I am a lab secretary who works for two different labs. I ease their workload by providing administrative support and also helping them organise their time. My liking for supporting others probably comes through my parenting experience as I am also raising my 6-year-old boy. I believe that each Lab member is very unique and I always feel honored to assist such eligible colleagues. I also help international students with their personal lives. Since the are living far away from their families, I sometimes feel like being their mom.
There are several female students in my lab who are called ‘Rikejo’ in Japanese. It roughly translates to ‘female students（researchers） with science background’. I always had the image of them being very efficient yet cold but, they are really balanced and thoughtful. I really hope that they are able to build their careers as they wish to. In Japan, the burden of housework and raising a child tends to fall mainly on women of the household (called ‘Wan ope ikuji’ in Japanese, which means “one-person operation”). Even for me, as a part-time staff, it’s hard to juggle between work and motherhood (Our husbands are much busier). During the flu season, an epidemic spreads in Japan and all working moms feel the burden because they have to take time off from work and nurse kids alone. I believe that the university is open to men and women equally so, I want it to support researchers and staff along with their children. If you ask me, I would definitely like to support such a system in the future.
As expressed by Mika Kobayashi.