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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stated his government’s goal of boosting the ratio of women in senior positions in companies in Japan to 30% by 2020. Do you think it is a good idea to set numerical targ

28 Comments

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stated his government’s goal of boosting the ratio of women in senior positions in companies in Japan to 30% by 2020. Do you think it is a good idea to set numerical targets like that?

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It will FORCE the "old-boy" network mentality to gradually loosen, if not unravel.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The answer is quite simple. Goal setting if properly constructed is powerfully motivating and gives focus and should relate to your vision or mission. Even if you do not achieve you goals as set, you will probably make more progress than without setting goals.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is a generations old mindset. Yes, it needs to change but forcing change only creates resentment. Lead by example. Find and appoint some really sharp and efficient women always in the public eye. The 'old boys' will remain old boys and the younger may be more accepting of change. In 6 years, not a chance.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

You hire the people who can get the job done.

It doesn't matter whether they are male or female.

Setting a goal of boosting the ratio of women in senior positions is a meaningless target.

Just get the job done.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

How can you enforce that kind of number? If you need 30 pct of seniors by 2020 you need at least that pct of juniors now or in near future. Or maybe a good deal greater due to M-curve (gap between humps of the M are the childbearing years).

On the other, the government could set its own target to whatever it wants as it controls its own workforce. It could declare 30 pct by fiat, lay off tons of people now with no appreciable decrease in functionality and hire back in whatever portion it wants by 2020. Why not 70 pct?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

As long as the are appointed by skills and experience and not solely by gender. If they appointed only by gender it is just a reverse of the sexist mentality. It is actually prejudice against men.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Nice thoughts but the reality is you can't have woman working, an increase in birthrate and no schools or day care centers built.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

gogogo

Hit that nail on the head.

First, the government needs to encourage more day care/nursery/kindergartens and in-company assistance for working mothers plus encourage/enforce/require paternity leave, and then reinstate family assistance via that great tax credit they took away.

After that, Japanese men have to realize women are not all empty-headed dingbats (despite TV 'talento' reinforcing that image.) and promote the best qualified person. I'd estimate that 50% of the time the most qualified is a woman.

Then maybe women will see the benefits of being slave labor for a company for 40 years. At the highest ranks, of course.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

How about 30% (or 50%) of LDP politicians represented by women.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They will only hire the most subordinate women to fill their quota.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes and no. If it is to honestly attempt to achieve the number set, and the number is possible if the efforts made, then I think it's a good idea because it forces the person who made it to succeed, at least to an extent, or to fail and own up to the consequences. If it is made, as with Abe, just to shore up more political popularity points, then no.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

by 30% isnt it gender discrimination? I mean if feminine gender is capable of holding 50% or more ratio? so my vote is for no

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yep gogo made important points, bottom line is life sucks for most families, with workers(mostly men) hardly at home being a REAL family is a massive challenge & its so ingrained that MOST men & women DONT want to have a real life, the wives mostly DONT want their hubbies home much as they are just in the way, the ole sodai gomi thing is still very much in force!

While I applaud the sentiment of getting more women working longer & climbing higher I really doubt a great many women just wont be interested.

Its a curse of sorts they way most J-families "live" & we are all seeing the obvious results.......... doent seem much fun for most sadly.

AND when you add in the costs of having kids...............the population isn't going to be rising & especially is more women do actually start working more outside the home...........pretty simple really

1 ( +2 / -1 )

horizon360Sep. 08, 2014 - 11:17AM JST How about 30% (or 50%) of LDP politicians represented by women.

Spot on. Abe's current "token" women in his cabinet represent the real problem in Japan. People like to talk about female empowerment, but that's all it is, talk.

And that's all this is going to amount to, talk.

How about a simple rule, any company without 50% female representation at ALL levels isn't eligible for government contracts. No more "amakudari" getting you the government work, now you just need 50% women. Killing two birds with one stone.

... and yes, the CEO would have to be transgendered (50% man, 50% women), so it would help LGBT issues too!! :P

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Instead of giving someone a job because of their sex, they should get it because they are qualified.

If anything quotas like this just make people resent women in senior positions, because they are seen to only be there because they are female.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is no point. It is not the lack of women in the workforce which is the cause of Japan's decline.

The fundamental problems of an overly-protected domestic market, anti-competitive business activities, and a hugely bloated government are the things which must be addressed. Adding women to the workforce is a temporary repair to keep the broken system working for a few more years.

This is remeniscent of the Germans sending 16-year-old soldiers to the front to fight when defeat was already inevitable. The action might have slightly delayed the defeat, but it couldn't prevent it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ProbieSep. 09, 2014 - 09:03AM JST Instead of giving someone a job because of their sex, they should get it because they are qualified.

So in other words you're quite happy with denying someone a job based on their sex, but the moment someone wants to give someone jobs based on their sex you're opposed?

Because that's the problem with what you're saying here.

If anything quotas like this just make people resent women in senior positions, because they are seen to only be there because they are female.

And you love your current boss so much? No, I'm sure a lot of people hate their boss and say they're only boss because they play golf with the CEO, or married the CEO's daughter, or went to the right college, etc. These bosses manage just fine without the love of their subordinates.

And the resistance will be temporary, as should any laws. I'd say the law should have a limit, perhaps 20 years after the 30% goal is met. After that the law disappears, because if women can't make it once they're established in the workplace then at least they had a chance.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ideally, any person should get a job because he or she is the best qualified. But in a male dominated world--globally not only in Japan--that doesn't happen. However, the biggest block to any gender equality in Japan is that the Japanese system does not reward qualifications or even competence of men or women. At present, the men in the most senior position are given the job--in government, in factories, in the service industry.

