The Japanese central bank has had its first executive director for 138 years

Pedestrians walk in front of the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo on July 20, 2017.
Tokiko Shimizu, a 55-year-old banker, was appointed as part of a broad reshuffle at the Bank of Japan, becoming one of a group of six executives responsible for managing the central bank’s daily operations.

Shimuzu started working for the Bank of Japan in 1987. She took on roles in the financial markets division and foreign exchange operations, and was general manager for Europe and principal representative in London between 2016 and 2018.

The Bank of Japan was founded in October 1882.

Women represent 47% of the central bank’s workforce, but only 13% of senior management positions and only 20% of expert positions dealing with legal affairs, payment systems and banknotes, according to the bank’s own data. .

The women were represented on his political advice – the highest decision-making body responsible for defining monetary policy – since it was established in 1998. But only one of the nine board members is a woman and the bank has never had a female governor, unlike the Federal Reserve or of the European Central Bank.

Over the past decade, demographic challenges and the growing number of women in higher education have slowly started to change the male-dominated management structures in Japan.

But while women represent 51% of the Japanese population, second to data from the World Bank 2018, the country is classified 121 out of 153 countries in the latest index of the global gender gap of the World Economic Forum.
The country also ranks bottom among the G7 countries for gender equality, according to the WEFdespite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s commitment to empower women who work through a policy called “womenomics“.
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