It is widely acknowledged that Japan needs more females in business to make up for a shrinking workforce and to boost economic growth and opportunity. With this admirable goal in mind, we must work to make Japan a nation where every individual, male and female, has equal opportunities to realize their full social, economic and political potential. As a Japanese youth, I am not afraid to break from traditional practices and defy what is expected of me. I am ready to pursue my own dream to become a fearsome business leader and 2014 G(irls)20 Delegate representing Japan.
The Atlantic just ran a long piece titled The Confidence Gap, in which the authors remind us that because of self-doubt, women make less money, receive fewer promotions and rarely land top roles. The message is clear: grow a pair, or enjoy your crappy view from the bottom rungs. It is no good that insecurity and anxiety are the reins holding back a woman at work. But I'm tired of being told the key to success is to change. Man up. Woman down. Instead, corporations could join the 21st century and see "female qualities" as virtues.
The Lean In zeitgeist says individual women can take personal responsibility for failure and act to achieve success. Meanwhile, recent research says there is an unconscious bias in corporate Canada that prevents equally qualified women from attaining the same level of success as men. The Lean In school is decidedly wrong. In short, both men and women need to lean in to create equity in business. It's the only way to achieve balance.
How do you react when faced with stress in the workplace? Do you take a step back to study the situation or do you charge full steam ahead? According to a new study, most female executives apparently retreat to analyze their options while their male counterparts charge right ahead and take charge. The study suggests that the approach women leaders take is detrimental to their career.
Posing the question, would you prefer to work for a man or women strikes me as treading in dangerous territory. For one, it insinuates that men and women fall into different stereotypical "types" as leaders. It also assumes that a terrible or wonderful manager somehow remains representative of his or her entire gender.