Keidanren calls on firms to support women’s advancement in the workforce

Kyodo

Keidanren, the nation’s largest business lobby, released a proposal to its member firms Monday calling on them to come up with a plan to improve women’s advancement in the workforce.

The lobby is calling on its roughly 1,300 member firms to voluntarily put in place plans to appoint more women as board members and managers, foster female management through training programs, and recruit more women to positions in science and engineering.

Keidanren said it planned to submit the proposal to Masako Mori, minister for gender equality, on Tuesday, and will publicize plans submitted by member firms on its website.

Japan is behind other developed nations in the appointment of women to senior roles, with women making up around 10 percent of managers and board members despite concerns over the country’s shrinking workforce.

Junko Nakagawa, Keidanren women’s advancement committee chairwoman and Nomura Holdings Inc. senior managing director, said at a press conference in Tokyo, “We hope many firms will use this proposal as a chance to consider plans to harness the power of women workers.”