Information Releases

Survey of Corporate Attitudes towards Promotion of Women (2021)

Highest ever average proportion of women in managerial posts recorded, but still at 8.9%.
— Large companies are positive about encouraging men to take childcare leave, but SMEs are static —


Women’s empowerment is becoming crucial for companies due to the shrinking working population and increasing number of double income households. The Childcare and Family Care Leave Act that includes measures to encourage men to take childcare leave was revised in June 2021, with the primary objective of promoting women’s participation and advancement by reducing their housekeeping burden, etc. While there has been such a movement, the target by 2020 that the government set, for the “proportion of women in leadership positions at 30%”, was not achieved, and its target date was modified to “achievement early in the 2020s”. The path to realize a society in which women play active roles continues to be tough.

Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey of corporate attitudes towards promotion of women. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the July 2021 TDB Trends Research.

*Survey period: July 15 – July 31, 2021, Companies Surveyed: 24,285, Valid Responses: 10,992 (Response Rate: 45.3%).

*The survey for promotion of women has been conducted every July since 2013. This is the 9th survey.

*Details of this survey can be found on the dedicated Economic Trend Survey website. (

Primary points of survey results(summary)

  1. 1 The proportion of women in managerial posts averaged 8.9%, up 1.1 percentage points y-o-y, which was the largest increase ever. Although it remained at a low level, it replaced the previous highest record. Those companies which exceed the government target for the "proportion of women in managerial posts at 30% or more", accounted for 8.6% (up 1.1 percentage points y-o-y). The proportions of women among all employees and among executive officers averaged 26.5% (up 0.7 percentage point y-o-y), and 11.8% (up 1.0 percentage point y-o-y), respectively.
  2. 2 22.6% of companies anticipate an increase in women in managerial posts in their companies, up 0.9 percentage point y-o-y. The percentage in large companies stood at 33.9%, but in SMEs remained at 19.1%, and in small companies at 11.4%, respectively. On the other hand, those companies which anticipate no change reached almost 60%, at 58.9%.
  3. 3 Companies that promote women’s participation and advancement accounted for 46.9%, up 4.3 percentage points from 2020 (42.6%) in which there was a large drop. If we look at the details, those “promoting the appointment of in-house human resources”, and “promoting the appointment of human resources from outside companies” accounted for 40.7% (up 3.0 percentage points y-o-y), and 11.5% (up 1.3 percentage points y-o-y), respectively. On the other hand, the result showed that approximately 40% of companies are “not promoting” the appointment of women.
  4. 4 With respect to the question about the status of encouraging men to take childcare leave, 9.5% of companies said they are “aggressively encouraging them to take such leave”, and 41.1% said they ”will encourage in the future”. Approximately half of all companies had a positive thought about men taking childcare leave. However, the percentage in SMEs and small companies is largely below that in large companies, which highlighted the difficulty of their challenge in responding to staff shortages arising from childcare leave.
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