Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Nadeshiko equality label boosts company performance

April 2014

As part of plans to stimulate economic growth, the Japanese government is trying to get more women involved in the workforce.

Last year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange introduced a special label, “Nadeshiko,” for the best-performing listed companies that provide more promotion opportunities for women, pursue policies that support them in their careers, and actively promote the use of their abilities.

The Nadeshiko is a pink flower (the “Large Pink,” in English) generally perceived as a symbol of the beauty and grace of Japanese women.

 The selection of Nadeshiko firms is intended to help maintain the size of Japan’s working population in an aging society with a chronically low birthrate.

However, it is more than a promotional gesture. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), corporations with higher proportions of female board members tend to perform better in return on equity and other financial indicators.

"We hope that the list of Nadeshiko Brand companies will serve as a useful reference for individual investors,” a TSE official said.

This year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange and METI have jointly selected 26 companies listed on the TSE’s first section as “Nadeshiko Brands,” that recognize the importance of supporting women’s careers while meeting a return-on-equity standards at the same time.

Among the 26 firms selected this year, heavy machinery maker IHI Corp. has a system to rehire women who left the company to make time for childcare. Toppan Forms Co., a maker of business forms, actively hires new female graduates, and brokerage giant Nomura Holdings Inc. has seen the percentage of managerial positions held by women exceed 13 percent on a group basis.

Seven companies were selected for their second consecutive year—Toray Industries Inc., Nissan Motor Co., Asahi Glass Co., Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Nikon Corp., Tokyu Corp. and KDDI Corp.

 The other winners of the Nadeshiko Brand this year are Inpex Corp., Calbee Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Bridgestone Corp., JFE Holdings Inc., Lixil Group Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Osaka Gas Co., Nippon Yusen K.K., ANA Holdings Inc., Mitsubishi Corp., Lawson Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Tokio Marine Holdings Inc., Orix Corp. and Tsukui Corp.

 “If the Nadeshiko label heightens the reputation of those companies and allows them to procure funds on more advantageous terms from the market, a larger number of companies may provide more opportunities to women,” a TSE official said.

Asia | Equality

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