Japan Data

Survey Shows Drop in Women Aspiring to Career Success in Japan

Work Society

A recent survey found a significant drop in the proportion of women who want to develop their careers or become managers.

A 2020 survey by Sony Life Insurance shows a substantial drop over the previous year in the ratio of women who “actively want to develop their career” and who “would like to pursue a path to a managerial position.”

The company suggests that the dramatic changes in the workplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may well have dealt a blow to women’s ambitions.

The survey on women and work has been conducted every one or two years since 2013. The current edition is the sixth, and saw replies from a total of 1,000 women aged between 20 and 69. When the 594 employed women were asked whether they were satisfied with their current life, positive responses, combining “strongly agree” and “somewhat agree,” totaled 49.3%.

On the other hand, when they were asked what their aspirations were in terms of how they worked, those who responded that they “actively want to continue developing [their] career” totaled 34.2%, a drop of 9.1 points from the previous year. Those who responded that they “would be interested in a managerial position” totaled 18.7%, a year-on-year drop of 12.3 points.

All 1,000 women were asked to what degree they thought that women in Japan were fulfilled. In terms of family life, 7.8% said that they were “very fulfilled,” and 32.3% said that they were “somewhat fulfilled,” for a total of 40.1%. In terms of the workplace, 4.4% said “very” and 32.5% “somewhat,” for a total of 36.9%.

In addition, 66.8% of women in employment responded that women face many disadvantages in the workplace. Answers to the question on the kind of support in the workplace they seek included, “the introduction of shorter working hours depending on the age of children” (20.0%), “subsidies towards the cost of raising children” (18.7%), “reform of long working hours” (17.7%), and “the introduction of working from home” (15.8%).

Top 10 Workplace Support Measures Women Want

1 Introduction of shorter working hours depending on age of children 20.0%
2 Subsidies towards the cost of raising children 18.7%
3 Reform of long working hours 17.7%
4 Introduction of working from home 15.8%
5 Proactive appointment of female managers 13.3%
6 Childcare facilities in the workplace 12.8%
7 Encouragement of contribution to childcare by male employees 10.3%
8 Introduction of systems for childcare and nursing care that go beyond legal minimum 9.8%
9 Hiring of greater proportion of female employees 8.2%
10 Introduction of networking groups for working mothers 6.6%

Created by Nippon.com based on data by Sony Life. Multiple responses were possible.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Fast&Slow/Pixta.)

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