Women and Japanese Management: Discrimination and Reform

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Most of the standard works on the employment systems of Japanese companies deal almost exclusively with men. While the "core" employees of the labor market are mainly men, women constitute the vast majority of the low wage, highly flexible "non-core" work force.

Women and Japanese Management is an original attempt to integrate research on the Japanese employment system with women's equality issues. The author provides a detailed analysis of the position of women in the labor market in contemporary Japan, and explains why Japanese women workers experience more extreme forms of discrimination than their counterparts in the West. She examines the extent to which growing pressure for equal opportunities has caused Japanese companies to adapt their employment and personnel management practices in recent years, with particular emphasis on the 1986 Equal Employment Opportunity Law and its effect on company policies and the career attitudes of women.

Despite recurring propheciesabout the eventual collapse of the Japanese employment system in the face of current social and economic changes, this book argues that the Equal Employment Law has not had the desired effect. Although many Japanese companies have introduced "women utilization programs," these programs enable them to use the best female talents to enhance market competiveness in areas where female consumers dominate, without disrupting the job security and promotion expectations of the core male employees.

Women and Japanese Management clearly demonstrates that the western model of equal opportunity has been rejected by the Japanese government and employers. It is sure to spark international criticism of Japan's failure to comply with the accepted international standards of gender equality.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon and New Rork
Number of pages281
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-203-07605-7
ISBN (Print)0415063353
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Japanese management
  • women
  • employment
  • gender discrimination
  • equal opportunity
  • labour markets

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