The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set an admirable goal of including women more fully into the workplace. So far, though, that intention has produced few positive gains. One small advance may offer a glimmer of hope. The number of women in school managerial positions, such as principals, presidents or heads of faculty, reached a record 21,827 as of May 1, according to the education ministry.
That upward trend is surely welcome, since the number of women in higher positions in educational institutions continues to be disappointingly low. Women constitute only 23.3 percent of the management positions in education. Among female school officials, 68 were university presidents, up slightly from a year earlier, and 95 were university vice presidents, again more than ever before. However, that still translates to a dismally low 8.7 percent of women in charge at universities and 21.1 percent at junior colleges.