The term "glass ceiling" refers to the artificial barrier which prevents women or minorities from climbing the corporate ladder to the upper echelons. As the term implies, the glass ceiling allows us to see the clear sky above but limits how far we can go in our attempt to reach higher goals. This phenomenon is evident in Japan in that women’s participation in managerial posts accounts for less than 1%.
…this year has seen the world economic forum rank Japan 38th out of 58 nations, one rank up from Bangladesh in terms of women’s empowerment.
The revised gender equality law introduced in 1999 in Japan clearly states equal employment opportunities for both men and women. However, women are, in reality, deprived of the opportunities even to pursue higher status which is observed by their counterparts. No matter how hard they try or how capable they are, women often find themselves cornered into handling only menial tasks in the office. Workers should be evaluated based on their skills and capabilities, not on their gender.
When half of the population’s talent is not fully utilized, we are wasting valuable human resources that are indispensable to revitalizing our economy in this rapidly aging society.
Despite Japan being the second largest economic power, this year has seen the world economic forum rank Japan 38th out of 58 nations, one rank up from Bangladesh in terms of women’s empowerment. This clearly reveals the overall inequalities in the political and economic sphere between men and women.
To facilitate women’s participation in the workforce, such work as child rearing, housework and caring for the elderly, conventionally considered women’s jobs, should be shared by all members of the family. Women themselves should become more aware of the existence of the glass ceiling as well and muster their courage to pursue their goals in life, never giving in to unjustifiable inequality, nor never use being a woman as an excuse to limit their achievements.
When each of us raises our awareness and tackles this problem head-on, our society will be able to take the first step towards breaking the glass ceiling.