Japan to organise female executive 'training camp'

TOKYO - The Japanese government wants to increase the number of women in executive roles in the country's private companies.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry will organise a "training camp" for female workers seeking to become company executives.

The aim is to increase the number of women with management skills at private companies.

The ministry will invite would-be female executives to participate in the camp and offer them the opportunity to sharpen their management strategy and crisis response skills.

Japanese companies have fewer female executives than companies in Europe and the United States.

The government rarely takes the initiative to nurture candidates for executive positions, and it remains to be seen whether the programme can successfully cultivate human resources that benefit the private sector.

The camp will take place over six days in a Tokyo hotel next January.

The ministry plans to invite about 60 women who suspended their careers due to childbirth or child rearing. Invitees will include women working for local and small businesses.

According to the ministry, about 3 per cent of company executives in Japan are women - a maximum of one-fifth of the percentages of executive female workers in Europe and the United States.

Only 12.5 per cent of managers in Japan are women.

Women at Japanese companies often have difficulty finding someone in a similar position to talk to.

The ministry envisions the training camp as a place where women can share their concerns.

The ministry will also consider establishing a system to urge companies to employ mid-career recruits and foreigners, in addition to women.

The ministry will compile action guidelines and call on businesses to take measures, including establishing a personnel system that would accurately evaluate workers.