Gender Inequality in Japan

Japan is one of the most industrialized countries but has ranked high among the developed countries with the largest gender inequality ratio. Japanese salarymen work very long hours as part of the tradition and many companies in Japan still prefer to hire new graduates on a life-time basis.

No matter where you go, women tend to be judged more harshly than men based on their age. Employers want to make sure their female interviewees are not pregnant or are planning to get pregnant soon. It is of course illegal to ask these questions during the interview but it’s in the back of their mind no matter which country you go to and it is especially the case in Japanese society.

Japanese hiring system often have formal age restrictions so this “discriminatory” system puts women in a disadvantaged situation because women in Japan are already being judged harshly based on their age.

Contrary to the world report and the surveys, I think that women in Japan are much more powerful today than 20 years ago and that is why many Japanese women putt off their family plan in order to advance their careers. Whether Japanese companies can effectively retain talented pool of women employees will be the key factor for the improvement of Japanese stagnant economy. It is changing but things need to change fast enough before the population declines really catch up with us.

My Japanese classmate was in her late 20s when I first met her in one of the classes that we took together. She explained to me why she had decided to quit her corporate job to study in California. Because it is a pretty drastic decision. But she said there was no regret over leaving the job because she was frustrated with her company not giving her the same opportunities other male counterparts were getting. So she felt that she needed to do something about it. I believe that it is changing, and Japanese government is trying to improve the work condition for women but it is still a long way to go..

(Visited 94 times, 1 visits today)