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Women’s presence increasing at BOJ

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The presence of women is increasing at the Bank of Japan after a series of measures to make it easier for employees to balance work with family life.

The share of women has risen among the BOJ’s officials at managerial posts and newly hired workers. Earlier this month, Tokiko Shimizu, 53, became the first female BOJ regional branch manager.

The Japanese bank industry, including the BOJ, has a conservative culture. The central bank has a woman on its nine-member Policy Board, which is mainly made up of outside experts, while the posts of executive directors have been monopolized by male employees.

At a branch manager meeting at the BOJ head office in Tokyo on Thursday, a record four women were present, including Nagoya branch head Shimizu and Sapporo branch manager Sho Kotaka, 55.

Shimizu joined the BOJ in 1987. Among female workers, she has been a front-runner, ascending the corporate ladder quickly. She worked in London as an official covering Europe until recently.

“It is important to create an environment in which women can work to the full in accordance with their skills,” Shimizu told a news conference held after the branch manager meeting.

The BOJ has taken measures to make it easier for child-rearing employees to balance work and family life, such as the introduction of a flextime system, since around 2005.

The percentage of women in managerial posts increased from 6.3 percent in 2013 to 9.6 percent in 2017, near the BOJ’s target of 10 percent for 2018.

The share of women newly hired for career-track and some other jobs rose to 34.1 percent in fiscal 2016. The BOJ has attained labor ministry standards to certify organizations promoting female advancement in all five items including the percentage of female managers.Speech

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