November 9, 2021

Zero Female Directors Account for 51% of Major Listed Companies

In fiscal 2021, 48% of major listed companies in Japan did not appoint either women or foreign people as directors. 51% of companies have no female directors. Few companies appoint foreign directors. Based on the belief that incorporating diverse perspectives into corporate management is directly linked to competitiveness, Japanese companies look pale when compared to the U.S. and European companies that are accelerating their efforts.

In Japan, it is the discretion of companies to respond to the diversification of directors required by the Corporate Governance Guidelines, but in Europe and the United States, there is a growing demand for strict responses as listing rules. Stock Exchange Nasdaq requires racial minorities, LGBT, and the appointment of women as directors.

There is a deep-rooted resistance against drastically changing the face of directors among many of the Japanese companies. It is all too often pointed out particularly by executives of mid-sized manufacturing companies that “It’s not easy to recruit directors from outside because the competition is fierce and difficult, and moreover we don’t have adequate human resources yet who are capable of having discussions and negotiations with a good understanding of the company”. It is becoming a pressing issue to urgently promote the development of candidates and combine diversified management with corporate growth.