feeling gender expectations in the job hunt



My final exams in my third year of university finished, and in February I slowly started my job hunt. This time, I want to talk about how gender is treated in the context of the job hunt, which has been bothering me.


When I’m looking for jobs, I am made to think about the fact that I am a woman, more than usual. Even though the number of working women is on the rise, I am reminded that Japan is still a “man’s world”.


For example, when companies explain their policies on childcare leave, they often accompany it with the phrase “I’m sure all the women in the audience will want to know about this...” I know that these companies are trying to recruit women -- more women are being employed for regular positions with the prospect of promotion and higher wages than in the past (sougoushoku, as opposed to clerical positions, ippanshoku). But behind those words, there is an assumption that childcare is a woman’s job. And I think men care about childcare leave as well -- in Japan, it’s still rare for men to ask for childcare leave and there’s pressure on men to work. If companies could convey their message from the perspective that childcare is a collaborative effort between partners rather than just the woman’s job, it would lead to workplaces and a society that makes work easier on men and women to work.