Japan targets more female board members for large organisations

The government is pushing economic policies that require more female board members to be nominated to achieve gender equality.
By: | June 7, 2023

Japan has set a goal for organisations listed on the top-tier Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange to have more than 30% female board member representation by 2030, according to a draft policy blueprint on women’s empowerment.

The move is part of efforts by the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to promote diversity and gender equality in the corporate world. As of July 2022, 18.7% of organisations in the Prime Market had no female board members, the Cabinet Office said, and only 2.2% had over 30% female executives. The Council for Gender Equality of the office, in its latest proposal, emphasised that the appointment of women as executives at private organisations in Japan has significantly lagged behind international standards, and identified the increasing number of female board members as an urgent criteria for the country’s economic growth.

To implement these proposals, the government plans to incorporate them into the annual basic policies for economic and fiscal reform, which are scheduled to be approved by June 2023. The draft also outlined a request for organisations listed on the Prime Market to nominate at least one female board member by around 2025. The government also aims to establish regulations in collaboration with the Tokyo Stock Exchange to ensure the effectiveness of this objective.

READ MORE: Japan moves to bridge workplace gender gap

In addition to these measures, efforts to enhance women’s empowerment will extend to supporting start-up businesses and the development of female entrepreneurs. The government will introduce necessary measures to improve women’s income and expand the benefits for childcare leave and part-time work to address the trend of women leaving full-time employment after childbirth.