【Report】“Women-only Gathering: Empowerment Center × Research Institute for Women and Careers”
A “women-only gathering” jointly sponsored by the Tokyo Woman’s Christian University Empowerment Center and the Research Institute for Women and Careers was held from 7 p.m. on July 10, 2015, at Omotesando Nasic Hall.
During the first session, personal stylist Junko Masachika gave a talk on “the power of clothing,” and during the second session, a casual networking meeting was held at which beverages and snacks were provided.
The agenda started with ideas for how to help build cross-generational networks for school graduates. This was the first time that this type of event was held outside Japan Women’s University, but this meant the number of attendees reached the maximum capacity of 100, and the event was a great success.
The participants provided various comments regarding the gathering such as, “The event got me to start thinking about the power of clothing,” and “This was a valuable opportunity to speak with people from a wide range of age groups.”
Based on the opinions that were received, thought will be given to the planning of more of these meaningful gatherings in the future. Information will be provided on the Japan Women’s University website, and we hope that you will participate.
In closing, thank you very much to everyone who helped out with this event.
Increasing attention has been paid to the advancement of women in society in relation to measures to cope with the labor shortages associated with population decline in Japan. Nevertheless, it seems that in reality many challenges still exist related to the employment of women.
On this occasion, the Research Institute for Women and Careers (RIWAC) invited Professor Mary Brinton, who serves as Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Department Chair at Harvard University, to give a report on findings obtained from a survey on what Japanese companies think about childcare leave and the employment of women.
Discussions took place regarding the question, “The context of the market and norms related to gender roles have an impact on employment-side assessments regarding workers who have taken childcare leave. What effects does the implementation of childcare leave have on these assessments?” Interviews with personnel affairs managers at 25 large companies revealed that from the company’s perspective, women who take childcare leave are particularly capable persons who are “ideal workers” (who have made a major commitment to the company), the company would like for them to be ideal mothers, and it is possible that long-term childcare leaves result in subordinate positions for women within companies and the division of labor by gender role within households.
After this report, the audience engaged in a lively exchange of questions and opinions. It was apparent that there was a high level of interest in the views of companies regarding childcare leave at this study group meeting, one which had not been particularly clear previously.