Japan: Goodbye Kimono

Opportunities in foreign firms

Sanae Suzuki graduated in the class of '82 from Tokyo University's faculty of law and, diploma in hand, passed the senior civil service test. One government ministry indicated that a job was waiting. But Suzuki, 23, like many other career-minded Japanese women, decided that most Japanese employers would expect her to serve tea, even to male colleagues from the same class, and perform clerical duties that offered little chance of advancement. So she joined the Tokyo office of the Boston Consulting Group, an American company that specializes in international marketing and other services. Few Japanese corporations...

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