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Aeon sets 50% female manager goal

JIJI

Retail giant Aeon Co. plans to have women filling 30 percent of managerial positions by 2016 and 50 percent by 2020, President Motoya Okada said.

Only around 10 percent of all managers at its roughly 200 group companies are women, due in part to rules that oblige candidates for managerial posts to basically accept transfers.

Aeon intends to actively promote women by offering flexible working conditions that show consideration to the needs of giving birth and child care.

Okada explained the target at a general shareholders’ meeting Thursday. To show it means business, the company decided to make Yukako Uchinaga, vice president of education service provider Benesse Holdings Inc. , an outside board member.

Uchinaga, who also serves as head of a nonprofit organization promoting women in management, will advise Aeon on concrete measures to be drawn up by next May.

Although half of new employees are women, most of them quit within 10 years, Okada said.

“The inefficiency in recruiting and training new employees has a major negative effect on company productivity,” he said.