This paper provides a report for a government department in Japan to reduce gender gap.
Japan has been dominated by males in its workforce for many decades. The country lags behind in terms of gender parity in many sectors of its economy. Additionally, a report by the world economic forum released in 2013 indicates that Japan ranks position 105 in gender parities of the workforce. According to an International Labor Office 2015 statistic (ILO 2015), among OECD countries, Japan and Korea hadthe highest gender disparities in the proportion of managerial positions (Youm &Yamaguchi 2016, p. 2).This is a clear indication that effective measures have not been taken to ensure that the country achieves gender parity in its workforce. Gender parities in Japan are relatively smaller in some sectors, for instance, health and education, but they remain wide in other areas of the economy (Chanlett-Avery& Nelson 2014, p.1). The number of women in the workforce in Japan is very low as compared to their male counterparts who have dominated the workforce for many years. This essay is a recommendation for a government department in Japan to reduce the disparities that exist within the country’s workforce.
3 Background World
After the feminist movement in the 1960s, women increased their presence in various occupations in developed nations as compared to the developing nations. For instance, the United States recoded a high labor participation rates in the following years as compared to other western nations. The situation is still evolving in the developing nations. Japan is a country with an ageing workforce, thus, its working age is declining continuously. Moreover, the workforce is likely to decline by ten million people by the end of 2030 if effective measures are not put in place. Japan needs to establish measures that are geared towards ensuring that each person’s skills are used effectively. The fall in labor supply of the country has been caused by the gender gaps that exist in its workforce (Adema, 2014, 15). If Japan’s gender gap is resolved in the next 20 years, then the problem of a shortage of labor supply will be solved. A timely action will also lead to the expansion of the economy by more than twenty percent in the next two decades. Asignificant reduction of gender gaps in the workforce of Japan for the last few years has been noted. Kawaguchi’s (2004) comparison of decomposition results for Japan finds that changes in the endowments and rewards for experience with the current employer are important in explaining the reduction of the gender wage gap in the country (Daly, Xin, Kawaguchi &Mumford 2006, p.168).
There are several methods used in enhancing a balanced gender balance in Japan. In this analysis, we shall compare between providing equal opportunities between males and females in employment and offering training as well as policy intervention methods.
3.1 Equal Opportunities
Providing equal opportunities for both males and females offers a neutral ground for employment opportunities for both genders. Opportunities may include education in the department and other factors, such as promotions. For many decades, women have been discriminated at the workplace by being assigned subordinate roles, thus feeling discouraged and demotivated. This is also effective in motivating women to pursue professions that are male dominated in the contemporary society.
3.2 Training and Policy Intervention
Additionally, training and policy intervention methods are also significant in enhancing a balanced gender employment ration in Japan. The government of Japan should make gender inequality part of training in most of its institutions of learning. Young people, especially females, should be supported and trained to venture into jobs that they are passionate about and not what the society allocates them to do. For instance, some technical jobs are regarded as a reserve for the male gender, hence, results in the widespread gender gaps in most Japanese workforce sectors. Young girls should be encouraged to take up the challenge and venture into fields that are male dominated, such as engineering. Furthermore, the government of Japan should formulate policies to eliminate biased remunerations against women at the work place. Such a process would ensure that more women take up most of the roles in workplace that were considered a reserve for their male counterparts because they will feel equal and valued. This is significant since it will provide the female population with a constitutional backup in enhancing their active participation in the employment market. Apart from paying both women and men equally, the new system should eliminate any biased treatment of either gender in the processes of staffing, training and when promoting workers so that the females are given an equal chance as their male counterparts except in special circumstances.
The government needs to put in place measures that are aimed at ensuring that the girl child is supported to take up professions that have been a reserve for men for many decades. Girls should also be supported in choosing professions that are future oriented rather than concentrating on subordinate roles. The government department needs to educate the public on discrimination that takes place in business to ensure that managers understand activities that take place in business in the contemporary society. The government department should train managers on how to identify cases of discrimination when they occur among their staff. They need to be trained on dealing with and preventing such situations from happening in the future.
Establishing a neutral platform measures are effective in ensuring that that all people have an equal chance of being promoted in the department regardless of gender. The process as compared to providing equal opportunities for both genders is more effective since it will ensure that young persons are nurtured to understand that gender disparity is a problem that needs to be addressed urgently at an early stage.This implies that it entails a change of attitude. When more women join the workforce, there are several benefits that are associated with the economy of a nation. For instance, the overall output of a nation is improved and there is an increase in revenues that boots the general economy and GDP of a nation.
4.2 Public Acceptance
In Japan, there has been general public accepted practice of some jobs being reserved for women (Edwards, 1998, 241). Nonetheless, many women are empowered to pursue male-dominated careers, their number in the hence increasing their workforce. This will in turn help in solving the problem of gender gaps in Japan’s workforce.The nation should also come up with a policy that gives workers of both genders considerable space to conduct their personal lives without interference from their profession. This action will ensure that there is a feeling of equality within the company, which will encourage more women to compete with their male counterparts without fear. The policy should contain guidelines, which ensure that the management supports workers to pursue their passion, for instance, by offering educational opportunities as well as family counseling, family leave, or other opportunities that help workers to cultivate a healthy family relationship.One type of gender-progressive policy that has been publicly accepted is granting legal rights to women, for instance, in India, the move to reserve political seats for women is successful whereby women leaders implement policies that reflect clearly the needs of their fellow women who are in the workforce (Jayachandran 2014, p. 21)
Providing equal employment opportunities for men and womenwill be effective as compared to the training and policy formulation since it will encourage other women who are qualified and have not taken up the challenge in the male dominated society to do so as it this method has been general accepted in other nations, for instance, France. This is regardless of the position they will hold in the organizations. In many instances, gender disparity in the workforce of Japan is as a result of the fear of women in taking up positions in the society that are seen as a reserve for male. An increase as indicated in the data will enhance women population increase in the employment through equal opportunity provision that will benefit both the economy and individuals.
Table 1. Labor force, female (% of total labor force)
Equal opportunities for women and men will result into many more successful women who will motivate other women to join the workforce and help in reducing the gender gaps that are widespread in the country.Schoppa argues that the women of Japan have played the role of shock absorbers for a long time. The country’s current policies reinforce the differential employment practices that occur, hence, the huge gender gaps (Burden 2007, p. 7). Equal opportunity for women is important as compared to training and policy intervention since it creates an atmosphere for the former. Once there is provision of equal opportunity for men and women in the employment sector, training women and policy formulation will automatically follow.
Gender gaps in the workforce are a common problem that is facing most developing countries in the world.Among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, Japan has the highest average male tenure and the largest tenure gender gap and thus the wage gains associated with long tenure is almost universally reserved for men in core sector, high-wage firms (Avent-Holt, and Tomaskovic-Devey 2012, p. 163).
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