business

Japanese universities support women in the workforce

17 Comments

Universities such as Kwansei Gakuin University and Japan Women's University have launched an open lecture project for women who want to go back to work after getting married or having children, Nihon Jinjibu reports.

The type of lecture and syllabus may differ from one university to another but the fundamental aim of the project is the same - to prepare women who wish to continue pursuing their career by teaching them the necessary skills and practical applications needed for the workplace.

By attending these university courses, women who have experienced some “blank years” can return smoothly into a working environment. For many businesses, this is a chance to recruit some highly skilled women. Although some major companies have already started initiating support systems for female employees such as maternity leave and shorter working hours, the number of women who leave their job due to marriage and childbirth is still high in Japan.

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17 Comments
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Too bad government, business and everyone's grandparents are dead-set against it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is a step in the right direction but no use to anyone if these graduates cant get a job on completion because no one will hire them.

I am leaving Japan next week, after 11 years. I am not going home, rather to a "3rd party" country (the US). I am beyond excited because next year I am going back to university to retrain for the job I have always dreamed of doing but that would have been impossible in Japan. Indeed when I tell J female friends what I am doing they just cant understand it - they stare at me like I am crazy. Even with fluent Japanese, women aged 40 dont go back to scratch and start nursing school in Japan.

I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and feel for my Japanese friends here who, if you coax them enough, will reveal something of their dreams, but often there is no way for them to pursue them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

tmarie, they do have daycare on the campus. they should increase the capacity though. Rather than universities, which are trying many things on the verge of discriminating men, the companies should be forced to accept maternity leave and coming back to work after the maternity leave. Many of them don't

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope this is really a push for every women in nihon to have employment and not just a brief moment of fake process. If so, then the future would be more stronger for men and women to work together in their country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't see any economic advantage for women to do go back to work base on how the Japanese pension system is setup.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tmarie, I don't know where are you from, but seeking legal help is not as easy in Japan. my wife is in a similar situation and we do consider this option, but it is the last thing we will resort to. and my wife is HR, and therefore she knows the game very well.

regarding the discrimination of men, there were some people with too much free time on their hands who started a commission for the promotion of women in academia. while they pushed for some very good things (increase day care and support for working mothers, no official meetings after 6 pm, advertising the image of the woman scientist, etc.), they also came up with some aberrant things such as preferential hiring and promotion of women, filling a certain percent of women staff by any means, special funding for women, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About time. Huge numbers of women teach in low-paid hijokin part-time jobs, and I have yet to see a Japanese university that can boast even 10% female faculty in full-time, tenured positions. Too much OB networking by those on the hiring end, not enough reading of CVs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exactly, companies have to be willing to get serious about hiring mothers back into the workforce. Courses are great but the attitudes of companies is stuck in the past.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

tmarie - of course they are addressing the issue: They're imploring people to have more babies. It's bound to delay the problem at least another generation by which time they'll be dead. Then they won't have the problem anymore. See? It makes perfect sense.

Japan is already overpopulated. Everyone knows that when you dig yourself into a hole, you must keep digging.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do they have daycares on campus for profs and students? I know Osaka uni does but that's the only one I know of. Easy to give presentations but where is the action? How many women do they have leaving every year to have kids? Many OLs at unis are on limited contracts and disposed of. I'm glad they're talking about the issue but action needs to be taken.

Besides, how will attending these lectures help ensure a smooth return if companies aren't willing to hire them? Ladies, use your legal mat leave - one of the best in the world - I stead of quitting. Would make a huge difference in perceptions of women in the workforce here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ka, I agree. Which is why so many women refuse to work and/or work and get paid what they're worth. It's costing the taxpayers billions and needs to be done away with.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan does not have the lowest births per couple and this affects nations with more women in the workforce than Japan, for example Italy. You cannot make jobs out of thin air, more in the workforce means wages go down and unemployment rises. Also more families with both parents working leads to worse behaved kids with more emotional disorders (on average). Japan still has a civil society with low crime and this will change if children have both parents in the rat race and of course living standards will fall as we see in the west.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Forgot to add, glad they have daycare on campus. I have yet to work at a uni here that has it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Budgie, that's just it though. They caused this problem and refuse to do anything about it. The whole notion of women staying home and not "working" is new and came during the bubble. Hence obachan out in the fields here while their spoiled daughters seem to think they get to stay home and have hubby do all the work. This wasn't how it's ever been and yet those born after, the gits in power and the first generation if princesses, refuse to addresses the issue. Whose going to be paying their pension and health care when they're 95?!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yes, have more babies but yet, not covered by health care, not enough daycares, expecting women to quit once pregnant... Get rid of the 1.3 tax thing and watch the women demand daycares and better paying jobs.

Overpopulated? Perhaps. But in a very serious issue because of the lack of kids these days.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

which are trying many things on the verge of discriminating men, the companies should be forced to accept maternity leave and coming back to work after the maternity leave. Many of them don't

Not understanding your discriminating of men comment. What do you mean?

Mat leave is "forced" on companies. The problem is, when they "refuse" to give it, the women don't seek legal help. They quit. THIS is why companies know they can get away with it. "I don't want to work for a company or school who won't give me mat leave because if I fight it, I will work in a hostile environment". Great. So quit and let more women have the same issues... The women here need to step up as well. Things won't change until they demand the changes be made.

but often there is no way for them to pursue them.

I disagree. They CAN pursue them. They however, chose not to. If anything, Japanese women have a heck of a lot more freedom and choice than your average foreign woman abroad when it comes to choosing to do things and make changes. They certainly have a lot more freedom and choice than the men here. Japan is crying for nurses and caregivers. Thing is, the pay is crap. Why? That good old 1.3 tax break. Get rid of it and see the options and demands the women here make and take.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hello work offers help with this. Legally they have to give her mat leave. That simple. Indeed there is a game. It is there because no one fights it so companies think they can get away with it. For a country needing kids, sure is pathetic how they make it so freaken hard and don't follow the lines in place. If the women demanded their rights, it wouldn't still be an issue. I wish you and your wife well and hope her company complies. If not, please do fight for your wife's legal rights.

I see nothing wrong with laws that would finally put women at the same footing as men as long as there is a limit. I'm not one for quotas and discrimination in hiring but something clearly needs to be done with regards to the sexism women face here with regards to job hiring and promotions. You've benefitted from bring hired because you're male even if you agree to that or not. Why not allow women the same for a while? Did you think it was unfair when men were the ones being hired? Did you think it was unfair when smarter, more capable women were made OLs instead of putting them on career tracks? I'd love to say that the best person gets hired for jobs but that isn't the case. Never has been. No woman wants to be hired just for the sole reason that she's female. However many are tired of not bring hired or promoted because they are women. Heck, ask your wife how her dokyusei are compared to her and ask her if a man has ever been shoved out of a job because he's procreated.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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