JAPAN: Report Reveals Glass Ceiling For
Women Corporate Directors

Japanese Companies with Women Board Directors

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Listed Companies

OTC Companies

Number of companies in survey



Number of companies with women directors



Percent of companies with women directors



Total number of directors for all companies



Total number of female directors for all companies



Percent of all directors who are women



  • That Japanese women hold only .2% of all corporate board seats in publicly-held companies is the key finding of the 1998 Report on Women Directors of Japanese Companies.  The report identifies only 81 women board directors from a total of 43,115 directors.

  • "Since corporate board directors tend to be senior executives in most companies, it is clear that the glass ceiling in executive positions for women has led to a glass ceiling in corporate directorships," states Irene Natividad, co-chair of Corporate Women Directors International. 

  • Joining Ms. Natividad in releasing the 1998 CWDI Report was her CO-chair, Jean Sisco, who has served on the boards of 21 companies; Merle Aiko Okawara, one of only four Japanese women who serve on two corporate boards; and Nieves Confesor, former Secretary of Labor of the Philippines and corporate board member.

  • The 1998 Report provides an analysis and directory of women directors holding board seats in companies listed in Japan's eight stock exchanges, as well as those unlisted companies whose stocks are traded over-the-counter.  Okawara, a board director in two OTC companies, stresses "the importance of the Report in providing base line information against which future progress can be measured."

  • To order a copy of the report, which includes a company listing of women board directors and tables with data indicating the business areas and industries with the largest representation of women directors, see order form.

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