Honda Has Alarmingly Few Female Managers in Japan, and They Know It

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
honda has alarmingly few female managers in japan and they know it

Last month, Honda released its annual Sustainability Report outlining the company’s position and direction under its new CEO Takahiro Hachigo.

Outlined on Page 73 of its 104-page report, Honda admits its number of female managers in Japan is quite low.

Well, actually 0.5-percent low.

Even compared to other regions where Honda does business, the number of female managers in Japan is quite low. According to the report, 12.4 percent of managers in Honda’s Asia/Oceania region and 17.5 percent of managers in the North America region are female.

Compared to other automakers, the number of female managers at Honda isn’t much better. Nissan reported that 8.2 percent of its managers in Japan are female, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported that 13.1 percent of its worldwide managers are female.

Matt Slouster, a spokesman for American Honda outlined a few steps by Honda in Japan:

“Increasing female representation in management positions is among Honda’s

top priorities. In Japan, Honda Motor Co. has assigned full-time staff to

the newly formed Diversity Promotion Office (DPO) to provide direct support

to female associates and accelerate their advancement within the company.

Moreover, the DPO has implemented new programs to support associates who

are managing their careers while starting families and raising children.

As part of its ongoing responsibilities, the DPO will work continuously to

ensure equal opportunity for women throughout the organization.”

The problem isn’t Honda’s alone, however. In 2011, only 4.5 percent of division heads in Japan were women, according to a regional study. Less than 1 percent of senior-level, executive managers in Japan were women. That’s compared to 9 percent in China and 15 percent in Singapore.

A 2014 story by The Economist details the struggles women in Japan are working to overcome. According to the report, 70 percent of women stop working for a decade or more after having children, compared to just about 30 percent in America. Of the women who work, many don’t work full-time or in permanent positions. In 2012, about 77 percent of Japan’s part-time and temporary workforce were women, the story reports.

It’s a widespread problem Japan has faced for decades and one that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has specifically targeted to help revitalize the country’s aging and shrinking workforce — and even that may not help.

By 2020, Abe said women should occupy roughly 30 percent of “leadership” positions in Japan — government and business. Honda has a ways to go.

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2 of 77 comments
  • RideHeight RideHeight on Jul 15, 2015

    Japanese men are so irredeemably sexist that Japanese women have decided to make no more of them. joseitachi, gambatte! Buy Hondas while you still can!

  • 415s30 415s30 on Jul 19, 2015

    I often go to the Nissan building in Yokohama to see what classic is on display, there is a mall near by with food and I see lots of female gaijin employees with their badges around their necks. Nissan seems to have not only lots of women, but westerners as well.

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