Raising a family as a single, working mother is a challenging task. But the qualities of determination and motivation that these mothers develop as they juggle family life and work have drawn the attention of many small and medium-size firms and foreign companies in Japan seeking candidates to fill management posts.

Harmony Residence Inc., a Tokyo-based manpower supply agency with which 1,400 single mothers seeking full-time jobs or managerial posts are registered, has helped match job seekers with over 100 companies since it was established in 2007.

"If single mothers who have to balance work and family life can flourish in management posts, society will change," said Makiko Fukui, president of Harmony Residence.