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Politics

Japan far short of putting women in 10% of executive posts

Only a quarter of listed companies meet the 2020 government goal

Women are not holding as many executive positions at Japanese corporations as the government hopes.
Women are not holding as many executive positions at Japanese corporations as the government hopes.

TOKYO -- Only about a quarter of major Japanese companies meet the government target of having women occupy at least 10% of executive posts, a Nikkei survey shows, signaling the challenge of grooming female talent in Japan's traditionally male-dominated corporate world.

The poll of listed companies found that just 156, or 26.3%, had cleared the target as of Aug. 1. And 321 companies, or 54%, said they had at least one female executive. The government seeks to meet the 10% target for listed companies overall by 2020.

On their efforts to add female executives, 56.7% cited training of women managers, followed by the 18.5% that were headhunting. Meanwhile, 31.6% were not taking any steps to bolster the ranks of female executives.

Asked about their challenges in this area, 42.3% listed a shortage of candidates with the right qualifications, while 40.7% said there were few women of the typical age of executives.

Of the companies that did have female executives, roughly 70% said they were outside personnel.

The survey ran from late August to mid-September and targeted 3,672 listed companies in Japan, drawing responses from 594. For the definition of executives, the survey used the guidelines in the government's basic plan on gender equality, which include directors, auditors and executive officers.

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