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IEL Gender Series

Last updated: 16 October 2020

Part 2: Analysing progress towards gender equality - Policy-making workshop

In the second two-hour workshop, the focus shifted from understanding to analysing. The aims were: (i) to encourage participants to analyse how gender influences decision making, both on individual and institutional levels, and (ii) to propose potential improvements to policies overlapping with gender in academia and industry.


Participants during policy-making session of the second IEL Gender Series workshop.

In order to achieve objective (i), guest speakers from academia and industry, including a member of the NGO WomEnpowered International, shared perspectives on the relation between gender and decision making in their fields. In parallel, ahead of the workshop we organised an online survey for GSDM students, which investigated how gender influences major life choices such as further study, raising a family, and career development. Around 25 respondents took part, and the results were shared during the IEL. These two approaches allowed us to consider the intersection between gender and both individual and institutional decision making. 

In order to achieve objective (ii), we organised a policy scenario game. The 15 participants were divided into two teams, and presented with imaginary policies designed to promote gender equality in either academia or industry in Japan. One policy focused on extreme affirmative action in academia, and the other on gender-blind recruitment in industry. However, the policies were intentionally designed with flaws. Participants were required to identify flaws, decide to amend or reject the policy, and propose an improved or alternative policy. The IEL ended with group presentations, and further discussion over dinner. 

After the IEL, several participants (both male and female) reported feeling empowered and inspired by the workshop, suggesting it successfully fulfilled its objectives.


Logo of IEL Gender Series

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