Aug 30 2019 How To Find Japanese Companies That Supports Women In The Tech Sector

Japan is a country known for their technological advancements and innovation. A country that values and protects tradition, but it is slowly and continuously embracing modern solutions. For a while now the country has been battling labour shortage, and this opened up a lot of opportunities not only for immigrants but to women within the country as well. The huge increase of women’s participation in the job market is a big step towards diversity.

However, we still have a long way to go, especially in the tech industry. There are not a lot of women pursuing a career in tech and even if they do, the retention rate is worrying.

It is said that 56% of women in the tech industry leave their employers mid career due to the following factors: 

      • Lack of Mentors
      • Lack of Female role models in the field
      • Gender bias in the workplace
      • Unequal Growth opportunities compared to men
      • Unequal pay for the same skills

The good news is that awareness regarding these issues are increasing and there are groups and companies in Japan actively promoting initiatives to help combat these issues and bridge the gender gap in the tech sector. One of the most active non-profit organizations dedicated to inspiring and supporting women to excel in technology careers is called Women Who Code.

We have invited Ms. Tutti Quintella, Women Who Code Tokyo’s director, to share some tips and advice when it comes to finding a company with a good support system and healthy work environment especially for female engineers or developers.

According to her, these are the things you should definitely pay attention to, if you are looking for a company that actively supports women’s careers in the technology sector.

1.) Check the representation of women in the company.

This may sound simple, but seeing that the company is making sure that women are well represented both in number of employees and management position is usually a good sign. This means that they also have a good corporate culture that understands and supports the needs of women in their workplace. As for having a good number of women in the management position, this is a good sign that there is no gender bias when it comes to opportunities for promotions and career advancements.

2.) Check the company’s effort, initiatives and the organizations they support or get involved with.

Another way of checking if the company is actively supporting women in the tech sector is if they are doing something to lessen the gender gap or to retain women within their company. Examples would include company initiatives to target and hire more women, partnering with or supporting organizations that support and help women, and simply having a work culture that would enable females to continue and thrive within their respective careers through a flexible, and safe working environment.

3.) They should not have unconscious bias for their evaluation system.

The way the employees are evaluated should be objective. They should be able to provide equal opportunity for females to advance in their respective careers. The salary system should be based on output and technical expertise regardless of gender.

4.) Check if you would be a good fit in their corporate culture.

It’s difficult to find more information about company practices from an outsider’s perspective but researching more details about what it is like to work for that company is the best way to check if you would fit in within their work culture. Three of the most important factors that female engineers or developers should keep in mind is the company’s flexibility in terms of working hours, remote work availability and promotion of using parental leaves for both male and female employees.

If a Japanese company passed all of these four guidelines, then you are on your way to joining a truly innovative and globalized company that genuinely supports their employee’s professional growth, values their presence and actively promotes genuine diversity.

If you are interested to hear more about our discussion regarding the status of women in tech here in Japan, please check out our podcast channel.


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