Gender discrimination in the hiring process still prevalent in Japan

While measures have been introduced to ensure a level playing field during recruitment, employees still face gendered microaggressions and stereotypes.
By: | June 16, 2023

Despite recent measures and legislation taken to create a more equal working environment in Japan, discriminatory practices still linger during the hiring process.

32.8% of job seekers say they experienced gender discrimination during the hiring process, according to an April 2023 survey by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengō), which was focused on discrimination during the recruitment process.

When pressed for specific examples, the most common answer cited was how gender determined the type of job that was available (39.6%). For example, men were offered jobs that had a clear career progression, while women were presented with general office work, reported

While Japan’s Equal Employment Opportunity Law specifically bans companies from gender discrimination during the hiring process, 36.9% of respondents stated that the number of people hired was different depending on gender, and 30.8% shared that for certain jobs, the job description specified looking for one gender only.

Other aspects highlighted by respondents included being subjected to unrelated comments and inappropriate questions during the hiring process, with nearly one-fifth of the respondents (19.5%) admitting they were on the receiving end of comments and questions.

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These include female candidates being asked if they would keep working even after marriage or becoming pregnant and suggesting they are more likely to end up quitting, or candidates being told that women were thorough in their work.