Women in the Workplace? Still News in Japan

Women in the Workplace? Still News in Japan

Having never been much of an Office Wallflower myself, I read John Lawrence’s recent blog post, Women: Japan’s Most Underutilized Resource with great interest. John agreed to let us repost his blog article here. So, what do you think? Is this evidence of steps in the right direction or mere drops in the bucket? Would men stay away from me, if I were to go join our guest blogger on his side of the world?

The past 30 years have seen some amazing progress in the role women play in corporate Japan, moving from clerical employees who simply bring tea to becoming some of the most powerful players in the country. Among those women who have truly made their mark on business here is entrepreneur Tomoko Nanba, who founded the mobile game giant DeNA in 1999. The 51-year-old self-made CEO worked up from a simple consultancy position and founded the game company while working with Sony on their Internet portal at the time, So-Net. Despite the spots of progress, though, a vast majority of women in the workplace have limited long-term career options and, with the Japanese economy in seemingly stranded eternally in a space of nowhere, neither expanding nor contracting, it would appear that Japan is squandering the one resource that could help the country gain a foothold out of its two-decade doldrums.

For more of John Lawrence’s article, please visit: Women: Japan’s Most Underutilized Resource

About John Lawrence

jdl_picJohn Lawrence is from the USA, but resides in Yokohama, Japan for the past 25 years. He has worked in tech and global support operations, and, in his spare time, writes about social issues and jams with a blues band.

“Living in Japan and Asia for 25 years, I have gained a lot of insight into how this region works. As I prepare to move back to the United States, I want to leverage my knowledge and help foreign companies start their Asian ventures off right and avoid the mistakes so many others make.”


Marilyn Weinstein is Vivo’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, responsible for overall strategy and business growth and development. Prior to starting iTalent Solutions in 2006—the successful effort which paved the way for Vivo’s launch in 2009—Marilyn was Vice President and General Counsel for AlphaSoft Services Corp., where she served on the company’s Executive Team for over seven years. She helped AlphaSoft grow from a start up to a $50 million per year, multi-office success story.