Plan B

Yesterday I was listening to two university sophomores talk about their future. One said that she wanted to be involved in a job that helped children who are victims of abuse. The other said she wanted to marry someone who made a lot of money so she could stay home with her (future) kids. My response: “If you think that will make you happy and fulfilled, that’s great. But I hope you also start thinking about a Plan B in case it doesn’t work out the way you expect.”

This is a photo series of women who are engaged in work that may not be considered “women’s work” by many.

Sadie Samuels, lobster fisher

MIra Nakashima, designer and woodworker

Mindy Gabriel, firefighter

Mindy Gabriel, firefighter

The photographer wrote about his reasons for doing such this project:

In a sentence, what’s your message? 
Gender should not determine professional opportunities.”

“I was raised to believe that I could do whatever I wanted to when I grew up. I want pass down a similar message to my children and without caveats. I want to raise my children knowing that their dreams have no limits and that they have parents supporting them to dive into anything they feel passionate about.”

Some recent news articles about women in the workforce in Japan:

Tapping hidden potential

“Japanese culture doesn’t allow people to come back from mistakes”

Do you agree?

That’s a quote from the OECD’s Tokyo office head, from this article about how Japan needs to “tap its hidden economic potential” (from Bloomberg) — which includes women and older people. Another area that needs work: innovation. Even though Japan leads the world in the number of patents registered, a culture afraid of risk (says the article) doesn’t allow innovation in businesses and products. Another surprising statistic: according to the article, Japan had the lowest productivity-per-hour rate of all the Group of Seven countries from 1974 to 2014.

human-capital

The article includes a short video, too:

innovation-gap