Women in Business in Japan

The average annual income for women in Japan stands at around 30% below their male equivalents — which is a powerful statistic.

Although women have reached a largely equal footing with men in terms of legal rights, there remains a strong unspoken discrimination towards women in the workplace.

Women are largely expected to perform lower grade tasks and to leave employment upon marriage or the birth of children. Although there has been a slight shift in this trend over recent years, the changes are negligible. This issue is hotly debated within Japan with more pressure being brought to bear on employers to improve the situation but change has been slow.

Western women working in Japan will probably only encounter difficulties when trying to manage Japanese male colleagues – especially if they are older. Otherwise they will be accepted as an honorary man.


This country-specific business culture profile was written by Keith Warburton who is the founder of the cultural awareness training consultancy Global Business Culture

Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working.  We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.

This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Japan only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.

Country Breakdown





Japanese Yen


$ 4.94