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Jun. 22, 2023

Publisher: Shiseido

R&D/Supply Network


Shiseido Names Grant Recipients for 16th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant

~ A manifold approach to supporting next-generation female research leaders as a company promoting women’s empowerment ~

Shiseido company, Limited (“Shiseido”) has selected 10 recipients for the 16th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant and will hold an award ceremony under the theme of ”networking among female researchers for a sustainable society” on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at the Shiseido Global Innovation Center.
Since its establishment in 2007, the grant has provided research grants to up to 10 female researchers each year on the principle that supporting female researchers who will be taking on leadership roles in the next generation will lead to the development of science and technology. It covers a wide range of research themes in natural sciences (all fields in science and engineering and life sciences) and one of its features is that the granted fund of one million yen is allowed to be used flexibly for the purpose of creating a comfortable working environment that will support the balance of research activities with life events such as childbirth and childcare. For example, the fund can be used for babysitter/nursery fees when attending academic conferences, employment costs for research assistants, etc. In addition, networking among the grant recipients through information exchange and joint research also helps reinforce each recipient’s research activity and career development.
Driven by its corporate mission, “BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD,” Shiseido positions diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a key management strategy to cultivate corporate culture in which people from various backgrounds can fully and freely exert their individual abilities and continue to create innovation. Amid the growing awareness of the challenges involved in closing the gender gap in the STEM*1 fields in Japan, Shiseido, as a company that actively promotes women’s empowerment, will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society with the development of science and technology through supporting female researchers.
*1 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Current situation of female researchers and roles of this grant, Future prospects

Shiseido conducted a questionnaire survey*2 on past grant recipients regarding the current situation of female researchers, and more than 80% of them responded by saying, “I have problems simply by virtue of being a woman.” The most cited causes were “difficulty balancing family and work,” followed by “difficulty gaining other’s understanding of my situation due to lack of female researchers” and “no one to consult or exchange information with” (Figure 1). These results revealed the reality of female researchers who are facing various problems such as the imbalance of work and family life, which can be attributed to Japanese gender-role society*3, feeling of isolation, and anxiety towards career promotion,etc.
On the other hand, in regards to the benefits of receiving the grant, they responded with “received a government subsidy,” “communication with other excellent recipients helped me develop new ideas,” “the award itself gave me emotional support,” “had opportunities to communicate and interact with Shiseido researchers,” and “gained recognition from others” (Figure 2). These suggest that in addition to tangible support such as funds, the intangible support of networking and communicating also provides meaningful support to female researchers in a difficult environment.
*2 Survey period: November 16-30, 2022. Number of respondents among Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant recipients: 74 (Numbers asked: 119)
*3 A social and cultural division of roles between men and women, such as ”men should work and women should take care of the home.”

Future prospects
It has been 16 years since this grant, set up with the aim of nurturing female researchers who will be playing a leading role in the next generation, was founded, and a total of 149 scientists have been awarded to date. Many of the past recipients have advanced in their career, becoming professors and research leaders who run their own laboratories. The networking is essential for researchers to expand their ideas, deliver research results, and leverage them for society. Shiseido will provide support in networking among female researchers centering on those who have received this grant, and it will create opportunities for communication among people and the exchange of knowledge beyond the scope of research fields and areas of expertise.

Figure 1: What kinds of problems do you have by virtue of being a woman? (Multiple choice) N=74

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Figure 2: What was the benefit of receiving the Science Grant? (Multiple choice) N=74

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Outline of the 16th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant Award Ceremony

Time and Date: Thursday, July 6, 2023, 13:00 ~ 16:00
Venue: Shiseido Global Innovation Center 1F (1-2-11 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan)
Theme: Networking among female researchers for a sustainable society
Ceremony: Orders of the day
By Yukari Suzuki (Director, Senior Executive Officer, Chief D&I Officer, Shiseido Co., Ltd.)
-Presentation of commemorative plaque
By Yoshiaki Okabe (Senior Executive Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Brand Innovation Officer, Shiseido Co., Ltd.)
-Greetings from the representative of the grant recipients
-Judges' comments
By Yosuke Tojo (Head of Judging Committee, Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Shiseido Co., Ltd.)
-Survey Report: Current status of women in academia and the significance of the grant award – From the results of the questionnaire survey on the 1st to 15th grant recipients
By Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant Office
-Keynote Speech
By Maho Amano, Associate Professor, PhD, Faculty of Medicine Hokkaido University, CEO of Horizon Illumination Lab Optics, Co. Ltd. Grant recipient at the 6th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant)
-Information exchange session

[16th Shiseido Female Researcher Science Grant: List of grant recipients]
Grant period: June 2023 ~ May 2024

Xiaoli Guo, Ph.D.
Visual Research Project, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
Senior Researcher
[Basic Medicine / Neuroscience / Ophthalmology]
Light-regulated gene therapy on eye diseases

Katie Seaborn, Ph.D.
Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Engineering
Associate Professor
[Human Factors Engineering/ Human-Computer Interaction]
Aromatic Engagement with Robots: An Exploratory Study of Olfactory Human-Robot Interaction

