Tokyo Tech News

President Masu receives Forbes JAPAN HeForShe Award


Published: November 15, 2023

Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu has received the 2023 Forbes JAPAN HeForShe Award, an individual accolade presented to men who promote and take action to achieve gender equality in Japan. Masu was announced as the recipient of the award on October 31 at the Forbes JAPAN WOMEN AWARD 2023 event, which was streamed online.

HeForShe Award trophy

HeForShe Award trophy

The Forbes JAPAN WOMEN AWARD, launched in 2016, recognizes both companies and individuals that strive to close the gender gap and empower women. The initiative supports the creation of a society where women can demonstrate their abilities as a matter of course and be more active leaders. The WOMEN AWARD's individual category recognizes trailblazers with various honors such as the Changemaker Award and the Inclusion Award, but the HeForShe Award is the only one awarded to men.

Reasons for selection

Forbes JAPAN announced the following reasons for Masu's selection as the recipient of the HeForShe Award.

  • Successful implementation of major changes in the often closed-off realm of academia, and in the male-dominated field of science and engineering
  • Establishment of female student quotas in the university’s entrance selection methods to increase the number of female students at a time when the fostering and recruitment of professional science and engineering talent is of heightened importance

As part of its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, Tokyo Tech will introduce special quotas for Japanese-speaking prospective female students applying to the Institute's bachelor's degree programs through the recommendation-based entrance exam selection method and the comprehensive entrance exam selection method from April 2024 onwards. The leadership of President Masu to implement these changes has been highly acclaimed.

Masu giving acceptance speech at award ceremony venue

Masu giving acceptance speech at award ceremony venue

Comments from President Kazuya Masu

I am deeply grateful to receive the Forbes JAPAN WOMEN AWARD 2023 HeForShe Award.

I feel that this award is the result of Tokyo Tech's positive action to implement — on an unprecedented scale — female student quotas in two types of entrance selection methods for enrollment starting in academic year 2024.

University entrance examinations and selection methods have a great impact on students. The faculty and staff members of Tokyo Tech worked together to carefully design the system, responding appropriately to reactions from the public. Although this award is an individual accolade, I feel that our entire community received this award as Team Tokyo Tech.

Universities play a crucial role in the advancement of research. In research, too, when people with different backgrounds and values come together to engage in friendly competition, the result is new findings and innovation.

In Japan, the ratio of female students in the science and engineering fields temporarily increased in the 1990s. Efforts made at various universities followed, but unfortunately, there has been little change since 2000. Women make up about 13 percent of bachelor's program students at Tokyo Tech. At science and engineering programs across Japanese national universities, this figure is about 17 percent. In order to boost women's interest in science and engineering, increased efforts are also required at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels. As a concrete measure, Tokyo Tech decided to introduce large-scale female quotas for students applying through the recommendation-based entrance exam selection method and the comprehensive entrance exam selection method.

Since the fall of 2022, Tokyo Tech has also been hiring more women after the creation of positions for female academics across the Institute. Tokyo Tech will continue to encourage more women to view the science and engineering fields as viable career options.

Tokyo Tech aims to merge with Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) to create Institute of Science Tokyo (tentative) in the fall of 2024. Official decisions on the integration and the name of the new university will be made at the Diet's current session. Through this merger, Tokyo Tech and TMDU aim to create new value — born from diversity — by bringing together broad knowledge from different academic disciplines and developing a renewed "convergence science."

Tokyo Tech will use this award as an opportunity to further empower women, and to respect and promote diversity. Together with the public, we will continue to grow and create a better future.

Diversity and Inclusion at Tokyo Tech

Diversity and Inclusion
Tokyo Tech commits to realizing cultural development and contribution to human welfare by creating an intellectually vibrant environment.

Diversity and Inclusion at Tokyo Tech


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