Symposium for "Empowerment of Women and Regional Revitalization ～Enterprises that invest in people and develop local communities～"
On July 19, 2016, the Symposium for "Empowerment of Women and Regional Revitalization ～Enterprises that invest in people and develop local communities" was held in Gifu City as part of "Initiative for Implementation of Diversity Research Environment (Collaboration Type)."* This Initiative has been promoted by the four institutions, Gifu University, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu Women's University and API CO., Ltd., and is sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
Under the Initiative, Gifu University has been teaming up with these three institutions to support women researchers with an eye to empowering women and revitalizing regional communities.
In the symposium, first, Ms. Masako Orii, Executive Director of Suntory Wellness Limited gave a keynote speech and she spoke about the gender diversity research environment of Suntory Holdings Limited.
Next, with Professor Masako Hayashi, Vice-President for the Promotion of Gender Equality and Diversity of Gifu University as a moderator, a panel discussion started. Ms. Orii, Ms. Yuko Suzuki, Chief of the Children and Women's Affairs Bureau, Gifu Prefecture, Professor Hideaki Hara, Vice President of Gifu Pharmaceutical University and Ms. Junko Morita, Managing Director of Gifu Broadcasting System, Inc. exchanged opinions on stage about the given themes.
About 380 people joined the symposium and some of them later commented about the symposium as follows; "The importance of gender diversity research environment is more or less the same whether it is at major corporations in big cities or medium-and-small size corporations in regions," "I strongly felt the necessity to change mindset of women and attitudes about business careers." The symposium gave people a great momentum to think about how to advance gender diversity research environment through partnership among enterprises, universities and local municipalities.
*"Seiryu-no-kuni (Pure Water Country) Gifu Women Support Project"
"Seiry-no-kuni (Pure Water Country) Gifu Women Support Project" is part of the MEXT's"Initiative for Implementation of Diversity Research Environment (Collaboration Type)." The project aims to reinforce research activities of women researchers through unique partnership among Gifu University, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu Women's University and API CO., Ltd., and their joint research programs. It is also designed to revitalize local communities by enhancing mobility of women researchers within regions and securing workplaces for them. The project is expected to increase percentage of women researchers in workplace and their assignment for higher positions at universities (positions equal to or higher than lecturers or associate professors) by executing "positive actions" such as collaboration type joint research projects, open recruitment of female teaching staff and leadership education programs.
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