Womenomics 5.0

April 2019

It’s been 20 years since Chief Japan Strategist Kathy Matsui and her team at Goldman Sachs Research published their first “Womenomics” report on the link between Japan’s gender employment gap and GDP.  Below, we check in on how this thesis has played out.  

Report: Womenomics 5.0

Since the initial Womenomics report in 1999 by Goldman Sachs Research, Japan’s female labor force participation rate has risen to record levels that surpass both the US and Europe. And the economic benefits of continued improvement are potentially sizeable. Specifically, GS Research’s strategists estimate that closing the gender employment gap could lift Japan’s GDP by 10%, and in a “blue-sky scenario” where the ratio of female vs. male working hours rises to the OECD average, the GDP boost could expand further to 15%.  


View Report [PDF]

View Interactive Version

View the research in Japanese here / 日本語はこちら

This report is a redacted version of the original report published on April 16, 2019.  


Podcast: Is Womenomics Working?

In this episode of Exchanges at Goldman Sachs, Kathy Matsui of Goldman Sachs Research discusses the progress that has been made over the last two decades and where challenges still remain. “I believe Womenomics is working in Japan’s context,” Matsui says, though she notes that it remains “a work in progress.”   View Disclaimer 

Video: Kathy Matsui on Womenomics

What’s driven the progress toward better female participation in Japan’s labor force so far? The government’s embracing of the idea and campaign to expand access to public daycare, just to name two, says Kathy Matsui in our video series The Long and Short of It. As for what will drive the next leg of improvement? “There’s still a very stark gap in gender pay, partly related to the fact that a lot of these women are working in part-time as opposed to full-time roles,” Matsui explains. Other targets for improvement she discusses include Japan’s dearth of female leadership, insufficient caregiving capacity, and unconscious biases.  



More Womenomics

Womenomics 4.0: Time to Walk the Talk, May 30, 2014

Giving credit where it is due, Global Markets Institute, February 28, 2014

Womenomics 3.0: The Time Is Now, October 1, 2010

The Power of the Purse: Gender Equality and Middle-Class Spending, Global Markets Institute,  August 5, 2009

Women Hold Up Half the Sky, March 4, 2008

Womenomics: Japan's Hidden Asset, October 19, 2005

Women-omics: Buy the Female Economy, August 13, 1999


Related Links

Why Gender Diversity Matters for Japan's Economy, Op-ed by Kathy Matsui, Vice-chair and Chief Japan Strategist, Goldman Sachs Japan

Explore Goldman Sachs' gender initiatives: When Women Lead