Seminar Series

The Long Shadow of the Secretary: Gendered Job Segregation and Attitudes towards Women

Thursday, 8 June 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
  • Hilary Holbrow Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at Indiana University
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

The World Economic Forum claims that “Japan’s gender gap can be solved through equality from the top!” Acting on this belief, the Kishida government is aiming to fill 30% of leadership positions with women by 2030. These actions and arguments can be traced to the idea that, when women enter management in greater numbers, attitudes towards and treatment of women improve. But what if this has it backwards? What if our attitudes come not primarily from whom we see when we “look up” the organizational hierarchy, but from whom we see when we “look down”? Using novel data from a large Japanese manufacturing firm, I show that attitudes towards women are less favorable where women are overrepresented among low-status job holders.

About the Speaker

Hilary J. Holbrow is Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at Indiana University. A sociologist by training, her scholarship examines social and economic inequality, work and organizations, immigration, and the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity. She is an International Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo, an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute, and a member of the US-Japan Network for the Future.