Mentor Program for Female Researchers

Overview of Initiatives

The Gender Equality Office established the Women's Support Counseling Office in FY2009 and has been providing advice on various women's issues. As a new consultation program developed from this experience, the "Mentor Program for Female Researchers" was launched in 2020. In this program, young female researchers (mentees), who are the consultants, have individual mentoring sessions with persons (mentors) who will provide them with useful advice to help them engage in their research activities with confidence. For graduate students and faculty members who have just started their post, they may face situations where they need someone to consult with regarding various activities within the university, including research activities, career development, and worries and concerns about their career paths. This program aims to alleviate the anxiety and worry of such researchers and provide them with the opportunity to work with hope and courage for the future. By providing individual support to female researchers who tend to be isolated, it is expected to lead to the active development of female researchers and an increase in the number of female students entering science graduate schools.

Effects and results of initiatives

Since July 2020, the Gender Equality Office has matched and begun mentoring three individuals who have requested it to date. The program covers a wide range of topics, including future career development, balancing research with life events such as childbirth and childcare, and laboratory management.
According to the February 2021 Diversity Survey, 63.7% of faculty and 71.9% of graduate students indicated that mentoring programs for researchers are effective in making the research profession more attractive and easier to continue research. The continued implementation of this program is expected to contribute to the development of young researchers and the revitalization of research at the University by supporting an environment in which research activities and life events can be balanced and people with various careers can conduct research in a lively manner, as well as to promote diversity and inclusion at the University as a whole, regardless of gender. It is also expected to contribute to the promotion of diversity and inclusion at the University as a whole, regardless of gender.

◎This initiative received the President Award for Excellence in the FY2021 Okayama University SDGs Promotion Award.
Please watch the video below to see the presentation of the activity.

Presentation of the FY2021 Okayama University SDGs Promotion Award (President Award) Initiatives "Mentor Program for Female Researchers

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