Job Hunting

Japan: Land of the Rising Sons

A new study finds that women in Japan hold far fewer managerial positions than women in other industrialized nations.
Laura DeMarsJune 19, 2007

Only 10.1 percent of working women in Japan hold managerial positions according to a new study from Japan’s Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office. That’s a far cry from the 43 percent of women in the United States that hold managerial positions.

Japan lags other industrialized nations, according to the study. Japan ranked 11th out of the 12 countries surveyed (Korea ranked last). Only about 10 percent of female workers hold a managerial position in Japan, compared to 37 percent in Germany and Australia, according to the AP.

The reason for such a gap, says the study, is that the idea that women should stay home and take care of their children is still very prevalent in Japanese society. More than 70 percent of women give up their jobs when they give birth to their first child, according to the study.

As a result of the findings, the Gender Equality Bureau recommends that the Japanese government strive to create a more equal environment where women can more easily balance their work and home lives.

According to a study conducted for the current cover story of CFO magazine, “Gap Analysis,” U.S. women hold about 7.6 percent of the CFO positions at Fortune 500 companies. While women held the top finance slot at less than 10 percent of U.S. companies in the Fortune 500, a study of finance executives conducted by CFO one year ago noted that women are better represented at the next level down, making up about 20 percent of the controllers, treasurers, and tax directors in the Fortune 500. In that same study of finance executives, 83 percent of men said they did not believe a glass ceiling exists in U.S. corporate finance departments. Only 44 percent of women agreed.