While this is gradually changing, women should not expect to be treated exactly the same as their male co-workers. For instance, they are usually not welcome in the “hostess bars” that are popular destinations for after-hours business gatherings.
To prevent negative experiences, women should wear long skirts in the workplace. Hair should be worn up in a neat ponytail or bun. Flats are preferable to heels in most situations. Short skirts (which are considered inappropriate) and high heels invite disrespect and condescension from male co-workers. Most Japanese companies also prefer that women not wear jewellery to work. As with men, however, women should have properly-formatted business cards within reach at all times.
The Japanese have a saying: “The nail that sticks up gets hit with a hammer.” Keep it in mind when considering business dress for both men and women, in addition to Japanese business culture in general.