The Wasted Asset

Yuka Tanimoto knows how to serve tea. She can do far more than that, of course, but the 33-year-old newscaster says her Japanese male bosses—and they were all male—weren't overly interested in her non-tea-pouring skills. At the Yamaichi Securities firm, which Tanimoto joined in 1997 as an in-house newscaster, she was chided for daring to voice her opinions on news content—and for cropping her uniform skirt from mid-calf to a scandalous length just below the knee. "The company was looking for cute, non-ambitious girls," says Tanimoto. "We were supposed to make copies quietly, not think." In 2000, Tanimoto moved to the...

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