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Japan – Firms making strides in promoting women led by Pasona

05 November 2013

The number of female managers in big companies increased by +10% for the year ending 31 March 2013, they now account for 4.5% of all managerial staffers, according to a survey about workforce diversity from business news provider Nikkei.

Pasona Group, one of the largest staffing firms in the world according to research from Staffing Industry Analysts, boasted the highest share of female managers with 40%, followed by travel agency JTB Corp, and cosmetics firm Fancl Corporation with 30% each.

In general, the number of women appointed as department heads at the 436 firms surveyed rose by +13% from the previous year, while female section chiefs climbed +9%. Female employees hired under the equal opportunity law that took effect in 1986 are reaching the age when they can rise to managerial posts.

Businesses are also actively promoting women and grooming them as future executive candidates. About 60% of companies have female department heads, and more than 90% have female section chiefs.

In Europe and the United States women constitute 30-40% of managerial staffers, including those in the public sector. Japan’s percentage remains much lower, with women accounting for only 1% or so of directors and corporate officers. The government is calling on businesses to appoint at least one woman as an executive.      

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