I recently spoke at the Economist Corporate Network’s 2013 CEO Growth Congress in Tokyo, where the CEOs of many U.S. and European companies viewed Japanese women as a great opportunity for foreign companies to recruit top talent. However, I think that the real opportunity is not so much for foreign firms, but for Japanese firms.
Many of my best Japanese clients complain of the difficulty in attracting top talent. They lament that top candidates tend to prefer the traditional “best” job opportunities in government or a select number of name companies. Yet, they are referring only to the male graduates. What about the women?
Many ambitious women disaffected by the dearth of opportunity in Japanese firms have turned to foreign firms, but I believe many would also relish the chance to join a Japanese firm. Forward thinking Japanese businesses have a chance to make their mark and leave their competition behind.