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


[Report] Symposium “Reconsider female works in Coronavirus crisis”

March, 13, 2021

We held the symposium “Reconsider female works in Coronavirus crisis”.   Coronavirus crisis caused especially female workers a big effect. Wide-ranging panelists discussed inequality of equal employment opportunity of men and women in remote work, the crisis of female employment opportunity, problems and their countermeasures in Coronavirus crisis.

First, Prof. Kazuo Yamaguchi, the University of Chicago, delivered his presentation titled “Forwarding remote work and gender inequality under the effect of Covid-19” and introduced the results of the analysis about Covid-19 research data. He reported that the situation of gender inequality growing into serious problems varied according to the type of business and number of employees in Covid-19 crisis.

Next, Research director Yanfei Zhou, The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, delivered her presentation titled “Covid-19 and female employment crisis” and explained that there was the situation where female were more likely to be seriously affected than male such as terminated employment through the effect of employment opportunity in Covid-19 was concentrated in people in weak position from the wealth research data analysis. As the based research result, she stated a finding from “NHK and JILPT cooperative survey about Covid-19 and employment/livelihood”.

Then, Executive committee member Kumie Inoue, JTUC-RENGO, Japanese Trade Union Confederation, delivered her presentation titled “Female Influence and problems in Covid-19” and reported gender inequality in Covid-19 crisis introducing the results of the three researches conducted by JTUC-RENGO, “Attitude survey 2020 about a role in a family such as male childcare”, “Remote work survey 2020”, “Employment survey in Covid-19 crisis 2020”

Finally, the discussion was held by the above three panelists and Prof. Machiko Osawa, the director of RIWAC, as a coordinator. The center of the discussion was a solution of female work and they considered a more concrete solution organizing the panelist opinions. Due to the restriction against Coronavirus infection, only our students and faculty members were allowed to visit, and other people were invited to participate in the webinar. A total of about 120 people participated. We hope that Covid-19 crisis will be resolved as soon as possible.

[Report] Symposium “Thinking about the work style that connects work and life”

Date : 14th December, 2019

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

RIWAC’s 11th symposium was held on Dec. 14th. The theme was “Thinking about the work style that connects work and life”.  It was successful and meaningful with over one hundred participants.

Part 1: Lectures

“Idea of Life career~in order to connect work and life~” by Ms. Noriko Hiraki, Consultant, IPI Institute for Psychotherapy Integration.

Part 2: Panelist Lectures and General Discussion

“About flexible work style that connects work and life-part time job sharing spreading in German companies” by Prof. Yoko Tanaka, Tsukuba University.

“Issues about personnel management system over flexible work style in Japanese companies” by Ms. Mitsuyo Matsubara, Chief scientist, PwC Consulting LLC.

“Synergetic effect of work and life” by Prof. Yoko Kato, Sugiyama Jogakuen University.

At the end, general discussion with questions from participants was held by the above four speakers and RIWAC Director Machiko Osawa.

【Report】 Symposium : “Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, and Work-style Reforms”

Date : 8th December, 2018

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

RIWAC’s 10th anniversary symposium was held on Dec. 8th. The theme was “Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, and Work-style Reforms”. It was successful and fruitful with around one hundred participants.

Part 1: Lectures

“RIWAC’s history of the decade, and Problems of female labor in Japan from the standpoint of international comparison” by Prof. Machiko Osawa, Director of RIWAC

“Diversity Management and Women’s Empowerment” by Mr. Akira Matsumoto, Calbee Senior Chairman

““Issues related to the promotion of female employees” by Prof. Emiko Takeishi, Hosei University

“Family friendly policies and flexible work arrangement in Japan: what makes them effective in improving women’s advancement?” by Prof. Masako Kurosawa, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

Part 2: Panelist Lectures and General Discussion

Panelist Lectures and General Discussion with answers to questions from the floor were held by Prof. Emiko Takeishi, Ms. Yoko Yajima, Executive Officer of Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, and Prof. Machiko Osawa. They were also carrying out discussion about both practical issues and their solutions.

【Report】Symposium “What can Universities do to Help the Career Development of Women?”

 In the first session, a report was given on the results of the “Comprehensive Research Concerning Career Support for Women and the Roles of Universities” (2011-2015 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [MEXT] Strategic Research Base Development Program for Private Universities), which the Research Institute for Women and Careers (RIWAC) had been working on for the past five years. This research project had two central themes, and the research processes and outcomes were presented with regard to each of these themes.

 The first theme was “Reanalyzing surveys on postwar society related to women and careers, and publicizing and using archives of surveys regarding women.” A report was given on the use of archives of surveys regarding women by RIWAC, and another report was given on the results of analysis centering the areas of education and family based on a collection of approximately 1,500 data items. It was shown that social surveys reflect the circumstances and interests of societies.

 The second theme was “Research and development related to university-based reemployment assistance programs for women.” A report was given on the results of surveys related to women and careers that had been implemented for the purpose of program development, and on the results of developing and implementing reemployment assistance programs for women. The surveys revealed detailed information about the employment situation for highly-educated women and showed that employment assistance for woman up to now may well have been one-sided. It was also shown that in reemployment assistance programs for women that were newly developed in cooperation with Seiyu GK, the roles expected of universities at reemployment had been clarified.

 Following this, RIWAC Director Machiko Osawa provided a review, stating that the range of support for the career development of women that has been viewed as conventional up to now needs to be expanded; public support to promote active roles for female university graduates is lacking and thus involvement is needed in terms of education; it has been shown that in the future, systems should be built that fit recruitment needs on the part of companies and employment needs on the part of women, thus the key to vitalizing society as a whole is creating “second-chance companies” that provide many second chances. External evaluation committee members Ms.Teruko Ohno and Ms. Nami Otsuki then provided a critique regarding the implementation and outcomes of this project.

 During the second session, Professor Mary Brinton, Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Department Chair, Harvard University, who had been invited to give a lecture, gave one entitled, “Second-Chance Labor Markets: Benefits for Women and Men.” Prof. Brinton pointed out that in the case of Japanese companies, people are generally employed at the same company for a long period of time, so, relative to the United States, changing jobs between companies is extremely rare, and this limits the bargaining power that workers have with regard to companies. If the possibility of moving to another company were higher, this would reduce the need for workers to give priority to what is convenient for the company in terms of work conditions and content. As such, it is necessary to shift from valuing lifetime employment to valuing the ability to change jobs. In order to achieve this, it will be important for individual workers to acquire skills that are portable. Prof. Brinton pointed out that education will become increasingly important in this respect.

 After this very stimulating lecture, there was a lively exchange of questions and opinions with the audience, which included an audience member asking about the specific types of education that Japanese universities can provide. The symposium was thus very fruitful.

 The minutes of this symposium are scheduled to be printed in the FY2016 RIWAC bulletin “Gendai Josei to Kyaria (Modern Women and Careers)” Issue No. 8.

【Report】Self Leadership Program

Several dozen Recurrent Education Program students participated in the “Self Leadership Program—An experience-based program for women seeking reemployment” held September 2-9, 2014. The program was implemented by the Research Institute for Women and Careers and Recurrent Education Program with the cooperation of Seiyu GK.

The program included tours of Seiyu stores, the company’s logistics center, food factory, and other locations where participants held discussions with employees to discover issues in workplaces where they offered solutions.

Participants discussed enthusiastically proposing new ideas over a period of three days. On the final day of the program, participants gave a presentation in front of Seiyu executives and exchange ideas and answering the questions.

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