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Abe’s target for women managers won’t be met, say Daiwa, Goldman

Bloomberg

Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Goldman Sachs Japan Co. said they will fall short of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goal of having women in 30 percent of management jobs by 2020, citing a lack of candidates.

“We now recruit exactly the same numbers of men and women,” Shigeharu Suzuki, chairman of Daiwa Securities Group, said Wednesday in a diversity forum held at Bloomberg’s Tokyo office. “That was not the case in the past and unfortunately we are not going to reach the target because we don’t have enough people in the pipeline. If things go well I think we will reach about 15 percent.”

Katsunori Sago, deputy president of Goldman Sachs Japan and also co-chairman of the bank’s diversity committee in Asia, said his firm faces similar difficulties, and that setting ambitious targets is effective in itself. “I don’t think we should quibble about the actual figure,” he said.

The comments reflect the challenges for Abe in drawing more women into jobs to maintain a labor force that is forecast to shrink as much as 42 percent by 2060 as the population ages.

Japan’s workforce would swell by more than 7 million and output would jump if participation by women equaled that of men, Goldman Sachs said in its latest “Womenomics” report May 6.

Gender Equality Minister Masako Mori has said the bureaucracy will only reach Abe’s target by recruiting people from outside.

“If people say they can’t do it, then we will never reach it,” Mori said in response to the comments by Suzuki and Sago. “There are all sorts of excuses about why it can’t be done, but I want you to keep on trying.”