Office Lady

Office Lady (commonly abbreviated used as OL ,オーエルoeru, dt " office lady " ) is a Japanese word creation and called in Japan typically younger female office workers. This term has a slightly derogatory appeal.

OL sat down in the early sixties through to replace the abbreviation BG (ビージー, Biji ), which stood for Japanese- English business girl. BG could be misunderstood as an abbreviation for bar girl, which, among other prostitutes are referred to their clients want in bars. Next you also felt it no longer appropriate to refer to adult women as a girl.

OL perform simple office work, serve tea and used in the reception area. In the meantime, take OL but also more important tasks, firstly because of long years with the company, on the other hand because of competitive pressures on Japanese companies, which they can use their staff more efficiently. Female employees who participate in training courses, for example, are then - also with a slightly ironic tone - called career woman (キャリア ウーマンkyaria Uman ).


The salary of female employees is not usually enough in Japan to perform an independent household. After Tokyo had moved to OL usually still need a second income with lucrative opportunities lure them into bars and entertainment areas. On the other hand, leaving many female employees the parental home until marriage not ( Parasitic single) and can make a very costly way of life then, since traditionally the groom's family, not the bride, for a high dowry has ( yuigon ) pay.


It was common for female employees retire with their marriage or reaching an age limit of 30 years earlier at the latest from the operation. With the dramatic rise in the average age at marriage in the last 15 years, the greater proportion of OL in Japanese society, as well as with corporate affiliation slightly rising salaries and female employees the latter form become a financially strong population which is more demanding also at the male population.


In the Japanese plan offices, the hierarchy is very strong and clearly visible. The their male counterparts ( Salaryman ) subordinate OL typically sitting near the front door or the entrance area. From then on, the hierarchy is constantly rising up into the depths of space, with higher-level workers are sitting in their subordinates in the back.

In popular culture (in manga, anime and movies) the OL are often portrayed as under-challenged and bored of their professional activities.