• Jiji

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The proportion of female company leaders in Japan may have marked a record high in April, a private-sector survey showed Friday, but it still underscored the large gender disparity in the workplace.

The share of female company presidents rose 0.1 percentage point from a year before to 8.1%, according to the Teikoku Databank Ltd. survey, which covered some 1.17 million companies nationwide.

Of the female leaders, 50.8% became president after taking over from their husbands or parents due to old age or difficulty finding a successor, compared with 39.5% for men.

Only 8.3% of women leaders were appointed through internal promotions, lower than the 11.8% of men, reflecting the gender gap in career-based appointments.

Companies with capital of under ¥10 million made up 9.1% of all firms with female presidents, making it the most common category. Only 2.3% of firms with female leaders had capital of over ¥100 million.

The percentage of companies led by women stood at 9.6% in the Shikoku region, 9.4% in the Kyushu region and 8.8% in the Chugoku region.

Okinawa Prefecture had the highest proportion of female-led firms among the country’s 47 prefectures, at 11.4%, followed by Tokushima Prefecture at 11.3% and Aomori Prefecture at 10.9%.

Gifu Prefecture had the lowest rate, at 5.5%.

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