Some long-closed doors are opening at the Bank of Japan as it seeks to hire and promote more women in career-track positions.

In a little more than a year, at least five women have taken over as chiefs of major branches or divisions of the central bank, positions that had never been held by women.

Longtime female employees say the changes aren't limited to hiring and promotions. Life for them at the central bank is just better than it used to be, they say.