Japan Data

One in Three Japanese Still Face Gender Discrimination in Job Recruitment

Work Education Economy Society

Japan has passed legislation and taken other measures to make society more equal. However, a recent survey by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation shows that discriminatory practices linger in hiring.

According to a survey by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengō) looking at discrimination during the recruitment process for workers, 32.8% of job seekers felt they had been discriminated against due to their gender. This result highlighted the low awareness among corporate recruiters of gender equality.

The nationwide survey, held online in early April, 2023, received a total of 1,000 valid responses from men and women aged 15 to 29 who had taken recruitment tests, either as a new graduate or mid-career, within the last three years.

Have you felt gender discrimination while job hunting?

When the 328 respondents who had felt discrimination were asked for specific details, the most common answer, at 39.6%, was that the type of job available to them was different depending on their gender, for instance, men being offered career-track positions, while women were given general office work jobs. This was followed by 36.9% of respondents who stated that the number of people to be hired was different depending on gender, and 30.8% who said that hiring was for one gender only. Although Japan’s Equal Employment Opportunity Law specifically bars companies from engaging in gender discrimination during the hiring process, the survey shows that the practice remains prevalent during actual recruitment.

What type of gender discrimination did you encounter while job hunting?

At 19.5%, nearly one-fifth of all respondents felt they were subjected to inappropriate questions or comments during their job interviews. These included female candidates being told that they would just end up quitting, being asked if they would keep working even after marriage or becoming pregnant, and being told that women were more thorough in their work.

Did you receive any inappropriate questions or comments while job hunting?

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

gender employment gender equality