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  • Good morning.

  • So why Womenomics?

  • Back in 1999,

  • I decided to write a research report called "Womenomics",

  • because I strongly believed and I do today,

  • that part of a solution to Japan's myriad of structural challenges

  • lies right in front of our eyes:

  • half the population.

  • What are some of these structural challenges?

  • First and foremost is the D-word, demographics.

  • Many of you are familiar with these statistics,

  • but in case you are not, let me remind you.

  • By the year 2055, in most of our lifetimes,

  • the total population of this archipelago,

  • will shrink by one third.

  • By that time, as you see,

  • the percentage of the gray population,

  • will have doubled from 20% to over 40%.

  • These statistics are scary,

  • and demographics are so severe that --

  • did you know Japan is the only OECD country,

  • where there are actually more pets than children? (Laughter)

  • I didn't make that up.

  • I looked that up.

  • And if you look at it globally, of course,

  • Japan, the line is here in the red,

  • the percentage of the population that is the workforce population.

  • Of course demographics is a challenge for every developed economy,

  • but Japan, as you can see, is going to be shrinking,

  • its workforce population faster than anywhere else.

  • So what are the answers? What are the solutions?

  • Basically, as far as I can tell, there are only three:

  • 1. Raise the birth rate.

  • 2. Change immigration laws.

  • And 3. again, use half the population more effectively.

  • The first one I think the government has tried to fix,

  • but unfortunately, many young Japanese people,

  • many of you may be in this room,

  • have decided to say no to marriage.

  • And as the ratio of unmarried Japanese rises,

  • of course it is a little bit difficult to raise the birth rate, isn't it.

  • 2. Immigration.

  • I personally believe this is inevitable,

  • but it is likely to take a little bit more time.

  • So that leaves us with the third,

  • I think most practical near-term solution.

  • Good news and bad news.

  • First of all, good news is,

  • Japan's female labor participation rate,

  • women working today, has reached a record high of 60%.

  • I wrote my report 12 years ago,

  • and I am glad to see there has been progress.

  • The bad news however is, on a global comparison,

  • this is where Japan ranks,

  • well below most other advanced nations,

  • especially in countries like Scandinavia,

  • where that ratio is close to 80%.

  • So what are the issues here?

  • One is what I call the uniquely Japanese phenomenon,

  • called the "M字カーブ", the M-curve.

  • What am I talking about here?

  • If you look at this graph,

  • and I know it is a little bit difficult to look at graphs at this hour of the day,

  • but bear with me,

  • this is basically ages, age groups on the horizontal,

  • and the vertical is the percentage of women working.

  • Now typically in any society,

  • you leave school, you enter the workforce,

  • and you stay in the workforce until you retire.

  • In most economies, that is sort of this hill-shaped curve,

  • but in Japan you have this "谷",

  • you have a valley between the ages of what,

  • late 20s and late 40s.

  • Now ladies and gentlemen, think about this.

  • Those of you who are working,

  • isn't the late 20s to late 40s period in anybody's career,

  • the most productive period of one's career?

  • And Japanese women, for the most part, are MIA.

  • Missing in action.

  • One of the bigger issues of course,

  • as many of you know,

  • because of the M-curve -- one of the reasons is,

  • that many Japanese mothers don't work.

  • In fact, 70% of Japanese mothers

  • quit working after their first child.

  • And internationally, if you look here,

  • only about roughly a third of,

  • Japanese mothers with children under the age of 6 are working.

  • Compare that to Sweden, close to 80%, the US, 60%, etc.

  • Why don't more women work?

  • These are four reasons:

  • day care/nursing care, tax issues,

  • diversity focus, and immigration.

  • Let me focus though on 1. and 3.

  • This is a very common topic of discussion.

  • When we talk about womenomics in Japan,

  • there is simply not sufficient daycare.

  • Yes, the Japanese government has made some progress,

  • in expanding those facilities, but the reality is,

  • the percentage of Japanese children under the age of 3

  • currently in the care of a daycare facility stands at 28%.

  • Look at France, 43%, or Denmark, over 60%.

  • It's not also, by the way, daycare or childcare outside the home.

  • What about inside the home?

  • This of course entertained my husband to know,

  • but the average number of hours,

  • this is a government study,

  • that fathers in Sweden, Norway, US, and Germany,

  • spend on childcare and household chores,

  • is over 3 hours a day.

  • In Japan, 1 hour a day.

  • And look at that red section of the Japan bar,

  • that is 15 minutes on the children.

  • OK, let me see gentlemen. 15 minutes.

  • You probably spend more than 15 minutes, my guess, taking "お風呂", bath?

  • Maybe more than 15 minutes a day watching TV?

  • OK, let the truth be told.

  • So there is a big issue with cooperation and mutual care, inside the home as well.

  • Inadequate focus on diversity,

  • this is to me a huge issue.

  • The last 5 years, in most of the developed world,

  • we have seen concrete progress.

  • Change doesn't always happen from the bottom up,

  • oftentimes it has to happen from the top down.

  • To change things in society,

  • You do need to put agents of change in leadership positions.

