RIWAC Research Institute for Women and Careers JAPAN WOMEN'S UNIVERSITY


Interview by Corriere della Sera

2nd October, 2018

Prof. Machiko Osawa, Director of RIWAC, got interviewed about gender equality and family outcomes in Japan by Ms. Mara Gergolet, a newspaper reporter of Corriere della Sera issued by RCS MediaGroup S.p.A.

【Report】The 4th “Women-only Gathering: Empowerment Center × Research Institute for Women and Careers”

The 4th “women-only gathering” jointly sponsored by Tokyo Woman’s Christian University Empowerment Center and Research Institute for Women and Careers was held from 7 p.m. on July 13, 2018, at Omotesando Nasic Hall.

During the first session, Yumiko Kamada delivered a talk on “Just Do It”. She graduated from Japan Women’s University and at first she had worked at East Japan Railway Company and worked on a new model from the environmental plan of a station to merchandising and now an executive officer of Calbee Inc.

During the second session, a casual networking meeting was held with beverages and snacks.

The participants were almost 50 people, and they had a good time there and hoped the next gathering.

This gathering started as building a network of the alumni beyond generations and has been gradually established.

Lecture: “ The realities of work-life balance in double-income household in the United States”

Date : 22nd May, 2018

Place : Room A4, National Graduate Institute For Policy Studies(GRIPS), 7-22-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Lecturer: Ms. Brigid Schulte, Director, The Good Life Initiative/ Better Life Lab at New America

Ms. Brigid Schulte is a journalist and author, who writes widely for publications including The Washington Post, Slate, Time.com, the Guardian and others. She was a long-time staff writer for the Washington Post and Washington Post magazine, where she won a number of reporting and writing awards and was part of the team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. She came to Japan in order to report on the overwork death in Japan as Abe Journalism Fellow. Under her 2015 New York Times bestselling book,”Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play  when no one has the time”, she delivered her lecture about the realities of overwork in the U.S.A and the importance of leisure time. After her lecture we shared each other’s thoughts on work-life balance, overwork, and burnout, which was very fruitful.

【Report】 Research Meeting

Date :  23rd February, 2018
Place  :  Japan Women’s University (Mejiro campus)    2-8-1 Mejirodai,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo
Lecturer  :  Associate Professor Nomi Kodama, Hitotsubashi University

Associate Prof. Naomi Kodama reported her latest research about a merit system and impact of WLB policy on gender disparity with using quantitative data analysis. After the report, we held active discussions with the participants.

【Report】 Research Meeting

Date :  18th December. 2017
Place  :  Japan Women’s University (Mejiro campus)    2-8-1 Mejirodai,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo
Lecturer  :  Assistant Professor Eunmi Mun, Department of Sociology and School of Labor and Employment Relations, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Title: Unpacking the Welfare State Paradox: Corporate Responses to Parental Leave Policies in Japan

Abstract: Scholars of comparative family policy research have raised concerns about potential negative outcomes of generous family policies, an issue known as the “welfare state paradox.” They suspect that such policies will make employers reluctant to hire or promote women into high-authority jobs because women are more likely to use those policies and take time off than men. Few studies, however, have directly tested this employer-side mechanism. Hence, it remains to be shown whether and how generous family policies affect employer behavior toward the female workforce. In this paper, we elaborate employer response to family policies and test policy effect on women’s employment opportunities. We argue that due to heterogeneity in employer responses to policy intervention as well as different modes of intervention such as mandate-based and incentive-based approaches, generous family policies may not always lead to employer discrimination. Adopting an innovative analytical strategy inspired by a difference-in-differences approach, we compare hiring and promotional opportunities for women before and after two major family policy reforms in Japan, one in 1992 and another in 2005. Our analysis using panel data of large Japanese firms finds little evidence of policy-induced discrimination against women. We discuss the contribution of our findings to the literatures of comparative gender inequality, family policies, and the impact of public policy.

【Report】 Symposium : “Why don’t women want to become managers?”

Date : 16th December, 2017

Place : Shinsenzan-kan   Japan Women’s University (Mejiro campus)   2-8-1 Mejirodai,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo

In population declining society, women’s labor participation is considered indispensable. In the workplace, expectations for women are increasing more and more due to lack of human resources. However, the proportion of female managers is still low and women are said to be reluctant to become manager. The Symposium theme is “Why don’t women want to become managers?” and we think about its cause based on research results of psychology and sociology and also have a view of new leadership image beyond gender difference.

