By 2030, Japan wants to see 30% of listed companies have female executives


On Tuesday, a government council in Japan approved a women’s empowerment policy aimed at increasing the ratio of female board members to over 30% by 2030 in companies listed on the top-tier Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The policy sets a target for companies to appoint at least one female board member by 2025. This initiative comes as Japan lags behind the United States and Europe in promoting women to managerial positions.

The policy will be included in the annual basic policies for economic and fiscal reform, to be approved by the Cabinet on Friday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed the government’s commitment to creating a sustainable society where diversity is respected and all individuals feel fulfilled.

As of July 2022, 18.7% of firms listed on the Prime Market had no female board members, and only 2.2% of companies had over 30% of executive roles filled by women. Recognizing the increasing focus of investors on gender diversity in corporate leadership, the policy highlights the promotion of women to executive positions as an urgent issue for Japan’s economic growth.

The government plans to request the Tokyo Stock Exchange to establish rules requiring firms to develop action plans to achieve the target of appointing women as executives. Additionally, efforts will be made to support startup businesses and foster female entrepreneurs in the public and private sectors. Measures to address the gender wage gap, such as expanding wage difference disclosure requirements, are also being considered.

To further support working parents, the government aims to enhance childcare leave benefits and introduce benefits for employees working reduced hours to care for children under the age of 2. It also seeks to promote a household environment where both men and women share household chores, childcare responsibilities, and have flexible work arrangements.

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