Kimono in the Boardroom: The Invisible Evolution of Japanese Women Managers

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Japanese women, who comprise more than 40% of the workforce, are essential to the Japanese economy but are not typically thought of as managers. Jean Renshaw challenges that perception in this pathbreaking book. Traditional norms of lifetime employment, the seniority system, and the bureaucratic, tightly knit nature of Japanese industry all serve to restrict women's entry into management. Despite these enormous barriers, the last ten years have seen the number of Japanese women managers almost double. Renshaw interviewed over 150 successful women managers of Japan, exploring family backgrounds, personal characteristics, socialization, professional experiences, and corporate cultures to discover the secrets of their success. Showing the reader where and how this invisible evolution is occurring, Renshaw surveys the history of Japanese women in management and reveals the potential of the rising female managerial class to change in profound ways the male-dominated culture of modern Japan.