'The history of professional career women reflected by the diversity of changing lifestyles in Japan'

The lifestyles and career path of Japanese women have gone through tremendous transformation in this century.100 years ago, nearly 90 percents of working women were farmers. After the arrival of Industrial Revolution, some new career choices such as elevator girls at department stores, nurses and telephone operators. However, due to the common belief that women are responsible for taking care of children and doing house chores, it has been difficult for Japanese women to find jobs in companies and being given opportunities for promotion. In 1986, a law requiring gender equality in terms of opportunities of employment has been passed and the circumstance for working women has been improving and we are starting to see more diversities in working women's working environemtn. Today, with the aging population and the declining birth rate in Japn, the task to improve the conditions for working mothers has been an urgent issue in Japan.


Executive Planner of Recruit Co. Ltd., & Chairperson of Women's Information Society
Yoshiko Watanabe
Executive Planner at HR Planning Office, Recruiting Ad Promotion Center, Recruit Co.,Ltd.
Editor-in-chief of "Human Ad" by Recruit, a JapanÕs definitive magazine for research of advertising design which focuses on information that bring people and work together.
Chairperson of WomenÕs Information Research Group, a networking group to promote knowledge sharing among working woman.
Lectures on "Modern Society and Scientific Technology" at Meisei Unuversity, "Editorial Technique" and "Career Guidance" at Kyoritsu WomenÕs Junior College.
Member of Japan Society of Advertising, New York Art DirectorÕs Club, Japan of Graphic Designers Association Inc (JAGDA).

Born in Ibaragi City, Osaka in 1964. Graduated from Musashino Art University in 1969 with a degree in Industrial Design. After working for National Advertising Research Institute (a subsidiary of Matsushita,Electric Industrial Group), Watanabe transferred to Recruit Co.,Ltd. in 1974 at the age of 27. After serving as director of creative advertising, became the first editorŠin-chief of RecruitÕs "Weekly Real Estate Information" magazine. Served as editor on "Recruit Book", "Job Information for Study Abroad Students" and other Recruit magazines. Also worked to educate and nurture management level employees, creators of advertisements and editors. Since 1990 she has served as the editor of the information and advertising magazine "Human Ad", and started her research in advertisements and information that bring individuals and work together, which is what Recruit had produced since its inception. Presented numerous research findings at the Japan Advertising Society and wrote many reports and articles for various advertising specialty magazines etc.
Married to a photographer, she has continued a strong career with the help of her mother in raising her two daughters. Served as a full time employee for a total of 31 years at Recruit. Hopes to be an example for younger woman who want to pursue a career and enjoy marriage and childbearing.

In 2000 she launched WomenÕs Information Research Group with an aim to support working women via knowledge sharing. Currently serves as chairperson. The group holds annual symposiums, conducts researches, produces publications, holds information exchange meetings, issues e-mail magazine and much more. She believes that womenÕs shared ability to nurture will open future paths and opportunities for all women.

Her major awards and recognitions as creative director and graphic designer include:
The Asahi Advertising Award, Brno Graphic Design Biennale, New York ADC Exhibit, Finalist in the New York Advertising Festival, Award for Excellence in the "Advertising that is kind to women" category and received the silver and bronze medals at the "Industrial Advertising Association Japan Combined Exhibit".

Publications include:
"Cutting Edge Job Advertising"(SendenKaigi), "Consultation Corner for Women Considering a Job Change"(Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.), "Know-how for Healthy and Happy Working" (Aki Shobo), "The History of Work in Japan"(Recruit Co.,Ltd.), "Women and Job Advertising"(Josei Rodou Kyokai) etc. Also served as an editor on the JAGDAÕs graphic design textbook "Visual Design".

Received the National Curator License through a correspondence in 2002 to better utilize her research and advertising planning skills on "the History of Work in Japan". Continues interaction with those who work in Ginza, Tokyo due to her interest in the area as the origin of the information business industry in Japan. Began study of chanson in 1992 and held her first concert with a friend in 1996. Passed an open audition in 2003 and is currently active as a professional singer.