One out of every five female college graduates who entered full-time employment last year were turned away on at least one occasion while job-hunting because of their gender, according to a survey released Friday by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The survey was conducted six months after the women started work.

According to the survey’s results, around 20 percent of the women were told at least once by corporate recruiters that only men would be hired for certain jobs — even though the companies in question were accepting applications from both men and women.

Researchers contacted 11,000 male and female graduates of colleges and junior colleges who joined the workforce last year. Around 2,200 responded.

Some 32.9 percent of respondents said they were asked whether they would continue to work after getting married and having children, while 28.6 percent said that companies had indicated they would not send corporate brochures to women.

In addition, 28.3 percent of respondents said companies told them the number of jobs allocated to men and women were different.

Regarding their work, 34 percent of the female respondents reported the presence of few female executives at their workplace, while nearly 20 percent said female staff tend to quit when they marry and have children, in accordance with corporate customs.

“The figures reveal violations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law,” a ministry official said, adding that the ministry wants to enhance guidance provided for firms regarding the legislation.

Manual to be issued

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Friday it will distribute 100,000 copies of a manual on the elimination of sexual discrimination in hiring employees to corporate recruiters by June.

The manual will feature 25 forms of behavior that violate the Equal Employment Opportunity Law. The ministry wants recruiters to review their hiring practices, including information provision, seminars, tests and interviews, ministry officials said.

The book will also explain the purpose of the law and present measures demonstrating how firms can improve their hiring procedures.

“There are cases in which young recruiters and company executives ask discriminatory questions while interviewing women,” a ministry official said. “We want all the officials involved in recruiting to not discriminate against female job-seekers.”

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