  • So the percentage of Japanese managers is still 9%.

  • This is the same ratio it was 5 years ago.

  • Other countries are 35-50%.

  • We need more role models.

  • Interestingly, let's see, 25 years ago, the Japanese government,

  • actually passed the equal employment opportunity law, "均等法".

  • Despite that, on average, Japanese women earn today,

  • still only two thirds that of their male counterparts.

  • Now as you can see on this graph,

  • gender wage gaps exist everywhere, not just Japan.

  • But if you think about it, if I am a Japanese woman,

  • and no matter how hard I work, no matter how hard I try,

  • I know, that I am always going to be discriminated for pay and promotion.

  • What am I going to do?

  • I'm probably not going to continue, right?

  • So this to me is a law, superficially,

  • but it is not really enforced in the way it should be.

  • Many people ask when I give these talks on Womenomics,

  • "But does it really matter?"

  • And I think, the statistics prove a resounding yes.

  • Because if you look at companies that have adopted explicit practices to promote diversity,

  • for example, programs to support working mothers,

  • or programs to ensure objective evaluation and performance metrics.

  • The red bar shows you the average profit margin of those companies,

  • is higher than the blue bar of companies that do not.

  • But let me tell you, the number 1 obstacle I encounter,

  • when I talk about Womenomics in Japan, is this.

  • "But Matsui-san, if your thesis is right

  • and we have more Japanese women working in society,

  • is that not going to lower the already very low Japanese birthrate?"

  • How many of you have heard that statement before?

  • Yes, many people. Well, it is a very nice thesis,

  • sounds good, but empirically this is false.

  • Look at this graph.

  • I am simply plotting: vertical axis is fertility rate,

  • horizontal axis is women in the workforce.

  • Don't bother with the dots, look at the red line.

  • That is a positively sloped curve. In other words,

  • the more women working in a country,

  • the higher the birthrate, not the opposite.

  • Look at Sweden, United States, United Kingdom, France, Australia.

  • Now the Japanese in this audience don't believe me or don't believe these statistics.

  • It is true in your own country.

  • This is the "47都道府県", 47 prefectures.

  • The slope, look at that, exactly the same.

  • Okinawa, Fukui, Nagano, relatively higher female participation rate in the workforce,

  • and relatively higher birthrate.

  • So what is the upside, if we could implement Womenomics?

  • I know it is a bit of a dream, but let's pretend for a moment.

  • If we could raise Japan's female participation rate,

  • I showed you that at 60%, to match that of Japanese males at 80%,

  • this is the potential upside to GDP:

  • 15%! 15% lift to Japanese GDP level.

  • That to me is well worth it.

  • Now what do we do finally? Four things.

  • 1. Change that mindset.

  • Diversity Womenomics should not be an extracurricular activity,

  • it has to be core to a company's bottom line strategy,

  • and in order to fulfill longer potential growth for an economy.

  • 2. Flexible work and objective evaluation practices.

  • Flexible work, many people talk about flexible work for women.

  • Think about it. If more Japanese women are not getting married,

  • that must mean there are also lot of single Japanese men,

  • who are single child,

  • Who have to take care of eventually their ageing parents, no?

  • They are going to need time off.

  • They are going to need more flexible work styles.

  • So this is not a gender issue.

  • Flexible work arrangements are for men and women.

  • 3. Deregulation of nursing, daycare, and immigration.

  • Japan has agreed with the governments of the Philippines and Indonesia,

  • to welcome 1000 nurses. That is great.

  • But if you want to stay beyond three years, guess what,

  • you need to pass a national certification exam in Japanese,

  • to stay and keep your visa.

  • Last February, 257 nurses took this test, 3 nurses passed.

  • If you are going to invite them, don't set the bar so high.

  • Finally, a critical mass of female role models.

  • This is very important.

  • I actually used to be a huge opponent to anything related to quotas, affirmative action.

  • I have begun to evolve my thinking.

  • The government of Norway, 2004, adopted a legal quota system,

  • so that every publicly listed company in Norway,

  • had to have at least 40% of their corporate boards female.

  • Now can you imagine if you are sitting in corporate Norway,

  • at that time, you said "No way!".

  • There are not enough talented capable Norwegian women to fill our board's seats.

  • It ain't gonna happen.

  • Guess what happened.

  • One year went by, two years went by.

  • Today, most companies have fulfilled this legal quota of 40%.

  • Why? Because the women were there.

  • They just crawled out of the woodwork.

  • They were lifted by other people,

  • and now they are in important positions of decision making.

  • This is not impossible.

  • And I think Japan in particular, given how far behind it is,

  • maybe does need a little bit of an extra push

  • to take the numbers up.

  • And finally for those of you in this room who are female

  • and there is lots of you and that is great to see,

  • if you don't remember anything from my presentation today,

  • remember one thing: there is no such thing as a glass ceiling,

  • it is just a thick layer of men.

  • Thank you very much.

Good morning.

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【TEDx】TEDxTokyo - Kathy Matsui - Womenomics - [English]

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/02/28
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