Work-Life Support and Diversity Office

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Supporting the Careers of Women in the Next Generation

The percentage of female members of academic societies in the aerospace field is low at 16% for the Japanese Society for Biological Sciences in Space, 19% for the Japan Geoscience Union, 11% for the Astronomical Society of Japan, and 11% for the Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences*.

We, at JAXA’s Work-Life Support and Diversity Office, are working to support women of the next-generation in their career formation in the aerospace field through providing more opportunities where female students in high schools, universities and graduate schools can interact each other to visualize their own role models.
*These percentages are taken from "Survey on the Ratio of Women in the Inter-society Liaison Association Committee" (Japan Inter-society Liaison Association Committee for Promoting Equal Participation of Men and Women in Science and Engineering, 2017)

■Introducing Role Models

A booklet on the experiences of female employees active in JAXA is now available.
This booklet describes the jobs and everyday lives of JAXA’s female employees with various backgrounds in science and arts majors.

Status

(The Difference in Majors between Male and Female Students in Universities)

According to the Basic Research on Schools in FY 2018 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the percentage of female university students hit a record high of 45.1% (0.3 point increase from the previous year). However, the number of them in majors is quite uneven, with much fewer female students going into science and engineering departments than their male counterparts (Female students account for 27.8% in science departments and 15% in engineering departments).

The White Paper on Gender Equality by the Cabinet Office (2019 edition) says that the reason why female students do not choose science and engineering departments is "not that they lack the academic abilities in science and mathematics but that they may be influenced by the environment such as peer pressure, parents’ expectation and absence of familiar role models who inspire them to imagine their future work in those fields.

(The Approach of the Government and Universities)

According to the White Paper on Gender Equality by the Cabinet Office (2019 edition), based on the current situation as described above, government agencies are taking various approaches in fostering the interest of female students in science and engineering fields and reviewing curriculum guidelines to broaden their options in career paths.

The Cabinet Office is making various efforts such as "Challenges to Science and Engineering" (Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office website) to provide students with opportunities to arouse their interest in science and engineering. In addition, in 2018, it created a new program called "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Girls Ambassadors," aiming to foster a social movement to support female students in choosing their career paths in science and engineering and to present various female workers (role models) who are active in the fields of science and engineering by holding seminars throughout Japan.

Emphasizing appropriate guidance by teachers without gender bias at school, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has decided to conduct the development of "Teacher Training Programs to Promote Equal Participation of Men and Women" as part of the "Education Promotion Project for Next-Generation Life Planning”.

Universities are now introducing a teaching method of gender education by creating their unique subject on gender equality. For example, some universities are now offering their would-be teachers opportunities to learn about these gender equality initiatives.

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is carrying out the "Support Program for Enabling Female High School Students to Choose Science and Engineering Majors" and promoting symposiums and workshops targeted at junior and senior high school girls, their parents and teachers in collaboration of industry, academia and government.

Supporting Activities

JAXA's Work-Life Support and Diversity Office is assisting female students in choosing science and engineering fields through participation in “Challenges to Science and Engineering" of the Cabinet Office as part of our Supporting the Careers of Women in the Next Generation. We also hold public talk about JAXA’s female employees’ career paths, their R&D activities and experiences in balancing career and family life on our annual open house day.

Please feel free to join our events. We are looking forward to seeing you here.

Events

Schedule

Report

FY2019
Saturday, November 2, 2019

Open House Day at Sagamihara Campus.
Public talk ; "Let's talk with JAXA employees about their Work and Life Balance" was held.
Participants:96

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Open House Day at Tsukuba Space Center.
Public talk ; "JAXA workers' Work and Life Balance" was held.
Participants:227

Sunday, April 21, 2019
Open House Day at Chofu Aerospace Center.
Public talk; "JAXA Researcher's daily life from work and life balance point of view" was held.
Participants:383
FY2018
FY2017
FY2016
FY2015
FY2014