At Japan's Carmakers, Women Managers Are Rare

Toyota and Honda have less than 1 percent female managers
Photo illustration by 731

In car sales and vehicle quality, Japanese automakers have long led the pack globally. Yet there’s an area where they bring up the rear: putting women in management jobs at home. At Nissan Motor, 6.7 percent of managers are women, the highest showing among Japan’s carmakers. Toyota Motor and Honda Motor each have less than 1 percent. In contrast, about 33 percent of managers at U.S. automakers General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler Group are female, according to Catalyst, a New York-based group that works to expand opportunities for women. “Nissan stands out among companies in a country and industry that lag behind in female workplace participation,” says Tetsuo Kitagawa, a management professor at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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