A total of 33.4 percent of major companies listed in Japan had no female executives as of July, with the rate exceeding 50 percent in such sectors as shipping and pulp and paper, the Cabinet Office said last week.
Among the 2,189 companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, 732 did not have any women executives, such as board members and auditors, as of late July, according to a government tally.
The rate of major firms with no female executives has steadily declined from 62.0 percent in 2017, but it remains relatively high despite the country's efforts to promote women's representation in business.
Of the 33 industries, companies in nine sectors with no female executives stood at 50 percent or more, with the rate standing at around 70 percent in the shipping as well as pulp and paper industries.
The data also showed the promotion of women has been slow in the steel, machinery, and real estate industries.
On the other hand, the ratio of companies with female executives was the highest in the electricity and gas industry, followed by the banking and air transport sectors, according to the data.
Seiko Noda, minister in charge of gender equality, told a press conference on Nov. 26, "Corporate value is expected to rise by promoting women because there is data showing companies with a higher ratio of female executives perform better."
It is believed that if more women are involved in corporate decision-making, diverse values will be better reflected in the management of a company.
The Cabinet Office publishes data on the number and ratio of female executives at companies listed in Japan on its website. It started disclosing a list of firms with zero female executives in 2020.
The Japanese government has failed to meet a goal of filling around 30 percent of leadership positions in the country with women by 2020, pushing back the date to "as soon as possible within the 2020s" in a policy review last year.