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One in three job seekers in Japan still face gender discrimination during recruitment process

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32% of job seekers have experienced gender-based discrimination

According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation Rengo and reported by Nippon, around 32.8% of job seekers in Japan felt that they had experienced gender-based discrimination. The survey, which took place online in early April 2023, gathered 1,000 valid responses from individuals between the ages of 15 and 29. These respondents had taken recruitment tests within the past three years, either as new graduates or mid-career professionals.

Among those who reported facing discrimination, the most common issue, mentioned by 39.6% of respondents, was the difference in job opportunities based on gender. For example, men were often offered career-track positions while women were frequently assigned general office work roles. Additionally, 36.9% of participants claimed that the number of job openings varied depending on gender, while 30.8% stated that certain positions were exclusively available to one gender.

Despite Japan’s Equal Employment Opportunity Law, which prohibits gender discrimination during the hiring process, the survey indicates that such practices persist. Notably, 19.5% of respondents, nearly one-fifth, reported encountering inappropriate questions or comments during their job interviews. Instances included female candidates being told they would eventually quit, questioned about their commitment to work after marriage or childbirth, and informed that women were more meticulous in their tasks.

Overall, these findings shed light on the prevalence of gender discrimination in Japan’s job market, revealing the need for continued efforts to ensure equal opportunities and fair treatment for all job seekers.


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