Alice C.L. Lam
Standard works on the employment systems of Japanese companies deal almost exclusively with men. Women, however, constitute the vast majority of the low wage, highly flexible "non-core" employees. This book breaks new ground in examining the role of Japanese women in industry. It assesses the extent to which growing pressure for equal opportunities between the sexes has caused Japanese companies to adapt their employment and personnel management practices in recent years. The author puts the argument in an historical perspective, covering the employment of Japanese women from the start of Japan's industrialisation up to the turning point of the 1986 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Law. She examines the background and execution of the legislation and she looks at the response of the business community. In her case study of the Seibu department store, which takes up the final part of the book, Lam concludes that the EEO Law has not had the desired effect.