Every year, TokyoDev conducts a survey of international developers living in Japan. In the last survey’s results, published in December 2022, I explored the connection between gender and compensation. The results were disappointing: women were compensated less than men. Even when comparing respondents of similar experience levels, this gap in compensation remained. What’s more, women had lower overall job satisfaction than men, seemingly driven by this lower compensation.
The gender pay gap has been studied extensively, and the reasons behind it are complex, but seeing it play out in data I collected left a bad taste in my mouth, so I looked for what I could do to help close this gap. The simplest thing was to support existing organizations that are already working to empower women in technology, and so that’s where I decided to start, sponsoring the following organizations:
Women Who Code
Women Who Code is a global non-profit organization and the world’s largest and most active community dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. Their Tokyo chapter has many international members, holding regular events and also having an active Slack community. They’ve been a big supporter of TokyoDev’s survey, and I think a significant number of female respondents came via them.
Women In Technology Japan
Women In Technology Japan is the country’s first-ever volunteer organization to focus on closing the gender gap in the tech industry as well as promoting diversity and inclusion. They hold events both in English and Japanese, including workshops and mentor dinners.
Women In Science Japan
Women In Science Japan is dedicated to increasing the number of women scientists in Japan, as only 1 in 7 Japanese scientists are women, ranking the lowest in all OECD nations. They hold meetings in English, both over Zoom, and in person (including family friendly events).
Rails Girls Japan
Rails Girls Japan helps give tools and a community for women to understand technology and to build their ideas. One way they do this is through holding introductory workshops that teach women how to get started with Ruby on Rails. This organization started in Finland, but they’ve been having events in Japan since 2012.
Waffle seeks to close the gender gap by empowering and educating women in technology. They do this by organizing programming courses for women, primarily those in high school or university, and engaging in advocacy to close the gender gap.
Our support doesn’t end here
TokyoDev’s sponsoring of these organizations is a tiny step in the long hard road of closing the gender gap in Japan. But I’m still excited to be doing something to move things in the right direction.
While we reached out to all the organizations that we could find related to empowering women in technology in Japan, I’m sure we missed some. If you’re involved in such an organization and looking for sponsorship, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.