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Jun. 30, 2022

Publisher: Shiseido

R&D/Supply Network

Shiseido Names Grant Recipients for 15th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant

- Supporting women’s research activities in academic fields from a variety of perspectives, as a company promoting women’s empowerment -

Shiseido Company, Limited (“Shiseido”) has selected 10 grant recipients for the 15th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant*1 (117 total applicants). The grant was founded in 2007 on the principle of supporting female researchers who will play a leading role in the next generation to contribute to the development of science and technology. This research grant provides various unique advantages covering a wide range of research fields not limited to cosmetics, sets no age limit for application, and allows funds to be used in supportive activities for life events (such as childbirth and childcare) in order to continue pursuing their research. This year, we particularly aim to “support research activities for realizing a sustainable world where people can enjoy a lifetime of happiness” and to “foster female researchers who aspire to be in a leadership position in the future”. As a company that actively promotes women’s empowerment, Shiseido will continue to support research activities of the grant recipients and help them step up as research leaders, while paying attention to the environment surrounding female researchers in order to solve the problem of huge gender gap in Japan’s STEM*2 fields.
*1 Each recipient will be awarded a research grant of 1 million yen.
*2 STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Empowerment of women at Shiseido

We position diversity and inclusion as a pillar of our management strategy to realize our corporate mission, “BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD”. In particular, we are actively promoting the active participation of women as part of our efforts to cultivate corporate culture in which all employees can fully and freely exert their individual abilities and continue to create innovation. In addition, while there is an increasing awareness of the need to close the gender gap in Japanese society, we act as a leading company to promote gender equality, focusing on the empowerment of women inside and outside the company.
Our internal initiatives include a leadership training session for female employees who pursue a career in management, and a mentoring program connecting female corporate officers with female employees, while as part of our external engagement, we participate in “30% Club Japan”, a global campaign to increase the proportion of female executive officers in Japanese companies, and work together with local governments to carry out women’s empowerment activities.
Furthermore, our efforts to support women’s empowerment have also been recognized outside the company, such as being listed as one of the “Nadeshiko Brands” for two consecutive years, which is an initiative that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) jointly select companies that excel in promoting women’s empowerment, and ranked first in the “100 Best Companies Where Women Actively Take Part”, which is a survey conducted by the Nikkei Woman magazine (published by Nikkei BP).

Shiseido’s unique initiative: Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant

Japan ranks 120th*3 in the world in terms of gender equality, and the wide gender gap is a matter of concern in the STEM fields, too. Women account for 17.5%*4 of total researchers in Japan and although on a moderate uptrend in recent years, this percentage remains low compared to other countries. One of factors that are believed to have great impact on women’s research activities is a deep-rooted perception of gender roles, in which women are more likely to take on childcare and nursing care, etc. In addition, there are few female researchers in the same position or role models (career goals) around them, and many female researchers may be struggling to obtain a variety of information. In view of these circumstances, Shiseido established the Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant program in 2007, targeting female researchers in all fields of natural science. Since then, we have continued this activity with the purpose of supporting female researchers who are motivated to pursue leadership positions and expected to contribute to the development of science and technology. Usage of funds is permitted not only for research expenses, but also for supporting expenses including babysitter fees during business trips, employment costs for research assistants, and conference participation fees for students. The grant program has provided support in networking among female researchers by operating a social networking service among the grant recipients and holding events in addition to emotional support during various life events, helping them in coping with anxiety and hesitation.
As a result, many of the past grant recipients have received the Saruhashi Prize*6 or the Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Award*7 and been promoted to professorships or other academic fields, as their research has been highly evaluated, and continued to step up in their academic fields.
*3 Based on Gender Gap Report 2021, published in March 2021 by the World Economic Forum
*4 From the 2021 Science and Technology Research Survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
*5 A social and cultural division of roles between men and women, such as ”men should work and women should take care of the home”.
*6 The Saruhashi Prize; Awarded by the Association for a Brighter Future for Women Scientists, founded in 1980, and presented annually to women scientists who have made outstanding research achievements in various fields of natural science.
*7 Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Award; Established in 2019 by the Physical Society of Japan in honor of the late Fumiko Yonezawa, who devoted herself to supporting women scientists as the president of the ”Society for Women Scientists with Bright Futures” and was the first woman to serve as the President of the Physical Society of Japan.