Part 1: Keynote lecturer

Emeritus Professor Michiko Homma of Japan Women’s University gave a Keynote Lecture on the theme of “Why don’t women want to become managers?” Based on the research of social psychology, she gave us her presentation about the problems of women’s leadership (motivation for promotion), leadership conformity, and new leadership oriented in social changes towards a new era.

Part 2: General Discussion

Two panelists reported on the theme of “Why don’t women want to become managers?” based on the research of sociology and on that of social psychology respectively.

Prof. Nami Otuski, University of the Sacred Heart, gave a lecture about “Management intention of young adult men and women segment”. She reported the reason why Japanese enterprises have a low number of female managers, and some research results about management intention of men and women getting a job in an employment ice age, and also about that of new employees (the first year and the second year after joining a company.

Prof. Kiriko Sakata, Hiroshima University, gave a lecture about “Psychological and social factors refusing women’s promotion”. She reported some factors refusing women’s motivation for advance and some issues to heighten women’s motivation, and effectual leadership.

At the end, the General Discussion started with answers to questions from the floor. The above Professors and Coordinator, Prof. Machiko Osawa, Director of Research Institute of Women and Careers gave detailed answers from their own respective viewpoint.

【Report】 Lecture : “Expanding Gender Equity in the Workplace”

Date : 26th October, 2017

Place : Hyakunennkann 502-503, Japan Women’s University (Mejiro campus) 2-8-1 Mejirodai,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo

Lecturer: Dr. Emily Murase, Director, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

Abstract: Equal pay. Flexible schedules. Paid parental leave. Improved pay for childcare workers. Data on sexual harassment. Ban on salary history. Help for domestic violence victims. In these ways, San Francisco is expanding gender equity in the workplace.  In 1998, San Francisco became the first city in the world to enact a local ordinance reflecting the principles of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international bill of rights for women. The San Francisco Department on Status of Women, which oversees the CEDAW Ordinance, has been advancing gender equity in the workplace ever since and San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee has made gender equity a policy priority and San Francisco has developed many strategies for expanding gender equity in the workplace

【Report】 Keynote Report : The cooperation planning with The Associations of Tokyo Small-and Medium-Size Enterprises and RIWAC, “Cases of SMEs making full use of female employees & thinking about ideal employee image”

Date : 22nd August, 2017

Place : Conference Room, Human System LTD.

Lecturer: Prof. Machiko Osawa, Director of RIWAC, Dr. Junko Sangu, Researcher of RIWAC, Dr. Yuka Mitarai, Researcher of RIWAC

Part I

We reported some cases through the results of questionnaires to personnel officers of SMEs and the interview surveys with the company side, and presented the clue about the reform of working styles.

Part II

We held the active discussion by showing specific initiatives of each company.

We would like to continue to deepen our research by receiving cooperation from many companies.


【Report】The 3rd “Women-only Gathering: Empowerment Center × Research Institute for Women and Careers”

 The 3rd “women-only gathering” jointly sponsored by the Tokyo Woman’s Christian University Empowerment Center and the Research Institute for Women and Careers was held from 7 p.m. on July 14, 2017, at Omotesando Nasic Hall.

 During the first session, Essayist Yoko Hiramatsu, who graduated from Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, gave a talk on “relation between food and individual person” and during the second session, a casual networking meeting was held at which beverages and snacks were provided.

 The participants provided various comments regarding the gathering such as, “The event became helpful in my life including careers and taking care of my children” and “It is a valuable opportunity for me to listen to the alumni’s talk because of my motivation.”


【Report】 Research Report Meeting

Date : 30th June, 2017

Place : Shin-Senzankan, Japan Women’s University (Mejiro campus) 2-8-1 Mejirodai,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo

Part 1

Lecturer: Associate Prof. Jing Song, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Associate Prof. Kuniko Ishiguro, Tokyo International University

They gave their research report on “Women’s Entrepreneurship in Japan and China”.

Part II

Lecturer: Prof. Kazuo Yamaguchi, the department of sociology, The University of Chicago

We invited Prof. Kazuo Yamaguchi and held his research report meeting. He gave his research report based on his book published in May 2017 “Gender Inequality in Working Ways – Theory and Empirical Analysis -” (Nihon Keizai Shimbun Publishing Company).

The research report meetings were fruitful with the continuous questions because of the themes of their research reports of deep concern to participants.

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