TOKYO, May 29:

BizReach Inc has introduced a career change website for women as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe encourages companies to boost female leadership.

The Tokyo-based job search company unveiled BizReach Woman, which targets female workers seeking managerial positions and plans to post jobs at companies supporting the advancement of women such as Rakuten Inc, Sony Corp and General Electric Co.

Chief executive officer Soichiro “Swimmy” Minami, a former Morgan Stanley banker, organised what he called Japan’s first “pink slip party” in the wake of the global financial crisis five years ago.

He is turning to women after female membership surged at his executive classified website.

Abe has encouraged the nation’s publicly traded companies to have at least one female executive and has set a goal of women holding 30% of leadership positions in all areas of society by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics.

“Giving choices to talented women who aim for leadership positions in the Japanese economy is the best thing we can offer,” Minami said in an interview in Tokyo to introduce the website.

“My vision is to bring the wall down between men and women.”

The new website has so far attracted corporate clients representing 1,900 businesses seeking women to fill managerial positions in the ¥5 million (RM158,000) range, said Minami.

The World Economic Forum ranked Japan 105th out of 136 nations in its 2013 Global Gender Gap Report, which measures differences between men and women by economic advancement, education and other areas.

Iceland is ranked at the top, followed by Finland and Norway.

Japan, facing a shrinking and aging population, needs to empower women in the workforce to ensure the country’s economic revival, Abe has said.

The prime minister has called increasing women’s participation a “vital component” of his growth strategy, and plans call for eliminating waiting lists for childcare and training mothers returning to work.

Closing the gender employment gap could boost Japan’s gross domestic product by as much as 13%, according to the latest “Womenomics” report by Kathy Matsui, Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s chief Japan strategist.

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