Womenomics 4.0: Time to Walk the Talk
Kathy Matsui, vice chair of Goldman Sachs Japan and chief Japan equity strategist for Global Investment Research (GIR) at Goldman Sachs, shares some of the key findings in GIR's recent report, Womenomics 4.0: Time to Walk the Talk, including the steps necessary for Japan to close its employment gender gap and encourage economic growth.
With Japan’s population set to shrink by 30% and the elderly ratio expected to reach 40% by 2060, Japan has much to gain by boosting female employment.
We estimate that by closing the gender employment gap, the potential boost to Japan’s GDP could be nearly 13%. While some progress has been made in recent years, there is still much room for improvement. Japan’s female labor participation remains low vs. other countries, too few females occupy leadership positions, gender pay gaps persist, tax distortions discourage married women from participating fully in the workplace, and gender-related corporate disclosures remain inadequate.
(1) The government should deregulate daycare/nursing care sectors, reform immigration laws, neutralize the tax and social security codes, mandate gender-related corporate disclosures, equalize part-time and full-time work, and boost female representation in the government.
(2) The private sector should stress the business case for diversity, create more flexible work environments, adopt objective evaluation schemes, set diversity targets, introduce a more flexible employment contract, and engage male champions of diversity.
(3) Society at large also needs to work to dispel various myths about Womenomics and encourage greater gender equality at home.
This report is a modified version of the Womenomics 4.0: Time to Walk the Talk, originally published on May 6, 2014.