Greece And Japan See Strides For Women
Today in international good news for women: Greece has sworn in its first female prime minister, and Japan is requiring businesses to set goals to hire more female executives.
Vassiliki Thanou, the head of Greece’s Supreme Court, was sworn in as interim prime minister after Alexis Tspiras was forced to resign last week. Greece will be holding elections on September 20, so Thanou’s turn at the wheel won’t be very long, but a first is a first. On top of Greece’s pretty dire economic situation, Thanou will also have to manage the recent massive flow of immigrants and refugees into the country from Syria and Turkey, who are passing through Greece on their way to wealthier European nations.
In Japan, the country’s House of Councillors voted 230-1 (!!!) to require Japanese businesses to set and publicize targets for hiring female managers and executives. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, recognizing that Japan lags behind other countries in terms of gender equity in the workplace, has committed to increasing the portion of women managers in Japanese companies to 30 percent. The law is effective for the next 10 years, and although it requires that those goals be set and publicized, it doesn’t require that they be met; however, the government will recognize those companies who clearly work toward their goals. The intention, Abe said at a recent conference, is to deal with a worker shortage as Japan’s population ages and their birth rate declines, and to “more proactively value and support companies working to provide a sound work-life balance.”
Συγχαρητήρια and おめでとう, Greece and Japan!