Art & Design

Working Lives: Gender and Society in the UK and Japan

24 June 2010, London

Working Lives: Gender and Society in the UK and Japan

This fifth seminar in the 2010 series, States in Change: National Identity in the UK and Japan, will explore working life in both countries from the perspective of gender issues and social change. The culture of work in Japan will provide a particular focus. Against the backdrop of the economic downturn, the seminar will consider current trends with respect to demographic change and career prospects for women. It will also look at the stereotype of the ‘salaryman’ and the shifting ambitions and perceptions of Japanese working men. A different gender dynamic is reflected in those Japanese firms that have been subject to foreign take-overs. Our three speakers will offer their views on the changing gender landscape for Japanese women, men and employees of foreign-run firms in Japan. 


Dr Helen Macnaughtan is Lecturer in International Business & Management for Japan in the Department of Financial and Management Studies (DeFiMS) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She is the author of Women, Work and the Japanese Economic Miracle: the case of the cotton textile industry, 1945-75 (Routledge Curzon, 2005). Her research interests focus on gender and employment, HRM and labour market issues in Japan.


Dr. Jonathan D. Mackintosh is Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Birkbeck. His research interests include gender and sexuality in twentieth century Japan and East Asia, and more recently, the history of trans-Pacific migrations of Japanese. He is author of Homosexuality and Manliness in
Postwar Japan (Routledge, 2009) which explores aspects of Japanese cultural, racial, and national identity.


Dr George Olcott is Senior Fellow at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Before this he held a number of senior management roles in Japan with SG Warburg. During this time, he became involved in the takeover of a wholly Japanese firm, experiencing at first-hand the impact of introducing significant organisational change. He joined the Board of Nippon Sheet Glass, one of the world’s largest flat glass manufacturers, which acquired Pilkington plc in 2006.


Chair: David Coats is a research fellow at the Smith Institute, the independent centre-left think tank. From 2004to 2010 he was Associate Director-Policy at The Work Foundation and in his earlier career was a senior official at the Trades Union Congress. He was a member of the Low Pay Commission from 2000 to 2004 and is currently a member of the Central Arbitration Committee (the industrial court for Great Britain). David is recognised as an authoritative commentator on employment, social and economic policy issues.

24 June 2010, pm
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13 - 14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP. Nearest tube: Baker Street

Tel:020 7486 4348

Free but booking is essential at

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation