Gender in Japan Series Married Japanese Salarywomen’s Strategies for Maintaining Careers and Well-Being in the 2000s

Wednesday, 24 March 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Zoom Webinar
  • Glenda Roberts Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director

This talk will focus on a question I asked in my 2019 Japan Focus publication, ‘Leaning Out for the Long Span,’ asking, how do women in ordinary career positions maintain both their careers and their well-being when their husbands are rarely able to substantially contribute to childrearing and domestic management? I will discuss the building a career over the long span of marriage and childrearing, and the choices ordinary salary women make not to lean in too far, while enlisting intergenerational support in order to manage their family lives. While such strategies may not propel married women into the ranks of upper management, they are survival strategies while the children are growing up. Will these strategies evolve as companies are pressured to increase the percentage of women in management under Womenomics policies? How much are neo-liberal notions of career-building and self-responsibility affecting Japanese salarywomen? Data come from a longitudinal set of fourteen women in the same Tokyo corporation, whom I have been interviewing at 3-5 year intervals since 2003.