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The Determinants of the Gender Gap in the Proportion of Managers among White-collar Regular Workers: Undue disadvantages of being women and the policy measures of their eliminations (Japanese)

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    This article analyzes the determinants of sex difference in the proportion of managers among white-collar regular workers by using linked data of the employers and employees of Japanese firms obtained from the International Comparative Surveys on Work-Life Balance conducted by the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry. First, the article shows that reasons for "having few or no female managers," such as women's job quit rate, given as responses by employer surveys conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, cannot be real major causes even though they are among the minor causes, judging from objective facts and that, even if the number of years of employment for the current employer is the same, the proportion of managers among female college graduates is far below that among male high school graduates. The most fundamental problem is the "pre-modern" human-resource managerial practices that sex, as an ascribed status, has a greater weight than educational achievement in determining who become managers. The article also shows that the sex difference in the proportion of middle managers and above is explained only about 20% by the difference in human capital between men and women, that to become managers, long hours of work seem to be required more for women than for men, that the proportion of managers increases for men and decreases for women depending on the age of their last child in a way that suggests a reinforcement of traditional gender roles by the employers, and that firms with a center dedicated for the promotion of work-life balance among employees and firms with 1,000 or more regular employees have smaller sex difference in the proportion of managers, with the gender gap among those firms decreasing more rapidly than other firms as the quit rate of female employees decreases. As measures for eliminating the gender gap in the proportion of managers, this article emphasizes that firms must first abolish such indirectly discriminatory intra-firm tracking system, through which the majority of female employees are removed from the candidacy for managerial positions, and should realize workplaces where work-life balance can be attained. Given those conditions, then, the article predicts that the realization of gender equality in educational attainment and the reduction of the job quit rate among female employees will also be critical in realizing gender equality in the attainment of managerial positions.

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    Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion Papers (Japanese) with number 13069.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2013
    Handle: RePEc:eti:rdpsjp:13069
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