Steven's Blog

Mothers Outperform Men

Prime Minister Abe recognizes that getting more Japanese women into the workplace, including women with children, is the greatest potential domestic resource for boosting Japan’s GDP rapidly. He is, of course, right in terms of economics. However, he may not realize that getting more women with children into the workplace may also solve Japan’s low productivity and excessive overtime problem at the same time. 

A senior-level marketing director confided to me that when looking to hire staff for his department, he gives particular consideration to women with children. Why? Because he has found that they are far more productive than their male colleagues. He noted that they get more stuff done and leave the office early.

This is a remarkable observation, because conventional wisdom in Japan is often the opposite. That is to say that hiring women with children is a compromise, because mothers cannot put in the same long hours as men—even men with kids—and will always prioritize family over the office. In this marketing director’s view, it is hiring men that is the compromise.

Why are mothers more productive? He suspects that the demands of motherhood hone the ability to achieve the maximum with limited available resources, whether time, money, equipment, or other people. Productivity becomes part of a mother’s nature, whether at home with family or in the office. Motherhood may also provide an added incentive to get things done at the office fast in order to get home on time for family, whereas someone who feels no particular pressing reason to get home early may simply tarry in the office.

If you are hiring mothers for your business, you may already know what the prime minister and many business leaders have yet to find out.

If you have yet to hire more mothers, you may be missing out. Click To Tweet

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