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2009 Vol.1
Building a New Strategy on Diversity is Urgently Needed


Looking forward to 2025, Japanese enterprises are coming under pressure from human capital shrinkage caused by the future drastic population decrease. As such, under the traditional androcentric personnel system, Japanese enterprises will inevitably face a human capital shortage.
An effective measure would be to increase the number of active female workers, which would lead to increased workforce quality. Japanese companies are apparently aware of the importance of promoting women’s abilities in the workplace, but it seems that those companies that have realistic plans to do so are few.
This report looks over the years from 2009 to 2025 in order to examine the means for Japanese companies to formulate effective strategies of bringing women in, and promoting those women’s ability within the workplace.
Most traditional measures pursued by employers in supporting working mothers and providing equal opportunity are of a “defensive” nature. This is exemplified by legal enactments or revisions like the “Act on the Welfare of Workers Who Take Care of Children or Other Family Members Including Child Care and Family Care Leave” and the “The Law concerning Equal Opportunity and Treatment between Men and Women in Employment”. The defensive measures are important in protecting women from discriminatory treatment in the workplace, or for protecting women, who want to work, from a situation in which they have eventually no choice but to quit. However, these measures are often not sufficient in realizing women’s ability to perform equally in the business world alongside men. In order for Japanese companies to step forward in promoting women’s ability in the workplace, the pursuit of “aggressive supporting measures for female employees to harmonize work and childcare”, as well as “aggressive anti-discrimination (equalization) measures” is necessary.
There have been admittedly a number of active measures for women workers in advanced companies, but these mostly aimed at improving working conditions for female workers, and very few targeted improving company structure as a whole. Furthermore, even if a company established such plans, the company did not conduct them strategically, but rather out of the awareness of the need of further measures to improve women’s involvement in the workplace.
Considering the effects of the drastic population decrease, it is of utmost importance to promote women’s ability in the workplace based on ever-more strategic practice. Japanese companies must analyze and understand their current androcentric corporate culture, and implement various measures for the strategic promotion of women’s ability in the workplace.