Women In Japan: The Faint Stirrings Of An Economic Revolution, Says Women-omics.com

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5th March 2009, 01:13pm - Views: 928

Women in Japan: The Faint Stirrings of an Economic Revolution, says WOMEN-omics.com

PARIS, Mar. 9 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

           WOMEN-omics Founder Avivah Wittenberg-Cox to Speak in Tokyo

               March 16 on The Economic Power of Japan's Women

    "Women are being underused in the Japanese economy, which can ill-afford

to waste precious human talent, especially as the country reels from the

impact of the global recession in its export market," says a new article on

WOMEN-omics.com, the first Website to make the business case for gender

balance and exploring the economic impact of women on companies and

countries. WOMEN-omics was launched in January by Founder and Publisher

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a leading gender consultant to global corporations.

    "According to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and

Development) figures, only 67.4% of Japanese women in the age group 25-54

have a job, which is 15 percentage points lower than the best performing OECD

nations such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland," says WOMEN-omics. "And

this underutilization of women talent in Japan happens in a country where

women are among the most highly educated in the OECD."

    The contribution of gender balance is known to radically improve

organizational performance, according to studies by McKinsey and Catalyst.

"In Japan, the situation is especially dire in this regard," says

WOMEN-omics. "Look at any leadership team on a Japanese corporate Website and

you are likely to see rows of male faces staring back at you."

    WOMEN-omics and Ms. Wittenberg-Cox believe that women are the answer to

Japan's shrinking labor pool -- and declining birthrates. "The OECD has found

a positive correlation between high participation rates of women in the

economy and high birth rates," says Ms. Wittenberg-Cox. "Women around the

world have shown their economic power, and so can women in Japan. Women

comprise more than half of the global talent pool and are responsible for 80%

of consumer purchases. The bottom line is that women are central to the

challenges of an aging workforce, falling birth rates, and skill shortages."

    In 2008, one major Japanese electronics firm had only 170 women managers

out of 11,000, and this at a firm that had diversity initiatives for several

years. Even so, signs are encouraging. WOMEN-omics quotes Aya Iinuma, a

Principal at the Tokyo office of the global headhunting firm Heidrick &

Struggles, who says Japanese multinationals are much keener to attract women

executives. "Even in the current economic environment, we see many clients

continuing to hire female executives, while they are imposing a hiring freeze

in most other positions," says Ms. Iinuma. She notes, for example, that

Toyota plans to hire at least five women general managers in the next five


    "Smarter leaders know that the real test of the current economic climate

is shaping new answers to the old questions of building successful

enterprises," the WOMEN-omics article says, citing the "salaryman" culture in

particular. "There is no doubt that one of the new answers has to be the

inclusion of much greater numbers of talented women at the top of companies

to steer them onto a fresh course."

People Women WOMEN-omics.com 2 image

    The complete WOMEN-omics article, "Can Japan Change? The Economic

Revolution Waiting to Happen," is available at:

    Avivah Wittenberg-Cox March 16 Tokyo Appearance:

    Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a leading gender consultant to corporations,


REVOLUTION (Wiley, 2008), and Founder and Publisher of the Website

WOMEN-omics.com, will be in Tokyo March 16 for a reception and keynote panel

on the economic power of Japan's women.

    The program, sponsored by UBS, Coca-Cola, American Express, FEW, AWF,

GEWEL, and the Women's Group at TAC, will be held March 16, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

at UBS East Tower, Otemachi First Square 5-1 Otemachi 1-Chome, Tokyo. To

register and for more information contact few@gol.com.

    Press Availability:

    To schedule an interview with Ms. Wittenberg-Cox while she is in Tokyo on

March 16, please contact Joelle Couthouis at + 33 1 39 75 42 24 or


    About WOMEN-omics:

    WOMEN-omics (www.WOMEN-omics.com) is the first Website making the

business case for gender balance and exploring the economic impact of women

on companies and countries. Providing exclusive global reporting, updated

daily, on women's growing economic impact on companies and countries,

WOMEN-omics aggregates the best information, ideas, and insight in the field.

The site is designed for corporate leaders, top executives, policymakers,

journalists, researchers, business schools, and women in the workplace.

    About Avivah Wittenberg-Cox:

    Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is Founder and Publisher of WOMEN-omics. Based in

Paris, she is an expert in corporate gender bilingualism (getting companies

to speak the language of both men and women), CEO of 20-first, one of

Europe's leading gender consultancies, and co-author of the bestselling WHY


2008) with Alison Maitland. The book will be published in Korean in the


    On March 11-13, Ms. Wittenberg-Cox will be in Singapore for speaking

engagements including the keynote at an INSEAD Asia Campus seminar, "The

Emergence of Our Next Economic Revolution," and to address the American

Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

SOURCE:  WOMEN-omics.com

    CONTACT: Joelle Couthouis of WOMEN-omics.com 

             +33-1-39-75-42-24, or


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