Take 5: Working Women Work for Japan

May 22, 2014Japan is a country on the move—and Catalyst is thrilled to announce our new presence there!

With a Prime Minister committed to stimulating the national economy by harnessing women’s talents, Japan is uniquely positioned to bust through ongoing barriers to women’s advancement.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, is among the first leaders in the world to propose an economic plan that explicitly links women’s progress to national economic growth.

The economic crisis of several years ago had wide-ranging implications around the globe. Most developed nations now face aging populations, falling birth rates, and weakened labor forces—and Japan is no exception.

Below are five facts about the Japanese workforce—and five reasons why women are essential to growing the Japanese economy.

  1. 60% of women in Japan’s workforce stop working outside of the home after the birth of their first child—and only 38% return to work. This is due largely to a daycare shortage, as well as to a workplace culture that requires longer hours.

  2. Japanese fathers with children under the age of six dedicate only about an hour a day to child-rearing and other domestic tasks, due in large part to the number of hours they spend at work (Japanese men work longer hours than men in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

  3. Japan’s population is expected to decline by 32.3% by 2060—which means its workforce will also decrease. Additionally, Japan’s surviving population is aging, and there will be fewer workers to support the elderly.

  4. Because women are expected to stop working to care for children and men are not engaged in childcare, Japan’s already dwindling workforce loses thousands of well-educated and capable women workers every year.

  5. Closing its gender employment gap could potentially raise Japan’s GDP by 15%.

Japan is a great and influential nation taking important steps towards reclaiming its place as a global economic leader.

By capitalizing on women’s talents, Japan can prosper—and continue to expand its influence throughout the world.

And as the global advocate for women’s advancement in business, with over 700 members in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia—and, as of today, Japan—Catalyst is ready, willing, and eager to contribute to Japan’s pioneering efforts on behalf of working women!

To learn more about working women in Japan, please take a look at our infographic, which is available in both English and Japanese.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of Catalyst. Catalyst does not endorse any political candidates. The post and the comments are presented only for the purpose of informing the public.