Thursday, May 28, 2009
Japanese Women Doing It for Themselves
Every so often an article such as this one from the Japan Times pops up telling us that women hold the true power in Japan despite what it may look like on the surface. Earlier this month a group of women entrepreneurs gathered together for the J300 Event in Tokyo put on by a firm that operates the JoseiShacho.net (Woman President) networking site.
The women participating numbered 360 and were from all over Japan; I wouldn’t be surprised if this constituted every female entrepreneur in the country. Statistics in the Japanese business world for women continue to be dismal: by 2007 the 160,000 Japanese women in managerial jobs represented only 9.2 percent of managers in Japan. Europe and the U.S. boast a percentage rate of around 30 percent, which still isn’t great, but leaps and bounds above Japan. Japanese women face old school traditions in Japan that are difficult to overcome. It is a place where there’s lots of lip service, but change happens at a snail’s pace.
Still, you have to admire the spirit of these women and hope they can succeed at spreading the word that Japanese companies just might be able to get out of their slump if they hire more women business managers. Women, they say, are better at understanding customer needs, which is imperative in making firms successful.
So, ladies, gambatte!