business

Women in management at Japanese firms still a rarity: poll

13 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto

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Many men don't have managing positions either, if there's a open position and 9 men and one woman applies it would sexist to hand the woman this job based on her gender.

Men also often support their families, a basic practice in Japan, whereas career women live on double incomes or often chose not to marry. Supporting a family is better for society (children=future).

Still I think the best candidate should get the job, but pushing women in managing positions isn't the way.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Japan has already a decliining child births rate with each passing year. It kinda would make things worse if more woman are working. Nobody to keep the family together. Would cause problems for raising a family.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Men also often support their families, a basic practice in Japan, whereas career women live on double incomes or often chose not to marry. Supporting a family is better for society (children=future).

More women are joining the labor force in Japan and more and more will make careers one way or the other.

The glass ceiling may be thicker than in the West but even in a conservative country like Japan the old boys will give in at the end as the majority of the population doesn't want too many foreigners either.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It would be interesting to see data on whether women in management positions are more or less likely to have children than women in (say) part-time positions or those who are full-time homemakers.

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If I was your average Japanese woman, which I’m not, and got a first hand look at Japanese corporate culture I’d be running for the hills as well. You’ve gotta be joking right? It’s like selling your soul to a lifetime of servitude to system that is still firmly living in the past. Top down, rigid, hierarchies based on what seems to be the exact opposite of competence. The career minded types should look at startups and small businesses where the life work balance is at least possible. There’s no wonder women are under represented in senior positions in big companies. They’re smart! Any that choose to have children and raise a family are out of the game for one. Most women , well let’s say many women still want to eventually have kids right? It’s natural and not necessarily some sinister plot to keep them down.

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Joey - Men also often support their families, a basic practice in Japan, whereas career women live on double incomes or often chose not to marry. Supporting a family is better for society (children=future).

Wow! Miss the point much? If a woman choses a career over marriage it is her prerogative. It is the same ideals as the statement above that create this kind of sexism in the workplace. Women do not have a social obligation to become baby making machines. That kind of idealism died out a 100 years ago. Furthermore, from my experience in Japan, the women are much better educated and have much greater organisational and critical thinking skills then the men.

I'm sure the reason Abe has failed to get more women into to management is because he has also failed to strictly address the salary differences between men and women for the same job. In most cases, women are paid 10-20% less than a man to do the same job even though, the women usually do the job much better. It is impossible to turnover more than a thousand years of Japanese sexism in a single generation. It's only a little over a hundred years ago that women were actually allowed to attend school in Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This will not change without a huge cultural shift in childcare and schooling. Daycare hours are very limited, then once in school there is huge pressure on mothers to participate during the day in various activities. Furthermore, I have suggested to female managers at my company to go for a promotion but many say "no way!" And I think largely from interpersonal pressure that comes from managing people. Where there is no will there is no way...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“The number will increase naturally if we create a system that allows women to remain in work even after having children and by nurturing capable employees regardless of sex,” a manager of a services company wrote in the survey.

Not only about kids & motherhood tbh. Many J women do not have nor want to have kids, are single, in their mid/late 40s etc yet they're simply not getting the same job opportunities as men.

I actually think that the 'let's help those mums but it won't be easy' card is a cop out (and it's working all right!); many/most men -especially in japan- simply don't want women on their boards.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

create a system that allows women to remain in work even after having children and by nurturing capable employees regardless of sex,

The system is called, equal opportunity employment. Most modern countries have used this system for 50 odd years. However, it’s still the 1920’s in Japan. It should only take another 50 years or so for Japan to catch up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The system is called, equal opportunity employment.

I am all for equality of opportunity, but many have increasingly been talking about equality of outcome.

Aiming for equality of outcome would be disastrous!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How many women in Japan actually want to be in management to carry on more load to have to work even later into the night?

With that being said, Japan is so far behind the times.

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Vince BlackToday  07:58 pm JST

How is this a bad thing?

It has worked for Japan until now and is something that other countries should consider. 

I mean, aside from all the women who are frustrated because they can't get the jobs they want, all the men who are frustrated because they are forced to be primary breadwinners regardless of what they want, and all the zombie kaisha who eat up the nation's resources without providing the same kind of innovation as can be found in hungry up-and-comers around the world, sure, it has worked.

It's almost as if intentionally choosing not to look at the problems makes something look good.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To those who are really willing to do this I wish them luck. I just wish there were more, better paying part-time jobs (requiring skills) + more light (30-35 hours per week) full time jobs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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