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Japanese women, who comprise more than 40 per cent of the workforce, are essential to the Japanese economy but are not typically thought of as managers. Jean Renshaw challenges that perception in this pathbreaking book. Traditional norms of lifetime employment, the seniority system, and the bureaucratic, tightly knit nature of Japanese industry all serve to restrict women's entry into management. Despite these enormous barriers, the last ten years have seen the number of Japanese women managers almost double. Renshaw interviewed over 150 successful women managers of Japan, exploring family backgrounds, personal characteristics, socialization, professional experiences, and corporate cultures to discover the secrets of their success. Showing the reader where and how this "invisible evolution" is occurring, Renshaw surveys the history of Japanese women in management and reveals the potential of the rising female managerial class to change in profound ways the male-dominated culture of modern Japan.
Jean R. Renshaw is a management consultant specializing in international management. She has a special interest in the role of women in management and has studied women managers in the South Pacific, Japan, Korea, and the United States as a Fulbright Hayes Research Scholar. Her consulting work -- from a cross-cultural perspective -- has been with corporations, small businesses, government, and educational and nonprofit organizations. She has written for Asian and Western publications about the emergence of women managers in Japan and the rest of Asia. She has been professor of management at Pepperdine University, University of the South Pacific, University of Hawaii, and Eastern Oregon State College. She is a principal of AJR International Associates, International Management Consultants, and has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of California at Los Angeles.