Future prospects

Since its establishment in 2007, the Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant has contributed to the research support and career development of a total of 139 researchers up to date, and the 15th grant will be awarded in 2022, which marks the 150th anniversary of Shiseido’s foundation. The number of female researchers who are in leading position in specialized fields has gradually increased since the grant was first established, however, it still remains low. In recent years, while more emphasis has been placed on the actual implementation and return of research results to society, researchers are more expected to engage in diverse activities from a broader perspective.
Against this background, we believe that the grant will continue to provide support not only in the form of the research grant but also in the form of networking opportunities among researchers, companies, and society and create communication opportunities that will be beneficial for the future success of female researchers. Shiseido, as a company that supports the empowerment of women, will continue to provide support from a variety of perspectives toward the realization of a society in which female researchers can play an active role in academic fields.

Outline of grant award ceremony

Time and Date: Thursday, July 14, 2022, 16:00-17:00
Venue: Shiseido Global Innovation Center 3F S/PARK Hall (1-2-11 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan)
Theme: “The Future created through the empowerment of female researchers
Ceremony: Orders of the day
- Greetings
By Yoshiaki Okabe (Senior Executive Officer, Chief Brand Innovation Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Shiseido Co., Ltd.)
- Presentation of commemorative plaque
- Greetings from the representative of the grant recipients
- Congratulatory speeches
By Takashi Kondo (Vice Director, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo)
By Yukari Suzuki (Representative Director, Senior Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief D&I Officer, Shiseido Co., Ltd.)
- Keynote Speech
By Mariko Egawa (Senior Researcher, Shiseido MIRAI Technology Institute)

[15th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant : List of grant recipients]
Grant period: June 2022~May 2023

Akiko Ogawa, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Modomics Biology and Medicine, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC), Tohoku University
Assistant Professor
[RNA modification/Ophthalmology]
The emerging role of RNA modifications in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis

Ami Ogawa, Ph.D.
Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University
Assistant Professor
[Architectural engineering / Housing study]
Evaluation of upper limb rehabilitation space in stroke hemiplegic patients

Kanami Orihara, Ph.D.
School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Associate Professor
[Immunology/Chronobiology (circadian rhythm)/Molecular Biology]
Investigating an efficient method to elicit skin barrier function against infections

Mei-Fang Chien, Ph.D.
Tohoku University, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Department of Environmental Studies for Advanced Society
Assistant Professor
[Environmental Microbiology/Molecular Biotechnology]
Utilization of biological metal response functions toward the realization of a recycling-oriented society

Naoko Crofts, Ph.D.
Akita Prefectural University Faculty of Bioresource Sciences
Specially Appointed Assistant Professor
Determining the control mechanisms of resistant starch biosynthesis by focusing on the balance between generation and removal of amylopectin branches

Atsuko Kosuga, Ph.D.
Osaka Metropolitan University, Graduate School of Science
Associate Professor
[Materials Science/Thermoelectric Conversion Engineering]
Development of High Performance Thermoelectric Materials for Recovery of Room Temperature Waste Heat

Tomomi Tsunematsu, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
Assistant Professor
[Neuroscience/Sleep Science]
Elucidating a physiological role of astrocytes in sleep/wakefulness

Ami Nishijima, Ph.D.
The University of Tokyo, School of Engineering, Department of Applied Chemistry
Assistant Professor
[Coordination Chemistry / Polymer Chemistry]
Development of thin polyurethane sheet with unimolecular thickness

Shinobu Hirai, Ph.D.
Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Senior researcher
[Neuroscience/Basic Medicine/Sugar Metabolism]
Elucidation of the mechanisms of fructose metabolism in the brain under physiological and pathological conditions

Mamiko Yamada, M.D., Ph.D.
Center for Medical Genetics, Keio University School of Medicine
[Medical Genetics]
Innovations in long-read-sequencing whole-genome analysis: elucidating the etiology of pediatric undiagnosed diseases

* Listed in alphabetical order by given name without honorifics.

*The content of the release is correct as of the time of release, but please note that it may in some cases differ from the latest information.