The number of female employees hit a record 30.4 million in 2022. However, gender parity remains a distant goal in the Land of the Rising Sun. In general terms, last year the active population climbed to 67.06 million. For the Kishida government, this is one of the first fruits of policies to support working mothers.
Tokyo ( / Agencies) – The number of women workers in Japan reached a record figure of 30.4 million in 2022, representing an increase of 1.22 million in the last five years. The study of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications –whose figures were released on Friday- reveals the country’s progress in closing a gender gap that remains deeply embedded in Japanese culture. Small steps, considering that it is a world economic power, but among which another indicator stands out: the employment rate among women has reached an all-time high of 53.2%. A milestone achieved, in part, thanks to the government’s efforts to help working families – and especially mothers – while raising their children.
On the contrary, the number of working men -36.7 million- had a slight drop compared to the previous survey in 2017. This is balanced by the increase in working women, which has grown the workforce in Japan, which registers a record number: 67.06 million people active in the labor market.
The number of employees hired on a “non-regular” basis – for example, part-time – is around 21.11 million and represents 36.9% of the total, which represents a decrease of 1.3 percentage points with respect to the previous survey. Thus, the Japanese labor market is more stable than in the past. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to promote women’s economic independence as a cornerstone of his “new form of capitalism” policy, stepping up efforts to promote gender equality and equity. Last month, Tokyo’s governing council approved new measures to close the gender gap even at the top of the country’s biggest companies. The objective is to increase the percentage of women on the Board of Directorsand before 2030 exceed 30% in those companies listed on the Prime market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
For the first time, the survey also addressed the issue of remote work: respondents had to answer questions about smart-working and teleworking, reflecting on the changes in the way of working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.1% of workers, or 12.65 million Japanese, have worked remotely in the last year. Workers who are parents of preschool-age children represent 85.2% of the beneficiaries of these solutions, an increase of 5.9 points compared to 2017. In addition, paternity support measures, such as parental leave and reduced working hours after the birth of children, have helped workers reconcile work and upbringing. The survey, which is conducted every five years, was carried out in October 2022 and included approximately 1.08 million people aged 15 and over.