Sayaka Nagasawa, Ph.D.
Education and Research Center of Legal Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University. Laboratory of Forensic Toxicology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University.
[Forensic Toxicology/ Legal Medicine]
Comprehensive analysis of the death stench component in different corpse environments

Akari Hagiwara, Ph. D.
Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science
Associate Professor
[Neuroscience / Neural circuit for brain function]
Analysis of neurotransmission and gene expression to elucidate the neural circuit for the regulation of nurturing behavior

Kei Hashimoto, Ph.D.
Ochanomizu University, Ochadai Academic Production
Assistant Professor
[Neuroscience/Molecular Biology]
Lipid metabolism dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease

Saki Matsumoto, Ph.D.
Frontier Institute for Biomolecular Engineering Research, Konan University
Specially Appointed Assistant Professor
[Nucleic acids chemistry/ Biofunctional Chemistry]
The effect of DNA non-canonical structures on transcription during senescence

Haruka Miki, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Rheumatology, Institute of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
Assistant Professor
[Clinical Immunology and Allergy]
Novel adjuvant development to promote efficacy of allergen immunotherapy

Shiho Yada, Ph. D.
Tokyo University of Science, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Chemistry
Assistant Professor
[Colloid and Surface Chemistry]
Development of nano-operand measurement technique for foam and structural elucidation for foam

Sachine Yoshida, Ph.D.
Toho University, Faculty of Medicine
Assistant Professor
[Neuroscience / Developmental Psychology]
Quantitative analysis of parent-infant physical contact aimed at understanding the mechanisms involved in cultivating children's sense of security

Hiroko Watanabe, Ph.D.
Research Center for Neutrino Science, Tohoku University
Assistant Professor
[Particle Science / Neutrino Experiment]
New development in understanding the Earth through observation of geoneutrinos at ocean bottom

*Listed in alphabetical order without honorifics.

Evaluation Criteria

Judges outside Shiseido (Associate Professor Ikuko Kakizaki of Hirosaki University, Honorary Professor Kashiko Kodate of the Japan Women’s University, Professor Takashi Kondo of Tokyo University, Professor Kimiko Yabe of Fukui University of Technology) and judges within Shiseido objectively assess the following criteria and select recipients whom they consider appropriate to support as female researchers pursuing future leadership positions.
1. The applied research
・Background, purpose, and social significance of the research
・Appropriateness of the research plan (concreteness and logicality/rationality of the research plan toward the objectives, and feasibility of the research)
・Uniqueness of the research (novelty and originality)
2. The researcher
・(a) Research achievements, (b) positive attitude, (c) research vision and enthusiasm for fostering future researchers, (d) vision for future social impact and application/leveraging of research results

Reference: Shiseido’s D&I initiatives

Shiseido has promoted initiatives for women’s career development since the early 1990s before the childcare and family care leave law took effect in Japan. In 2021, recognizing that the introduction of more diverse and flexible work styles is vital to further women’s empowerment, the company revised its flextime system, which sets no core hours, and introduced the “Shiseido Hybrid Work Style” to maximize synergy between in-office work and remote work. In addition, the company has been widely conducting surveys, workshops, and E-Learning programs on unconscious bias seeking to foster an inclusive workplace culture in which everyone can work actively and comfortably. Furthermore, in a bid to achieve a rate of 100% in men taking childcare leave, the company offers various programs and activities such as the sharing of childcare experiences by role models and running workshops for managers, etc. As part of its initiatives, the company launched “KODOMOLOGY Ikutore,” a hands-on childcare training program by active professionals such as childcare workers and nurses, upon utilizing the know-how of Shiseido’s childcare business.
In 2017, Shiseido started the NEXT LEADERSHIP SESSION for WOMEN as a training program focusing on women’s concerns and issues, and in 2020, it introduced a mentorship program by female directors for female employees, creating opportunities to communicate with role models and providing career support. As a result of accelerating these initiatives, the percentage of female managers in the Shiseido Group in Japan reached 37.6%*4. Shiseido aims to achieve a 50:50 ration, a figure representing equal opportunity, in gender ratio by 2030, and executives in each business domain have already formulated action plans to achieve 50% female leaders.
Meanwhile, Shiseido has also been making efforts toward society. It launched an in-house research institute, “Shiseido D&I Lab” in 2023, aiming to introduce experiences and knowledge gained both inside and outside of the company. In terms of brand-led initiatives, brand SHISEIDO developed and has begun providing free educational material on unconscious beauty biases as a program for Japanese middle school students who are learning about diversity perspectives. The program aims to dispel prejudices and stereotypes that impede people’s achievement of their desired beauty and build a world where everyone can live their lives and celebrate each other’s beauty. The global luxury skincare and makeup brand, Clé de Peau Beauté, signed a global partnership with UNICEF in 2019 to support the empowerment of girls through education in its pursuit of creating a better future for girls and society as a whole around the world.
*4 As of January 1, 2023

*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.