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安倍“女性经济学”是空洞许诺吗?

发表日期:2017-04-07 18:50:56 | 作者: | 来源 : |

安倍“女性经济学”是空洞许诺吗?

For those who have already decided that Japan’s “womenomics” movement is an empty promise, the Kanagawa Women’s Empowerment Support Group has plenty of ammunition.

对于那些认为日本“女性经济学”运动是一个空洞许诺的人,“神奈川女性的活跃支援团”(Kanagawa Women’s Empowerment Support Group)提供了充足的“弹药”。

Its pink-toned website introduces a panel of movers and shakers aiming to promote female empowerment in Kanagawa prefecture in the coming year: 11 high-profile corporate leaders — and all 11 of them men.

该组织以粉色为基调的网站引入了一个由名人组成的专家组,目的是在未来一年促进神奈川县的女性赋权。这个专家组包括11位知名企业领袖,这11人都是男性。

The all-male cast, pictured below the slogan “Women, increasingly taking on leadership roles”, fits with a theory that prime minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to redress Japan’s ingrained gender inequality is stalled, disingenuous or was doomed from the start by a culture not yet ready to embrace that change.

这11人合照的上面是标语:“女性,越来越多地担任领导角色”,这与下列看法相符:日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)发起的解决日本根深蒂固的性别不平等问题的努力一筹莫展、不真诚,或者因为日本文化尚未准备好接受这种变化而从一开始就注定失败。

Problems with this Japanese initiative are not hard to spot. On Mr Abe’s watch, Japan has dropped to 111th place in the World Economic Forum’s national rankings of gender equality, with 10 of those places shed between 2015 and 2016. In its first year, a scheme offering cash to small companies promoting women to executive roles had just one application.

人们不难发现日本这项举措的问题。在安倍晋三主政期间,日本在世界经济论坛(WEF)各国性别平等排行榜上的排名滑落至第111位,仅在2015年至2016年就下滑了10位。在该计划实施的第一年,向小企业提供资金激励、鼓励其提拔女性担任高管职位的计划只收到了一份申请。

An early target, which predates Mr Abe’s administration but which he revived in 2013, was for women to occupy 30 per cent of all management positions by 2020. Not long after, and to avoid a humiliating miss, Mr Abe downgraded public- and private-sector targets to between 7 per cent and 15 per cent, while moving the deadline to 2021.

早先的一个目标(在安倍晋三上台之前出炉、但他在2013年重提该目标)是到2020年女性将占到所有管理职位的30%。不久后,为了避免因达不到目标而丢失脸面,安倍晋三将公共和私营部门的目标下调至7%至15%,同时将截止期限推迟到2021年。

But while no one is playing down the setbacks, a number of Japan’s most accomplished female executives from across the business world strongly oppose any attempt to declare the project a failure. In a number of key areas, they say, the picture is significantly more encouraging than five years ago and gender equality measures stand an inc­reasingly good chance of being implemented via a broader assault on traditional working patterns.

但是,尽管没有人淡化计划受挫的事实,但日本商界多名最成功的女性高管强烈反对有人试图宣布该项目失败。她们表示,在很多重要领域,情况比5年前明显更令入鼓舞,借助整改传统工作模式的全面努力,性别平等措施得到落实的几率越来越高。

For example, Mr Abe’s administration put efforts to encourage women into the workplace at the centre of Japan’s 2017 budget. The key measure — a reform of the system of dependent-spouse tax deduction — has long been pinpointed as a necessity for deeper progress. For years, Japanese families have been able to receive a generous tax deduction if the dependent spouse (the wife, in the overwhelming number of cases) earns less than ¥1.03m ($8,930) a year. In response, many women lowered their working ambitions, taking low-earning, part-time jobs. From this year, the limit will be raised to ¥1.5m a year.

例如,安倍晋三政府将鼓励女性进入职场置于日本2017年预算的核心。关键措施(改革面向受抚养配偶的减税制度)长期被确定为有必要取得更深层次进展。多年来,如果家里的受抚养配偶(绝大多数情况下为妻子)年收入不足103万日元(合8930美元),那么这个家庭将可以享受慷慨的减税优惠。作为回应,很多女性降低了自己的工作雄心,做着收入低的兼职工作。从今年开始,这个门槛将被调高到150万日元。

There are those, including Kathy Matsui, Goldman Sachs chief Japan strategist, who say the change is not enough to affect a big enough number of families. “It was helpful, but not sufficient,” says Ms Matsui, who likens progress on womenomics to Japan’s slow but steady progress on corporate governance.

