Japanese Women in the Workplace

  • Terri R. Lituchy


This paper reviews working women in Japan. Sex differences in education, sex-segregated jobs, low-paid work, and sex-role characteristics are examined. Interviews with 112 Japanese female students, 10 Japanese professors, 10 Japanese businessmen and nine foreign businesswomen were conducted regarding the status of working women during the bubble and post-bubble economy in Japan. The article concludes with future trends of Japanese working women.

The role and status of women in Japan keeps changing due to historic, cultural and economic conditions. After the Second World War, Japanese women were needed in the workplace. During the 1960s, however, Japan became a prosperous nation and “women were driven back to minding the household chores” (Nishikawa, 1985). Like the U.S. in the 1950s, a wife that did not work was a sign of the family’s affluence. Husbands pressured their wives to stay at home because it did not look good in terms of social status, if they permitted their wives to work (Cook and Hayashi, 1980). Most Japanese women seemed to accept this differential treatment, unlike women in the United States and Canada (Alder, 1987).


Japanese Woman Woman Manager Japanese Firm Junior College Equal Employment Opportunity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terri R. Lituchy
    • 1
  1. 1.International Business ProgrammeConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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