Mums in Business Tokyo: Shining the Spotlight on Japan

Written by BCCJ
February 14, 2017

Written by BCCJ
February 14, 2017

Japan has one of the worst gender equality rates in the world, ranking 111 out of 136 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016 and received harsh evaluation in the economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment categories.

Leo Lewis of the Financial Times has said that women are Japan’s squandered asset. The country has one of the best-educated and most underused female populations in the world. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trumpeting legislation that aims to encourage more women into work but critics say sweeping change is needed to create new jobs and boost growth.

Japan’s chronically low birth rate — now just 1.4 children per woman of childbearing age — is the clearest symptom of the constraints experienced by millions of women.

Many women in Japan give up their jobs when they give birth to their first child, and the hurdles they face as they return to work while raising children are compounded by a male-dominated, conservative corporate culture. Notoriously long, unflexible working hours mean that one parent (usually the mother) has to make a tough choice between family and career and that the working parent has little time to contribute to the household and childrearing duties.

Excessive and difficult administrative processes, and the chronic shortage and high cost of day care services also prevent  many women from returning to a full-time job. “Maternity harassment” is not uncommon, whereby pregnant women are expected to leave their job or are forced to take up a lower-paid part-time job with fewer benefits after maternity leave. Tight immigration rules and the stigma attached to having a nanny also contribute to women being forced to stay at home.

Mums in Business Tokyo

March 8th 2017 marks International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

A Tokyo organisation of business women, Mums in Business Tokyo – founded in 2013, will be shining the spotlight on best practices in improving gender equality in Japan. “Spotlight on Japan” is the only IWD event so far officially registered in Japan and participation is encouraged from all in Tokyo who care about equality and diversity, men and women alike. As the journalist Gloria Steinem says, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

The event, to be held on March 7th, is an excellent platform for men and women to exchange information, network, and celebrate their achievements, best practice, small victories and innovations.

Attendees will join an audience of entrepreneurs, business leaders and individuals at mid-career level – an excellent representation of the diversity in Tokyo today. There will also be the opportunity to take part in an interactive discussion with a panel of successful women and men who are all trailblazers in their respective fields. Panelists are Sonja Vodusek (General Manager, The Peninsula Hotel Tokyo), Yukako Caffrey (Deputy COO – Barclays Securities Japan Limited), Jennifer Shinkai (Independent Facilitator and Executive Coach), and Ai Otsu (Senior Director, CBRE KK) and Jesper Edman (Assistant Professor, Hitotsubashi University).

Learn how you can make a difference as an individual or as a company!

Spotlight on Japan 2017
 Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Time: 18:30
Venue: The Pensinsula Hotel Tokyo
Cost: JPY10,000
Food and drinks included
Information and booking HERE

Mums in Business website HERE