Quotas for female managers debated in Japan

HRM 14 Jan 2013

Government officials in Japan have clashed over quotas for women managers in the male-dominated Asian country.

According to Yuriko Koike, recently appointed head of the newly incumbent Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) public relations headquarters, Japan must put more women in key posts to boost its economy.

“To mobilise women would create a breakthrough in Japan's economy. This itself would change the paradigm of Japan's economy and ought to be ensconced as part of our growth strategy,” she was quoted saying in a report by Reuters.

Two other female appointees in the party – LDP policy chief Sanae Takaichi and party General Council Chairwoman Seiko Noda – have also been debating over the need for legal quotas for women managers in the public and private sectors to exceed more than 30% by 2020.

Takaichi, a staunch conservative on social issues, raised the concern that a quota would lead to “reverse discrimination” that would benefit women on the expense of men, while Noda backed the measure as necessary to ignite change.

In a recent report in October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that females accounted for nine per cent of the country's managers as of 2009, compared with 43% in the US. Its female labour force participation also fell behind many other advanced countries.

Japanese women face many challenges in their career growth, with corporate hiring practices that place women in non-career-track jobs, a tax code that favours housewives and the tendency to drop out of the workforce after childbirth, due partly to social pressure but also to a shortage of childcare facilities.



Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 20 Sep | Michael Page International | Singapore
    19 Sep | Michael Page International | Singapore
    Gamification and story-telling at Sabre Holdings
    Joyita Poddar, HR Director, APAC, Sabre Holdings, elaborates on how firms should sell the success stories of their own employees through different platforms
    TTSH: HR leading the health drive
    The business case for WSH
    Itron: A five-prong guideline to employee retention
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...
    Performance Recognition Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    A monthly business incubator where leaders grow their skills, exchange ideas and share best practices.
    Organisational Development Concepts | enquiries@odctraining.com.sg
    Public speaking is a set of skills not a talent. You can be a good presenter if you learn the skills for presentation success.