business

Only 11% of managerial jobs held by women

15 Comments

Women in the workforce in Japan hold only 11% of managerial positions, according to the 2013 government white paper on gender equality, released by the Cabinet Office.

This year's white paper focuses on "the success of women," which is one of the pillars of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's growth strategy.

Although there is a high demand, the percentage of working women in leadership positions in Japan remains low compared to other countries in the West and the rest of Asia, the white paper says.

As of now, the ratio of female employees enrolled in leadership positions in Japan is 11%, 43% in America, 38.7% in France and 52.7% in the Philippines. Also, among the total population of female workers in Japan, 28% of them quit their jobs after getting married and 36% when they have their first baby.

The white paper points out that Japan, more than ever, needs women in the workforce as the household's traditional (male) breadwinner's income is decreasing.

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15 Comments
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I'm surprised it is as high as 11% to be honest. 28% quit their job once married?36% once they've had a kid?? Poppycock. There have been articles on JT in the past six months that state 70% quit their job once married and pregnant. Stats, numbers easy to play around with to get the results you want.

-2 ( +4 / -5 )

me too, this country is still so sexist it sickens me

1 ( +3 / -3 )

11%? I doubt it would be half that in larger companies.

4 ( +3 / -0 )

There is one Japanese drug company that has a "diversity programme", and has accelerated the promotion of women to manager's positions; but both male and female employees have complained that the promotions are quota/gender-based and not ability-based, leading to issues of incompetent and incapable managers...

Give women equal pay, equal rights, equal opportunity and equal benefits; but make them subject to equal qualifications and/or experience for the job, not just because of a gender difference.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dear wanderlust, your comment is well taken, however I work at such large Japanese company and the idea that anybody gets promoted for qualifications or experience is not apparent to me. Top managers hang around long enough to be promoted due to nenkou jouretsu which is alive and thriving. The top management is packed and encrusted and it is difficult for anyone to rise. It is kind of sickening and I avoid dealing with top managers as much as possible because they have long since stopped doing "work" and getting "experience" and coast on company connections and "procedure".

1 ( +1 / -1 )

@tmarie

28 + 36 = 64, last time I checked. Isn't that close enough to 70% for you?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No, it isn't because the meanings are very, very different. I'd also love to know how many of those who go back to work are in FT jobs vs those in PT jobs plus how many who didn't quit are working PT jobs, not FT jobs. You can play with stats all you like to get the results you want and clearly this article was written by someone who wanted to make Japan look better than it is when it comes to gender issues and work.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And you clearly are playing with the numbers and various suppositions to fit your own tired one-pony crusade against Japanese women.

-3 ( +1 / -3 )

How am I crusading against them when I am trying to help them get paid what they are worth and give them the same opportunities? Offering women equality and giving more options isn't taking anything against anyone. If anyone has a crusade against Japanese women it is the men who think they all belong barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Clearly it isn't "tired" as many J women are beginning to voice the same opinions.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is not only about lack of managerial position held by women but also about the gender pay gap. The marginalization of women is a key weakness in the Japanese economy which I feel is struggling to return to higher growth. Higher female participation in the labor force is essential to raise growth potential. The growth potential has been declining too rapidly and the speed of economic growth can be accelerated by more fully utilizing the female work force. The government should be more assertive about addressing problems of workplace discrimination and boost childcare funding. It should prioritize making the business culture more family friendly and continue to improve the childcare services to nurture the talents of professional women. After all Japanese women seem to be smarter than some men with high communication and adaptation skills. Hence Japanese tradition and deeply, ingrained chauvinistic culture must change to allow women to stay in work otherwise public reforms will have limited effects

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Novenachama Jun. 25, 2013 - 05:02AM JST It should prioritize making the business culture more family friendly and continue to improve the childcare services to nurture the talents of professional women. After all Japanese women seem to be smarter than some men with high communication and adaptation skills.

Many women ascribe the fact that they don’t do well to the outside factors rather than themselves. The fact is that many women choose not to make a career their first choice. Many of those who do choose professional life over home life are the ones who have failed in personal relationships and retreat to the work environment. Most of the truly emotionally stable women with great social skills are in a family relationship. Home life is hard, but it’s easier than work, or both work and home life. There are few women who have risen to upper levels who do not have some severe personality flaw.

Many women who have either quit or cut back significantly on their work after the birth of their child. Neither of these decisions were forced upon them by the workplace. I don’t foresee good things for women in corporate Japan once she hits middle management. I rather see her go into a field where she can eventually work for herself and control her own destiny.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The fact is that many women choose not to make a career their first choice. Many of those who do choose professional life over home life are the ones who have failed in personal relationships and retreat to the work environment. Most of the truly emotionally stable women with great social skills are in a family relationship.

I'd love to see the research that supports that massive claims. Have you ever thought that those women who decide NOT to have a career HAVE to get married and deal with unhappy marriages because they need someone to pay their way?

Many women "chose" not to play the game because regardless of them being smarter than the boys, you need a penis in this country, for the most part, to get anywhere in most companies. Many aren't given a choice from birth. They are raised to lower their standards and make do with what they are given, not what they work for. It drives me nuts to see educated women throwing it all away but what makes me seethe even more are men who refuse to acknowledge why this happens here.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hmm, up 3% since 2008, still a long way to go...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tmarie Jun. 25, 2013 - 07:05PM JST Many women "chose" not to play the game because regardless of them being smarter than the boys, you need a penis in this country, for the most part, to get anywhere in most companies.

Those Japanese women who decide not to have children, or are lucky enough to find daycare spots or to have relatives nearby willing to provide childcare, and apply themselves to their careers, have the same opportunities in the workplace as men. And among those women there are many examples of successful managers and executives, who have been working their way up through the promotional pipeline since Japan adopted its Equal Employment Opportunity law in mid 80's. As the first wave of such women hits their fifties, women will be showing up in senior ranks in Japan more often.

The key issue limiting Japanese women's workforce participation is the difficulty of balancing a career and motherhood in Jpan where there is a scarcity of daycare , immigration laws bar women from hiring foreign nannies, and professional jobs come with expected long hours at the office and lengthy commutes. Not to mention a tax system that favors full-time homemakers, which for many Japanese women can be the tipping point on deciding whether to stay at home or go to work after marriage or the birth of a child. One shouldn't forget as well that many Japanese workplaces are no picnic, with ample stress and lack of career self-determination in addition to long hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those Japanese women who decide not to have children, or are lucky enough to find daycare spots or to have relatives nearby willing to provide childcare, and apply themselves to their careers, have the same opportunities in the workplace as men.

Thanks for the laugh. You might want to read up about sexism, glass ceilings and gender issues before opening your mouth again and making such a comment.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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