Fast (Retailing) Track: Maki Akaida Breaking Glass Ceiling In Quick Uniqlo Ascent

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Maki Akaida, CEO of Uniqlo Japan. Courtesy Uniqlo Maki Akaida has stormed up the corporate ladder since 2001 when she joined Fast Retailing, operator of the global fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo. Now CEO of Uniqlo Japan, she has been tapped by Fast Retailing’s CEO Tadashi Yanai, Japan’s richest person, as a possible successor. If Akaida does take over at Fast Retailing, she would join a handful of women who have run or are running multibillion dollar enterprises in Japan, including Yoshiko Shinohara of temporary staffing outfit Persol Holdings and Miwako Date at property developer Mori Trust. Japan has struggled against deeply rooted traditions to get more women into its shrinking workforce, especially senior corporate roles. The government aimed to fill 30% of management and more...