Japan Mulls Gender Ratio Reporting Requirements

New FSA rules would require listed companies to disclose the number of women in senior positions. 

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is reportedly considering introducing a mandatory requirement to compel listed firms to disclose their ratios of women in managerial positions.

According to local media reports, the FSA is planning to start asking listed companies to make the disclosures in their financial statements for next year at the earliest.

The FSA is also considering mandating the disclosure of wage gaps between male and female employees. The rules are currently being discussed by an FSA task force that comprises company executives and institutional investors.

Task force members have reportedly acknowledged that investors are increasingly willing to only back companies where gender equality is the norm, in line with general international standards.

In Japan, the percentage of women holding key positions is said to be relatively high among major companies in the distribution and financial sectors, but very low among those involved in heavy industry. In 2020, women accounted for roughly 13.3% of managerial positions in companies, compared to 30 to 40% in many European countries and the US.

Japan’s new corporate governance code which took effect in June asks companies to set voluntary targets for promoting diversity in senior management positions by appointing females, non-Japanese and mid-career professionals. Under the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) reorganisation plan, however, only Prime section companies will be subject to the code.

Some members of the FSA task force are seeking to require all listed firms to disclose their targets of appointing women to managerial posts or efforts to achieve those goals.

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