Women aged around 50 who started working soon after the equal employment opportunity law came into force in Japan in 1986 are now assuming executive positions in major companies.

But these women are just a small cadre of female professionals who have broken through the glass ceiling, with women accounting for only 9.2 percent of all managers in the private sector in 2014.

While the legislation has paved the way for Japanese women to be on a level playing field with men, hurdles still remain for many of them to keep working while juggling motherhood and a family.