Today, a well-attended seminar was held on the subject of “Brushing up Skills for Working Adults: Creating Careers for Brilliant Women.” It’s said that women respond to live events more readily than men and therefore find it difficult to discover opportunities to brush up on their skills (while men have many such opportunities). The number of women seeking an MBA is on the rise—leading to the creation of an MBA for working moms who use their childcare leave to go to school—or do so while juggling work and family.
It is reported that in Japan, women account for only 11% of employees in managerial positions. In only a few Western nations does that number exceed 30%. While it is true that in Germany—where, similar to Japan, the automotive industry plays a key role in the economy, —women fill over 30% of managerial posts, it is said that the situation in Japan, with its manufacturing-focused economy, is different…but that excuse is no longer acceptable. With Japan’s promotion of female participation in the workplace, opportunities for women to climb the corporate ladder are increasing, and improvements in the infrastructure needed to assist working women, such as childcare support, are advancing. The number of women who want to seize this opportunity and earn an MBA is increasing. Aren’t the men watching their female contemporaries shoot up the ranks inspired to do the same?
It’s not a well-known fact, but if women who are forced to leave their positions due to pregnancy, childbirth, or childcare return to the workplace within four years (it’d be nice if that deadline were extended a bit), they can use the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Professional Training and Education Grants to tackle the challenge of obtaining an MBA (conditions apply). In fact, there are many women who seek to obtain an MBA during pregnancy or childcare leave or who consider entering school after their childcare leave expires to further their careers. There is also a not-insignificant number of women whose time for work is limited due to household matters and childcare and who begin pursuing an MBA in search of a “high-quality position, even if it’s for a short period of time.” About 40% of business school students throughout the world are female—and Japan should demand no less!