Japan had the lowest share of female staff in tertiary education in 2020 among 32 comparable member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development at 30 percent, the group's recent report on education said.
Women represent 45 percent of academic professionals across OECD countries on average, according to the report released Oct. 3, highlighting how much Japan still needs to catch up.
Among the countries, Lithuania ranked the highest at 59 percent, followed by Latvia and Finland at 55 percent and 53 percent respectively. The United States just tipped over the majority line at 51 percent.
Japan lagged behind the second group of worst ranked countries -- Luxembourg, Switzerland and South Korea -- which stood at around 36 percent.
It also did poorly in 2019 for higher education footed by the government and other public institutions at 33 percent, markedly lower than the OECD's average of 66 percent.
Japan's ministry of education is making an effort to increase female faculty. It started an initiative from fiscal 2020 to give more subsidies to public universities that have increased their share of female teachers.
It has also decided to evaluate when subsidizing private universities, whether they have achieved a certain level of women representation in its staff from the 2022 school year, which started in April.