• Kyodo


Over 70% of commercial broadcasters in Japan said they had no women in executive positions, a labor union survey showed Monday, highlighting the male-dominated leadership of the mass media industry.

Of the total of 1,797 executives at 127 commercial broadcasters, only 2.2%, or 40, were female, according to the first such survey conducted in the year through March by the Japan Federation of Commercial Broadcast Workers’ Unions, with its umbrella organization calling for increased female representation in the sector.

“Commercial broadcasters must face this reality and improve gender balance,” the Women’s Conference of Commercial Broadcasting, under the wing of the federation, said in a statement, adding that such imbalance affects news coverage and content.

Among 11 commercial broadcasters in Tokyo and Osaka, the top officials in charge of producing news and other programs were all male, according to the survey.

As for the percentage of female employees with these broadcasters, the figure remained at around 20% on average, led by Fuji Television Network Inc. at 25.7% and Nippon Television Network Corp. at the lowest with 15.8%.

The Japanese government set a goal in 2003 of filling around 30% of leadership positions in the country with women by 2020, but pushed back the date to “as soon as possible within the 2020s” in a policy review late last year, after failing to meet the target.

Japan ranked 120th among 156 countries in the gender gap rankings in 2021, remaining in last place among major advanced economies, according to the World Economic Forum.

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