May Edition, 2013 (Part 1)
In ‘Conahana-san of the Month’, we introduce experiences of senior female researchers who have been successfully managed their work-life balance between research/work and life events such as childbirth, child care and family care.
This is our first Co-nohana interview with a graduate of this university! I interviewed Ms. Kanemaru, who graduated from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is currently working for HAYANO-GUMI Corporation. Along with her career at Hayano-gumi, she is also married and taking care of a baby. A woman working in the civil engineering industry must be a solid and strong figure. She actually didn’t fit into my typical biased image(^^;) when she, a rather small and slender lady showed up neatly dressed in a pantsuit. I wondered if it was her at first but as the interview went on I found many faces of a scientist in her (lol)
・My first question is, as you know, women are still the minority in science major departments. What brought you to the field of science?
I was good at math… in other words, there was no other choice than science, as I was doing worse at humanity subjects. I have not yet overcome the feeling of inferiority in subjects I did not like (phew)
・I actually know many others who share the same feeling (lol) Why then, did you choose civil engineering among other types of majors?
My elder sister was in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at that time. I just happened to be interested in the same major.
・How did you like it after actually entering the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering? Did you think there were few girls?
Seven out of 120 were girls. But I didn’t feel any sense of negativity about myself being part of a minority gender. I probably wasn’t particularly aware of the difference, I didn’t need to be treated differently just because I was female. I think many other girls in the science major are like that, aren’t they?
・I truly understand as I also used to major in science! It may look like female students are having a hard time being minorities among the male students, but actually those girls are not really aware of the situation and there’s no inconvenience. Did people say that you must be popular among guys?
They did! But actually I wasn’t because it was always more like a friendship or fellowship than a romance.
・I agree! It’s not necessarily a romantic relationship between male and female.
(… We enjoyed science-major girls’ talk for a while. Too many topics to fit them all within the limited space of this webpage (lol))
・Did you join any club?
I wanted to try to play the violin, and joined theUniversityofYamanashi Orchestra. I had no former experience playing it, so I was so happy to have learned how to do it after a lot of practice. I guess I’m allowed to tell you now that I was going to school only to practice violin for a certain period (lol) Club activities meant a lot in my campus life.
・Now I’d like to ask about job hunting. What was your plan?
My major was environmental engineering and I was interested in manufacturing. I decided to work for Hayano-gumi Corporation, and work in the industry of manufacturing.
・I imagine that there are few women in architecture and even much fewer in the construction industry.
I found out after I had started at Hayano-gumi that I was the first female engineer hired to the civil-engineering section. It must have been more challenging for the company to hire the first female engineer than for me to be working as one (lol)
Having started with building survey work in the civil engineer department, later I was assigned to the field. I experienced three civil engineering sites, building a new sewage plant, reforming of the Chuo highway and overpass construction on the New Yamanashi beltway.
Following the stories of her fruitful campus life, I heard more about her career. Stay tuned for Part 2!