Fewer than one in 14 Japanese companies has a female president, a survey has shown, and more than half of the women inherited the role from a relative.

Credit research agency Teikoku Databank examined the records of the nation's 1,175,505 registered companies and found that as of the end of June there were 87,167 female presidents, or 7.4 percent of the total. This compares with more than a million men in the role.

The findings underscore the lack of women's representation in business, despite ongoing government efforts to boost female presence in the workforce, said Teruyuki Hayakawa of Teikoku Databank.