高盛(Goldman Sachs)首席日本策略师松井凯蒂(Kathy Matsui)等一些人表示,这项改革不足以影响足够多的家庭。她表示:“它有用,但不够。”她把女性经济学方面的进展与日本在公司治理方面缓慢但稳定的进展相提并论。

Also, she adds, the pace is set to speed up. Japan’s shrinking labour force, which has seen the graduate job-to-applicant ratio hit a 26-year high of 1.43, implies that in the very near future companies will compete to attract and promote women to top positions.

她补充称,速度将加快。日本劳动力人数日益缩减(目前大学毕业生工作与求职者之比达到1.43,为26年最高)意味着,在不久的将来,企业将竞相吸引并提拔女性担任最高职务。

“Gender equality is very contrary to the Japanese way of doing things but the maths does not add up on human capital. The jobs market is already tight and has become over-tight,” says Ms Matsui.

松井凯蒂表示:“性别平等与日本人的做事方法完全相悖,但从人力资本上说,数字合不拢。就业市场已经偏紧,而且已变得过度紧张。”

“The rate of female participation in the labour force at 66 per cent is high and much higher than the 50 per cent it used to be, but we know that these are part-time jobs that do not give women a role in decision making and leadership,” she says. “But those sort of jobs don’t pop out of nowhere . . .  You need to build a pipeline.” She points out that, despite mockery of campaigns such as the Kanagawa Women's Empowerment Support Group, backing from male business leaders is critical.

“女性的劳动参与率为66%,这个水平相当高,远远高于以往的50%,但我们知道,这些都是兼职工作,没有让女性在决策制定和领导上扮演角色,”她表示,“但那些工作不会凭空出现……你需要铺设管道。”她指出,尽管“神奈川女性的活跃支援团”之类的努力受到嘲笑,但来自男性商界领袖的支持是至关重要的。

Machiko Osawa, an expert on labour economics at Japan Women’s University, says there has been a substantial shift in attitudes: “In older companies where the average age of the employees is [higher], there is less desire to change but newer companies that want to expand globally are a very different situation,” says Prof Osawa.

日本女子大学(Japan Women’s University)劳动力经济学专家大泽真知子(Machiko Osawa)表示,人们的态度发生了重大变化:“在历史比较悠久的公司,员工平均年龄较大,改革的愿望不那么强烈,但希望向全球扩张的较新公司完全不同,” 大泽真知子教授表示。

But she also stresses that the tight labour market alone is not enough to force companies to loosen the many forms of indirect discrimination that have defined Japan’s male-dominated executive workforce.

但她也强调,劳动力市场偏紧本身不足以迫使企业消除很多形式的间接歧视,这些歧视定义了日本高管职位由男性主导的局面。

Gender equality will come, she says, only when Japan develops a more liquid job market that would allow women to threaten to take their skills to other organisations.

她表示,只有在日本发展了一个更具流动性的就业市场、让女性有底气威胁要把她们的技能带到其他组织之后,性别平等才会出现。

Broader changes in Japanese attitudes to work — particularly the growing distaste for punishingly long hours — chime directly with gender equality proponents’ demands for companies to find new ways of assessing employees’ work.

日本人工作态度的整体变化(特别是越来越不喜欢过长的工作时间)与性别平等倡导者的诉求相符,即企业要找到新的方法来评估员工的工作。

There is a momentum behind wider changes, says Miyuki Kashima, of BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan. “The macho thing in work culture is under pressure. It used to be cool to work to midnight, now it is very uncool. If you cap overtime hours, it makes more jobs available to women,” she says.

纽银梅隆资产管理日本(BNY Mellon Asset Management Japan)的鹿岛美由纪(Miyuki Kashima)表示,推动整体改革的动力出现了。她表示:“职场文化中的男性主导局面正受到压力。过去工作到半夜是很酷的事情,如今它变得非常不时髦了。如果你限制加班时间,就会把更多工作让给女性。”

The change to the tax law, she adds, may be the least important of changes under way in womenomics. She points out that 98 per cent of companies with at least 301 employees had complied with a law ordering them to produce a plan on how to promote women, despite the lack of penalties for failing to do so.

她补充称,修改税法可能是女性经济学方面最不重要的改革。她指出,在拥有至少301名员工的的企业中,有98%都遵守了一项要求它们制定计划提拔女性的法律,尽管对于未能这么做的公司没有惩罚措施。

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