Faculty Members from the Faculty of Science and Technology Join Keio Mentoring Program

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  • #Gender


In FY2022, the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion implemented a mentoring program to promote women’s empowerment and leadership development at Keio University, modeled after the Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL)² program conducted by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)¹, of which Keio University is a member. The university believes that its women leaders should be at the forefront of school management, promoting reforms and pioneering new paths forward. The university anticipates that more women will be able to play an active leadership role by leveraging the experiences gleaned from this program.

Mentors and mentees were paired across faculties, graduate schools, and fields of expertise, and goals and schedules were set for each pair over a mentoring period of approximately six months. Three mentors and two mentees participated from the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Here, we sit down with one of these mentees, Prof. Fumika Araki from the Department of Foreign Languages and Liberal Arts, who had a message to share her experience.

“As it was a pilot version, I held a series of trial-and-error sessions with my mentor, Professor Chikako Suzuki (Faculty of Law) over half a year. During our sessions, we discussed a variety of public and private topics. Dr. Suzuki gave me many insights as a female academician who is also a mother. Among them, it was an incredibly unique experience when Dr. Suzuki shared with me her memories of her professor, Dr. Teruko Yonezu. Dr. Yonezu’s contributions include Women who studied at Keio University (Keio University Press, 2008). Please read it if you have the opportunity. I am deeply pleased and proud to be a member of the first class of this mentoring program. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Suzuki and everyone who has contributed to the operation of this program. Thank you very much.”

On March 30th 2023, graduation ceremony was held at the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan) , where President Itoh presented each pair of mentor and mentee with a certificate of completion. Participants from the Faculty of Science and Technology posed for a commemorative photo in front of the Enzetsu-kan.

The mentoring program is scheduled to continue in FY2023 and beyond. I hope to see more female faculty members from the Faculty of Science and Engineering participate and use this opportunity to reevaluate their careers and make connections beyond their faculties.

¹ The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) brings together 60 leading universities in the Americas, Asia, and Australasia. Participating members are able to build their networks through a variety of events and programs.

² Asia Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) is an APRU program launched in 2020 with the goal of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.
From the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Associate Professor Tomoko K. Shimizu (Department of Applied Physics and Physico-Informatics) was a mentee during the second cohort (2021-2022), and Professor Kyoko Ohara (Department of Foreign Languages and Liberal Arts) was a mentor during the third cohort (2022-2023). Associate Professor Shimizu is now involved in the Keio mentoring program as a working group member based on her experiences as a mentee.

Contact regarding to this article

Tomoko K. Shimizu, Dept. Applied Physics and Physico-Informatics (tshimizu[a]appi.keio.ac.jp) (Please replace [a] to @)