Tokyo Medical University’s School of Medicine Elects First Female President


Weeks after a Tokyo medical university was ousted for altering entrance exam results to favor men, that same school has elected its first female president. Yukiko Hayashi, head of pathophysiology at Tokyo Medical University’s School of Medicine, was elected by a number of professors, beating her male rival. The former president stepped down over the summer after bribery allegations surfaced. Unsurprisingly, Hayashi’s election appears to be a university attempt to rectify their damaged reputation and improve public image. But regardless of intent, the election of a female president can only serve as an important step toward the betterment of gender equality in the Japanese medical field.  

For Further Reading:

Take a look at this 2017 article that describes Japan’s poor ranking in gender equality to get some context on this problem.


Discussion Question:

Do you think Yukiko Hayashi’s election as Tokyo Medical University’s first female president is a result of her merit as a medical professional or a blatant attempt by the university to repair a damaged reputation? And even if it’s just a PR stunt, does that matter if she’s now in a position of power to make real change?

Action Item:

If you are pursuing a career, do some research on female leaders in your field of interest. What does the ratio between male and female officials look like?


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