TOKYO -- Japan has long been criticized for not offering enough opportunities for women to thrive in the corporate world. Last month the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and this month the International Monetary Fund, came out with reports suggesting that enhancing women's participation and advancement in the workplace was a crucial component of structural reform needed in Japan to counter the demographic decline and aging of the population. However, a recent survey by the Intelligence HITO Research Institute showed that only 24.4% of working women in Japan wanted to become a director or manager at their company. The remaining 75.6% said they were not interested.
The figure stood out in comparison to a survey done by Bain & Co. that found 72% of women in China, 69% in Australia and 43% in the U.S. reported the ambition or the confidence to reach top management.