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The government should urge companies to set goals for appointing women to managerial and executive positions.


Statement by the Industrial Competitiveness Council, stressing the importance of enabling women to show their abilities to the fullest in order to put the Japanese economy on a sustainable growth track. (Jiji Press)

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One Japanese pharma company has a policy of preferentially promoting women to managers' positions to satisfy a quota, totally irrespective of their actual ability. Their staff, including women have been complaining of the policy, and the lack of managerial ability of these new bosses. Promote the best, irrespective of gender...

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Noting that this is just a statement, and otherwise means nothing, artificially imposed goals are a kind of prejudice - well intended maybe, but ultimately counter productive. What the government should do is put teeth into equal opportunity laws, so that anyone who's qualified has a shot at a given job regardless of gender, race, creed, etc.

Fulfilling goals like this always ends up in such a weight of unsatisfactory situations that it exacerbates prejudices. Merit and qualification should be the only considerations. Add stiff penalties for violation of equal opportunity, and you have your solution.

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Other countries don't have "goals" and yet an increasing number of women become managers and even CEOs. Japan should recognize that the problem is cultural. The lifetime employment system is a disease and it prevents many women from having a successful career. If a woman takes 2-3 years off work to raise her kids, once she's back on the job market there aren't any job available because the job market is not as fluid as in most western countries. Japanese companies not only discriminate against women but also based on age and ethnic origin. Instead of those stupid goals, the government should find the root of these problems(read lifetime employment system) and solve these problems instead.

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How to end sexist policies in Japanese companies?

Let's try 'urging'?

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