Change in the Percentage of Female Faculty Members at Sophia University
- Sophia School Corporation
Sophia University was selected as a recipient of FY 2009 Grant-in-Aid for Human Resource Development in Science and Technology for MEXT’s Promoting Role Models to Support Female Researchers program. With this funding, Sophia implemented its Project to Support Women Researchers in a Global Society.
The MEXT program promotes the development of a research environment that takes into account the life events and work-life balance of female researchers, supports returning to work following an interruption in research activities or separation from a job, and promotes improvement of research skills and career development.
One aspect of Sophia’s Project to Support Women Researchers in a Global Society, the Global Mentoring System, received the Award for Excellence in the Organizational Division of the 3rd Mentoring Awards 2011. The Global Mentoring System invites internationally active researchers to the university to serve as mentors and advisors to make the most of Sophia’s “internationality.” Furthermore, Sophia University also became the first private university in Japan to receive an “S” rating (the highest possible rating) for MEXT’s post-project evaluation, in which the Project to Support Women Researchers in a Global Society was especially praised for its success in increasing the percentage of female researchers in science and engineering fields and the percentage of female graduate students in doctoral program, achieved through open recruitment that was limited to female applicants.
Such achievements have led to a major step forward in the promotion of gender equality at Sophia University, including the Sophia University Gender Equality Declaration (2011), the establishment of the Office for Promotion of Gender Equality (2012) and certification as a general employer that meets the standards of the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children (2012), resulting in the creation of a university-wide system for promoting gender equality.
Subsequently, MEXT began its Top Global University Project in FY2014. For this, Sophia set a target of having an overall female faculty percentage of about 35% as of FY2023. With continued efforts to actively recruit female faculty, the university surpassed this target in FY2020.