Recent news that Haruko Obokata of Riken's Center for Developmental Biology found a new way to generate pluripotent cells cast a spotlight on women in the male-dominant field of science.

While figures show they are still a minority, Nagoya University is actively hiring women with hidden talents, and its efforts are bearing fruit.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry conducted a survey in 2012 and found that women constitute a mere 14 percent of all researchers in Japan. By comparison, more than 30 percent of the researchers in the United States and United Kingdom are women. In Japan, women's numbers are particularly low in the physical sciences, engineering and agriculture.