Japan’s central bank appoints first ever woman Executive Director

Image Source: Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan (BOJ), the central bank of the nation, appointed Tokiko Shimizu as its Executive Director. This is the first time since the bank’s founding in 1882 that a woman has held this post.

Shimizu currently manages the Bank of Japan’s branch in Nagoya and will continue to serve on the post. She is succeeding Eiji Maeda, who retired on 10th May 2020.

The 55-year-old banker will hold a four-year term as the Executive Director and is one of the six executive directors of the bank. Such directors generally oversee the daily operations of the bank, which include financial markets, monetary policy, and economic analysis, among other roles.

Shimizu has had an illustrious career as a banker. She joined BOJ in 1987 after she had graduated from the University of Tokyo with a degree in engineering. She has worked in foreign exchange operations and financial markets division. She was also general manager for Europe and chief representative in London between 2016 and 2018. In 2010, she became the first woman to become a branch manager, when she headed the Takamatsu branch.

Shimizu’s appointment is widely been recognized as a leap for gender equality in Japan. While women comprise of 47 per cent of the workforce at the BOJ, only a mere 13 per cent hold senior managerial posts.

Unfortunately, Japan does not have a bright record in terms of gender equality. It is at the bottom of then G7 nations in terms of gender equality. Also, according to the 2018 World Bank data, it is ranked 121 out of 153 nations in the World Economic Forum’s latest global gender gap index.

We hope Shimizu’s appointment opens avenues for many more women to hold top positions in Japan.

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