As the labor force participation rate of Japanese women continues to rise, the impression that "Japanese women do not want to be promoted" has become a thing of the past.

Did you know that while the young people of East Asia are lying flat, the women of Japan are standing up.

According to the 2022 Basic Survey on Employment Structure published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in July 2023, 81.5% of women aged 25~39 are working , exceeding 80% for the first time in history.

The number of women working in all ages was 30,354,000, also a record high.

If we look at the employment environment of women in each country, we can see that Japanese women are close to the highest level in the G7 if we look at the employment rate alone.

According to the statistics of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), working women account for 74.3% of the population aged 15~64 (as of 2022). This is higher than the 69% in the United States and 70.7% in France, and close to the 76.7% in Canada, the highest in the G7.

In addition, the M-shaped curve of women leaving the workplace due to marriage and childcare has been improved in the past between the ages of 25 and 39.

As can be seen from the chart below, not only the employment rate of young women has increased, but the employment rate of Japanese women as a whole has increased significantly compared to a decade ago, and the M-shaped curve has also slowed down in the past five years.

Looking back at Taiwan, the age distribution of Taiwan's female labor participation rate can be found to be 89.9% between the ages of 25 and 29, ahead of the United States, Japan and South Korea, and after the age of 30, it will decline with age, and the trend will be roughly inverted V-shaped. Liu Meijun, a professor at the Institute of Labor Research at NCCU, said that traditional responsibilities such as marriage, childbirth, childcare and family care fall on women, and are still important factors affecting women's labor force participation rate.

(Also screened: Marriage and childbirth discrimination, promotion discrimination, and age discrimination in the workplace are still serious|2023 Diversity and Inclusion White Paper (2))

Japanese women don't want to be promoted?

"Nikkei Cross Woman" conducted a "Women's Career Awareness Survey" of 1,000 people in October~November 2023 and received responses from 2,926 people, and found that the thoughts and ambitions of working women are changing.

Maiko Oda, deputy editor-in-chief of "Nikkei Cross Woman", said that in the past, it was common to hear people say, "My female employees don't really want to be promoted...," but according to the results of the 2023 Women's Career Awareness Survey, the proportion of women who want to be promoted in organizations has increased significantly compared to 2022.

(Gaying in the same field: 2023 women's current situation: LinkedIn report found that only 30% of female executives in enterprises have no significant changes in the past 7 years)

In response to the question "What position do you want to hold in the organization?" (single choice), 45.6% of women chose "I want to be a manager, manager, etc.", "I want to be a supervisor", "I want to be a general manager", and "I want to be a section chief". In 2022, the figure is 31.4%.

The proportion of women applying for the post of "Department Manager" is increasing

Now, following national policies and the wave of gender equality and diversity and inclusion, many Japanese companies are focusing on promoting women to management positions.

The first was the number of department managers, which increased to 16.4 per cent from 6.1 per cent in the previous year. The proportion of general managers increased from 9% to 17.2%.

Seeing that changes are taking place in the workplace, Japanese women are becoming more and more ambitious.

The proportion of women aiming for "department manager or higher" is slightly higher than that of men

Although the number of people and the average age of the Nikkei questionnaire are different, when comparing the two, the total percentage of men who say "want to be a department manager" is 40.7% for men and about 5% higher for women.

In addition, among women of different age groups, the highest percentage of women in their 30s who aim for a department manager or higher is the highest percentage.

There are also many women in their 40s who are oriented towards becoming section chiefs, general managers, and specialists. A large number of people in their 40s and 50s replied, "I don't need a job title, I want to master a technical or professional job and become an expert." 」

(Gaei in the same scene: From flight attendant to the first female president in the history of JAL: Mitsuko Tottori|Japan DEI progressive)

Technology is changing rapidly, and whether today's job skills will still be valuable in 20 years' time, and whether they can become experts and be able to take charge on their own, seems to be the main concern of middle-aged women.

In the face of the rise of the "lying flat culture" in Asia and the sluggish economy in Japan, young Japanese women have begun to participate more in the workforce and show their ambition.

The Japanese government's policies to support women, to society's review of the culture of power bullying in the workplace, to women's increased career ambition, are changing and deserve continued attention and anticipation.

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