Asia Pacific Insight Report:
Women and Technology
The rise of women in the workforce has long been identified as critical to solving Japan’s woes of a shrinking population and a slowing economy.
Demand for supportive work-life balance policies is stronger than ever, but our research revealed that fewer than a third of Japanese women see signs of positive changes to come.
Almost all Japanese women who use the Internet do so daily—to manage their home, stay informed and keep in touch. However, employers have a lot to do before women can put the Internet to use towards a flexible workstyle that will truly make a difference.
For Japanese women, the everyday is easier with the Internet.
93% Use Internet daily
7% Use Internet weekly
Hours per weekday
Hours per weekend
97% Access at home
24% Access at work
Advantages of the Internet for Japanese women.
"The Internet makes it easier to manage my day-to-day household requirements such as bills and shopping."
"The Internet allows me to improve my working conditions."
"The Internet makes it easier for me to further my education."
"Balancing work and family responsibilities is difficult. Using the internet, I can work anywhere and anytime - it's extremely helpful. After my son falls asleep, I answer email and have meetings on Hangout."
In Japan, the kids and chores are still a woman’s job.
Hours per day of household chores
Work-life balance has yet to change from slogan to reality.
"I believe there are many companies which cater for women’s roles as an employee and wife or mother."
"I believe that working styles will become more flexible in the future, with people able to work in different locations or in different ways."
Women need flexible workplaces in order to juggle busy lives and get back to work.
To get back to work, different women need different things from employers, and these needs change with each life stage. Flexible hours and a living wage are important, but remote working opportunities are also in demand.
Part-time/ flexible employment is available
Being able to work from home
Flexible working arrangements in Japan
"I take on challenges with the hope of becoming an example of how things could be done. Learning new habits and technologies isn't easy but nothing's going to change if we don't try new things."
How can technology spark change in the workplace?
Email access, file sharing and video conferencing are the basic tools that enable office workers to work remotely. Most Japanese women know these tools exist, but fewer use them or consider them relevant to their work, suggesting that these tools have yet to be introduced as critical to advancing productivity.
"The internet helps me be who I am and, maybe, who I want to be as a mother and entrepreneur."