Tokyo to pressure Olympic sponsors on gender equality after public mistakes.
The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee is moving closer to pressuring sponsors to declare gender equality and diversity goals as it seeks to overcome a number of public mistakes.
The organizer of the Tokyo games plans to unveil its own promise to promote equality and inclusion next month, Chief Executive Toshiro Muto said at a briefing on Monday night, without elaborating. Mikako Kotani, who is leading the organizer’s push to promote gender equality, said in a March interview that the Tokyo committee would follow up by asking sponsoring companies, sports bodies, and educational institutions to reveal their own goals. Also, check IPL 2021 RCB vs DC Live Score Today 27 April.
While neither Kotani nor Muto mentioned specific companies, the Tokyo 2020 sponsor ranks include some of Japan’s biggest corporate names. Among them are Toyota Motor Corp., Nomura Holdings Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Canon Inc., and NEC Corp.
The use of the Olympics to promote gender equality stands in stark contrast to the scandals that have weighed on the organizer. The most notable incident occurred in February when Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister and then head of the organizing committee, said that women talk too much during meetings. That episode would see Mori resign and be replaced by Seiko Hashimoto, one of Japan’s best-known former Olympians.
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Under Hashimoto’s leadership, the organizing committee established a gender equality team headed by Kotani and last month added 12 new women to its executive board. That brought the proportion of women among the 45-member group above Hashimoto’s goal of 40%. Female athletes competing in the Tokyo Games are expected to reach 49%, the highest proportion in history, according to the International Olympic Committee.
The proportion of female members on the boards of publicly-traded companies in Japan was 8.4%, according to a World Economic Forum report in March 2021. That stood at 11% in China and was much lower than 26% in the US and 33% in the UK.
Kotani, a former swimmer who was the first woman to be Japan’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, is hopeful that getting sponsoring companies to announce the declaration of gender equality and diversity will drive more female leaders in the country.
“Our goal is not to restore the reputation of the organizing committee,” Kotani said in the March interview. “We want to straighten out and get the right message out to the world, as we are under the spotlight.”
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