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Over 60% of women leave their jobs after having their first child. This proportion has not changed for 20 years.
This is because they find it difficult to balance work and life due to long hours of work.
So it is rare to see women in their 30s and 40s working. They will be mostly at home tending children.
Japan has set for itself a target of 30% women leadership by 2020. Currently it is just 11.1%.
The share of women board members in companies is just 1.4%.
Currently, Japan is pursuing the policy of women’s active participation as “the central core of Japan’s Growth Policy”. This is to offset the decline in the working-age population.
According to the “gender gap index” in 2014 published by World Economic Forum (Davos), Japan ranks 104th among 142 countries.
Japan has about 3 million potential female workers. If they all worked, they would earn about 7,000 billion Yen or $70 billion which corresponds to 1.5% of the GDP.
Corporates which have female board members show better equity performance than those which have none.
(Mami Fukuchi, Director of Economic and Social Policy office, in Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, Govt. of Japan in her paper “Promoting Women’s Empowerment as a Growth Strategy”)