Premiere in Japan: woman chosen to head bank arm

2 years ago by in Business, Japan

Nomura Holdings, the biggest brokerage in Japan, chose a woman to lead its banking arm. It is believed to be a premiere in Japan’s financial sector which is dominated by men.

Chie Shimpo, 48, who said last year that her gender was not a factor at the office, will be named in April president of Nomura Trust and Banking, while Shinzo Abe has stated that more women should be hired at a national level.

“When I am at work, I do not really think about my gender,” she said.

“I have never thought I was disadvantaged professionally because I am a woman… (but) maybe it is more correct to say I assimilated” into a male-dominated workplace.

“From the viewpoint of my junior female colleagues… I might not have been a role model,” she added. “But I think we need to make a business environment that is comfortable for younger female workers,” Shimpo said.

Shimpo has an MBA from Stanford University and also graduated from Japan’s prestigious Waseda University. She joined Nomura in 1989 and became an executive officer in 2012.

None of the nation’s three biggest banks — Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho Financial — have top female executives, according to a government survey.