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University of Tokyo ‘to employ 300 women faculty members’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Akamon gate at the University of Tokyo’s Hongo campus in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

The University of Tokyo plans to newly employ about 300 women professors and associate professors, according to sources.

The new policy is aimed at raising the percentage of the university’s female faculty members. It is relatively rare for a university to hire so many women faculty members, and the university’s decision could affect other universities’ employment policies.

According to University of Tokyo authorities, the university intends to employ 141 women professors and 165 women associate professors. The university’s present faculty comprises about 5,000 people — including lecturers and assistant professors — but only 16% are women. The university plans to raise this figure to 25% by 2027, and it’s head office is asking individual departments, which have authority over personnel matters, to draw up employment plans in line with the new policy.

In 2020, the average number of women faculty members among higher educational institutions in member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was 45%.

Last year, the university of Tokyo issued an action plan statement, based on such keywords as “diversity” and “inclusion.” The action plan included a goal to increase the percentage of women students from the current 20% to more than 30% and the percentage of female faculty members and administrative staff in managerial positions to more than 25%.