A quota of 30% for women in government will mean most junior positions. Given the time it takes to rise (much less rule), the government elites can safely wait it out (while continuing to berate and bully women as they do each other). Of course, there will also be some attrition to marriage, ill-health, scandal and so on--just as there is with the old boys. It's all meaningless and futile lip service without any substance or hope for change whatsoever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So in other words you're quite happy with denying someone a job based on their sex, but the moment someone wants to give someone jobs based on their sex you're opposed?

No. I'm saying that you shouldn't give someone a job based on their sex/race/etc.

And you love your current boss so much? No, I'm sure a lot of people hate their boss and say they're only boss because they play golf with the CEO, or married the CEO's daughter, or went to the right college, etc. These bosses manage just fine without the love of their subordinates.

If they "play golf with the CEO, or married the CEO's daughter, or went to the right college, etc" they are actually DOING something. Not just getting it because they were born with two X chromosomes.

And the resistance will be temporary, as should any laws. I'd say the law should have a limit, perhaps 20 years after the 30% goal is met. After that the law disappears, because if women can't make it once they're established in the workplace then at least they had a chance.

No. Give everybody a chance. Don't just give some people preferential treatment.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You hire the people who can get the job done. It doesn't matter whether they are male or female.

It shouldn't matter whether they are male or female but the reality is that it already does: discrimination is the reason for the gross under-representation in the first place.

Setting a goal of boosting the ratio of women in senior positions is a meaningless target.

Setting a goal to increase diversity and mitigate sexual discrimination in the workforce is hardly meaningless.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

ProbieSep. 09, 2014 - 11:56AM JST No. I'm saying that you shouldn't give someone a job based on their sex/race/etc.

Bull, because:

If they "play golf with the CEO, or married the CEO's daughter, or went to the right college, etc" they are actually DOING something. Not just getting it because they were born with two X chromosomes.

So women can play golf with the CEO or marry the CEO's daughter? No, they can't. And this is where your position falls apart, because if a woman in Japan went golfing with the CEO or drinking with the CEO she'd be assumed to be sleeping with him and never be promoted for "legal reasons" or any of a dozen other b.s. reasons. And don't say she can marry his son, because the CEO's son would be working and she'd be expected to stay home and pop out a grandchild every year.

And this is the problem that people who advance this argument don't get. The problem is that the playing field is so unlevel that it NEEDS something to fix it.

... but you try to make out that any women that is employed is d

No. Give everybody a chance. Don't just give some people preferential treatment.

You do realise how sexist this line makes you look? Because at the moment some people are getting preferential treatment, namely MEN. But the moment someone wants to remove your advantage you start whining?

... are you so insecure because you know you couldn't compete if the playing field was balanced?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japanese brands need women at the top to ensure competitiveness in a global marketplace.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I voted 'Yes'. I think when you are trying to achieve a goal, it goes without saying that you should first review and understand the current conditions so that you know just how much effort needs to be put forth and what methods need to be used. In this case, I believe sexism is so deeply entrenched into Japanese society, that such extreme measures are necessary... just like how the US has "quotas" for minority employment (not across the board, mind you).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So women can play golf with the CEO or marry the CEO's daughter? No, they can't. And this is where your position falls apart, because if a woman in Japan went golfing with the CEO or drinking with the CEO she'd be assumed to be sleeping with him and never be promoted for "legal reasons" or any of a dozen other b.s. reasons. And don't say she can marry his son, because the CEO's son would be working and she'd be expected to stay home and pop out a grandchild every year.

All depends on what level the woman is at in the company. If it was a regular female office worker, those rumors are going to fly around. If it was a woman who got to a high position in the company because she is good at her job, I think there would be hardly any rumors.

And this is the problem that people who advance this argument don't get. The problem is that the playing field is so unlevel that it NEEDS something to fix it.

So, making an unlevel playing field, unlevel in another way is the way to fix it? Might work well in dreamland, but when companies are out to make money, they should be able to put whoever they want in whatever position they want.

You do realise how sexist this line makes you look?

How does me saying "Give everybody a chance. Don't just give some people preferential treatment" make me sound sexist?

Because at the moment some people are getting preferential treatment, namely MEN. But the moment someone wants to remove your advantage you start whining?

I'm not whining. I don't have a problem with women in positions of power. My point is: If they're good enough, they should have the job; if they're just getting it because they're a woman,they shouldn't get it.

... are you so insecure because you know you couldn't compete if the playing field was balanced?

No. See above. Also, if a woman is better at my job than me, I'd love to have her as my boss. I work for a Japanese company, and all my bosses are men. Annoying men. Having a woman who was brought in or promoted on merit, would be a nice change.

Having anyone, male or female, in a position for any other reason than they deserve to be there, is wrong. Yeah, it happens a lot with men, that doesn't mean it's fine to do it with women. Meaning= it shouldn't be about sex, it should be about ability.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tangible figures make for a good target in a society where young minds are never really conditioned to think.

You'd otherwise know that a 30% target in 5 years' time is aiming far too low!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nice idea but they'll never manage it unless the caveman attitudes of the grandads running Japanese companies die out with them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It shouldn't matter whether they are male or female but the reality is that it already does: discrimination is the reason for the gross under-representation in the first place. Setting a goal to increase diversity and mitigate sexual discrimination in the workforce is hardly meaningless.

You cannot fight discrimination with discrimination. A real antidiscriminatory measure would be completely anonymous job applications without the indication of gender, age etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do you think it is a good idea to set numerical targets like that?

Yes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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