After 80 years, Toyota appoints first female Board member

Toyota Motor Corp was found in 1937, currently, it has over 3.64 lakh employees worldwide. Surprisingly, it has taken the company about 80 years to appoint a woman to the list of its Board of Directors.

By: | Updated: March 4, 2018 1:01 PM
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One of the oldest and leading Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp in a recent release announced the appointment of Teiko Kudo, Managing Executive Office, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp as the member of Toyota's Board of Directors. Teiko Kudo is the first woman to be in this position. This is aimed to push diversity and opening up the management to new ideas and technology changes. In a statement Toyota said, "TMC has decided to renew its structure further by changing the lineup of its board of directors and that of its audit & supervisory board, by including more people from both inside and outside the company with a high level of expertise, based on the principle of appointing the right people to the right positions, transcending practices of the past."

Toyota Motor Corp was found in 1937 and while there are many success stories and currently has over 3.64 lakh employees worldwide. Surprisingly, it has taken the company about 80 years to appoint a woman to the list of its Board of Directors.

Teiko Kudo, Managing Executive Office, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp will join Toyota's board of directors as an outside director in June 2018, post the approval of shareholders. The company has also announced many other management and board of directors changes for this year.

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"Having speed and being open are key to survival in this era of profound transformation," commented Akio Toyoda, Toyota President on these new appointments.

"By appointing people with like minds but with a wide range of professional backgrounds, based on the principle of having the right people in the right place, whether they come from within the company or not, we can discuss things with an open mind and go beyond past ways of doing things to speedily implement bold new ideas. That is what we are aiming for with the structural change", he added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's has been focussing on diversifying companies' management and its corporate governance operations, which traditionally has favoured long-serving employee of the company. His aim is to women to occupy at least 10 per cent of all management positions in Japanese MNCs and other companies by 2020. This women empowerment scheme in Japan by Abe is often referred as "Womenomics"

Many Japanese companies including Panasonic and Honda have appointed women to senior executive roles. Currently women executives at listed companies in Japan is as low as 3.7%in 2017 as against 18% in America and 23% in the United Kingdom as per a report of Financial Times.

Ms Kudo has risen to high ranks in the male-dominated banking industry in Japan and became the first woman to be the Executive Officer at Sumitomo Mitsui in 2014. She is also a part of Tokyo-base dhedge fun Sparx, that invests in AI, Robotics and hydrogen-related technologies. Sir Philip Craven, the former president of the International Paralympic Committee will also join Toyota's Board of Directors along with Teiko Kudo.

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