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30% Club Japan launched to increase women at company boards

  • May 6, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 4:16 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 6 (Jiji Press)–The 30% Club, founded in Britain, recently launched a Japanese chapter after making a major contribution to boosting female representation on company boards in 13 economies.

The 30% Club Japan aims to achieve 10 pct representation on the boards of 100 major companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2020 and 30 pct representation by 2030.

As of April 23 this year, the chapter had 30 members including corporate leaders, such as Shiseido Co. <4911> President Masahiko Uotani, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. <8601> Chairman Takashi Hibino and Hitachi Ltd. <6501> President Toshiaki Higashihara.

Companies with 30% Club Japan members will set their own targets and deadlines to increase women on their boards.

The chapter’s members also include executives of institutional investors. Their companies will encourage businesses they invest in to take steps to shore up female representation on their boards.

Furthermore, the chapter will run diverse campaigns in cooperation with government agencies, media organizations and universities.

In the Western world, a widely held view is that gender diversity in senior leadership is a plus to business.

Companies that have many female executives tend to be more profitable than those that do not. A greater female presence is also said to help strengthen corporate governance, promote innovation and improve brand images.

The 30% Club Japan views low female representation on company boards “not as a human rights issue but as a business problem that must be addressed for sustainable growth,” said Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting LLC Senior Manager Michiko Tadamatsu, who played a leading role in establishing the chapter.

In Japan, women accounted for 5.3 pct of all executives at major companies in 2017, against 27.2 pct in Britain and 21.7 pct in the United States, according to data by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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