When I was reading Alex Banayan’s book, Third Door, I saw this picture in the last chapter. This is showing the difficulty of female career achievement and felt a massive impact. Yes, this is a story in the U.S. but we have mutual social issues in Japan.
Then I started the research to understand the recent facts.
I am already in the board position and could say I broke through the glass ceiling. However, I have struggled a lot in my career to achieve promotion when I have needed to compete with male colleagues.
When I started the research, I found this report which has issued by Mckinsey and corporation & Lean In. Women in the workplace According to this report, the essential issue is not the glass ceiling but the very first step and they called it “broken rung. ” I remember vividly that I was feeling that I must show the three times results than male colleagues if I want to get the promotion.
I just made decision to support younger generation to avoid my same feeling and show the better way as a role model.
During I join the zoom session with Alex, I have asked the attendees if they have interested in joining the women’s career support circle if I made. I got enough agreement and started the Lean In a circle with the US-based members.
Lean In picked me to introduce on their news letter.
After half year, I got request to start Japanese version. Now it became two circles and running the experience and information sharing to support each other.
I feel it is my social responsibility to keep speaking up about the gender gap fact and support other generations to realize a better society.
You may know that to solve the gender gap is 5th target at SDGs goals. This is related with diversities and I will introduce the fact data in Japan.
According to SHOKO Research report, the number of the listed companies were 2,316 in 2019, and the female board directors rate was 4.9%. Within the 2,316 companies, 1,336 (57.6%) organizations have no female board members.
In 2020, 2,240 companies were listed on the stock market and the rate of female board directors was 6.0%. 1,152 organizations (51.4%) have zero female board members. This result is bottom within G7, and also in the bottom three within G20.
Although the Japanese government has a target to increase the rate of female board directors to 10%, it seems quite far away.
I am in the minority position since 2018 and sometimes I get a weird question. “How do you review the management of the company as a female view?” My answer is always the same. “Well, I think there are no differences between men and women how to review the corporation. If the review point was about the gender gap, female employee’s career, service or products targeting female, I would say my “female review””
Sometimes I feel our gender culture mindset might have not changed since 100 years ago. And it makes mind bias of women at work. Fortunately I am the type of person who wants to achieve with full effort and never give up, I could break through the “glass ceilings” when I was very young. Simply, I hope all the effort will be evaluated equally in organizations.