1 in 10 firms has female chief; startups credited for trend

Kyodo News

One in 10 Japanese companies has a female president, according to a wide-ranging survey by a credit research agency.

Tokyo Shoko Research said it conducted a poll in July on 2.09 million firms of all sizes and found that 10.1 percent were headed by women.

By industry, 34.8 percent of the firms with female presidents were service-related, including restaurants and education, followed by 16.2 percent in retailing, 14.4 percent in real estate, 10.4 percent in construction, 8.0 percent in manufacturing and 7.7 percent in wholesale.

In the past, female presidents often inherited their businesses from parents or a spouse, but more recently women have started their own businesses by offering original services, the agency said, noting they often build up connections with people “without caring too much about their titles or which groups they belong to,” in contrasting them with their male counterparts.