Nov. 26, 2014

Toyota to Establish Foundation for Female Engineers in Japan


Toyota City, Japan, November 26, 2014―Toyota Motor Corporation and nine other Toyota Group companies are aiming to register a new foundation next month that will aim to foster and support women working in the field of manufacturing in Japan.

The other companies involved are Toyota Industries Corporation, Aichi Steel Corporation, JTEKT Corporation, Toyota Auto Body Co. Ltd., Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., Toyota Boshoku Corporation, Toyota Central R&D Labs Inc., Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. and Toyota Housing Corporation.

Progress is being made in Japan with recent public and private sector initiatives aimed at promoting more active participation by women in the workplace. The utilization of the perspectives and sensibilities of women in product development and design is also expected to have a number of positive benefits for the manufacturing industry such as contributing to the creation of new markets. The Toyota Group understand that greater participation by women in the field of technological development will be vital in the creation of ever-better cars and in achieving sustainable growth.

Women currently only account for approximately 10 percent of the students majoring in applied sciences at universities in Japan. The proportion is even lower among students studying electrical and mechanical engineering, a large proportion of whom are hired by companies in the transportation equipment/automotive industry. For automakers and other manufacturing companies to be able to substantially increase the number of women in technical positions, support needs to be provided to female university students studying science and engineering in order to increase their overall number.

The Toyota Female Engineer Development Foundation will use the examples of female tech workers to promote the merits of such work to high school students considering their future course of study at university, with the aim of helping to increase the number of female students who choose to study in the science and engineering fields. The foundation will also provide continued career development support in order to foster more science and engineering students and encourage more women to take active roles not only in the automotive industry but also in the wider manufacturing industry.

Overview of Toyota Female Engineer Development Foundation (planned)

Main activities 1. Providing young women with advice about careers in science and engineering 2. Fostering female science and engineering students (graduate and postgraduate)
Objective Increase number of female science students by promoting the merits of careers in the automotive industry and engineering Provide career development support to female students
High school students considering their path of study at university (male and female) Female university students nationwide majoring in engineering (approx. 120 graduate and postgraduate students)
(activities, etc.)
  1. Lectures at high schools in Aichi Prefecture by visiting female technical employees of Toyota Group
  2. Participation in university-hosted seminars aimed at promoting the study of applied sciences
  3. Coordination with current female university students
Forms of support for target students
  1. Internships (once as undergraduate, once as postgraduate)
  2. Observation tour of research facilities and informal gatherings for discussion (once a year)
  3. Career counseling by female technical employees
  4. Academic financial aid
    Where a student uses a student loan, the following benefits shall be paid to the loan recipient
    1. Amount equivalent to loan interest while in school (six-year maximum)
    2. Amount equivalent to loan (with conditions*)

    *Students who receive a student loan and are successfully accepted for employment in technical positions by one of the foundation's participating companies or by other manufacturing companies will be paid a benefit equivalent to the loan amount due for repayment or half the loan amount due for repayment.

Other Lectures by visiting female technical employees will be carried out at a limited number of Aichi Prefecture high schools to, start within the current fiscal year (ending March 31, 2015) Expected model of student loan: 600,000 yen per year for maximum of six years (with payback period of eight years)