TOKYO: Japan’s biggest brokerage Nomura Holdings said on Wednesday it has chosen a woman to head its banking arm, in what is believed to be a first for the country’s male-dominated financial sector.
Chie Shimpo, 48, will next month become president of Nomura Trust and Banking, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for more women to join the labor force and for companies to bring female employees into the boardroom.
None of the nation’s three biggest banks—Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho Financial—have top female executives, according to a government survey.
The central bank, Bank of Japan, has just one woman on its nine-member board.
In an interview last year with a Japanese business online magazine, Shimpo dismissed her gender as a factor at the office.
“When I’m at work, I don’t really think about my gender,” she was quoted as saying.
Shimpo, who has an MBA from Stanford University and also graduated from Japan’s prestigious Waseda University, joined Nomura in 1989.