the Great East Japan Earthquake and other disasters tend to force the support for female engineers/researchers to diminish. In this situation, it is very important for us, women engineers, to build network and cooperate with each other for opening up of our career and contribution to the society. With this view in mind my plan is to promote the extension of the activities of IEEE JC WIE to consider recovering areas destroyed by disasters besides conventional activities. Especially, as for the education and female career developments, I believe that JC WIE can lead different programs in this situation.
Our basic aim is to further develop our current activities to improve the career development of women engineers and researchers. It is my great pleasure to welcome our new members. I sincerely hope that for the coming two years I will receive your positive involvement, constructive opinion and continued support and with our collective effort we will be able to make major contributions in improving women's status and participation in Scienfic and Engineering field world wide.
My warmest regards and sincere thanks to all IEEE JC members for their full-hearted support.
2010-2011 Chair: Basabi Chakraborty
2008-2009 Chair: Hideko S. Kunii
2005-2007 Chair: Michiko Kuroda