We love 2016. It’s started on a good note with companies promoting more women to the top. Japanese business – traditionally seen as entirely male dominated – sees a dismal 3% of executive positions taken up by women.

Image Credit: Bidnessetc
Image Credit: Bidnessetc

Asako Suzuki who handles Honda’s joint ventures in China has been announced senior-executive for operations, promoted within Honda’s internal ranks. With this announcement being made, she became its first female operating officer dodging all the diversities remain around the workplace in Japan. And, soon in April she will take over the position, Honda said in a statement on Tuesday, reported by Fortune.

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Country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is assuring that the empowerment of female workers and economic growth strategy complement each other in every steps. And, after all this big appointment, it’s clear that those weren’t false promises.

Honda made the choice after a large reshuffling at the top of the company: an executive vice president, directors, other operating officers, and corporate auditors are also being decided in the same day. And, all these happened since Takahiro Hachigo took over as chief executive nearly a year ago. The diversify thinking is actually rejuvenating young and bright souls and adding them to the management team.

Not too long ago the Japanese government said it was committed to higher number of women in corporate leadership roles, an aim to take to 30% by 2020. Although, in December, Abe reduced that goal to 7% by 2021 after companies made little progress, according to Quartz. Reports by Bloomberg also say that, around 60% of women quit the workplace after having their first child due to the stigma associated with pregnancy.

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Honda meanwhile got its first female board member from outside the company in 2014, as well as last year, it named a female auditor, also from outside Honda.

When Honda, Japan’s third-biggest auto maker by global sales volume, started the new trend, hopefully soon there will be more women faces in other largest companies leading from the front.

Fortune / Pressreader / Morningstar