Sojitz Corporation

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Diversity Management

Promoting Women in the Workplace

In a business climate characterized by accelerated change, Sojitz considers the empowerment of women and all diverse employees to be essential for achieving mid- to long-term growth as a company. For this reason, Sojitz’s president and senior management have continued to emphasize the message of diversity and inclusion to lead the way in fostering greater understanding among employees, including among managers.

In terms of promoting women in the workplace, Sojitz believes it is important to offer professional development opportunities and to create an environment in which all employees, regardless of gender, can set ambitious career goals and realize their full potential. Sojitz seeks to support all employees through a multifaceted approach of initiatives, including balancing work and childcare, strengthening skills for team management to allow diverse employees to excel, and promoting different working styles.

Sojitz’s Ongoing Initiatives for Promoting Women

We think it is important for young, female career-track employees to be given the opportunity to work abroad on assignment or participate in language trainee programs overseas at an early stage to build their careers over the long-term regardless of major life events. The company holds trainings for both employees and managers in order to provide career development for working women and to promote understanding within the company, while simultaneously creating a flexible environment for women to balance both work and childcare.

Sojitz’s Ongoing Initiatives for Promoting Women

Diversity as a Competitive Advantage: Initiatives and Targets for the Mid -to Long-Term Leading up to 2030

In order to promote women in the workplace to further enhance the company’s competitiveness, Sojitz will continue to build an environment in which women can naturally excel over the mid- to long-term. By supporting the active development of its employees at each stage of their careers, Sojitz aims to increase the number of female employees in senior decision-making roles at the company.

Under Medium-term Management Plan 2023, Sojitz will continue its ongoing diversity initiatives and policies as well as accelerate the promotion of women in the workplace through the establishment of medium-term and long-term objectives.

Diversity as a Competitive Advantage
All employees, regardless of gender or stage of life (childbirth, childcare), can fully exercise their knowledge, skills, and experience to contribute to value creation

Sojitz aims to increase the percentage of female employees to approximately 50% during the 2030s, creating a corporate culture in which all employees—regardless of gender—can excel and work with greater autonomy.

● Moving forward, Sojitz will expand the scope of women’s roles within the company, increasing the number of female employees in decision-making positions. By creating a leadership pipeline with women at each career stage, Sojitz will continue to support female employees in acquiring experience to realize their career objectives.

Action Plan for Promoting Women in the Workplace

Based on the “Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace,” we will continue striving for the promotion of women in the workplace with the following plan for achieving these targets by March 31, 2023.

General Employer Action Plan (April 2021 - March 2024) established in accordance with Japan's Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace

Statistics on Women in the Workplace

Sojitz Initiatives

Joint Training for Career-Track Female Employees and Their Managers

In FY2018, we gathered female career-track employees in their fourth or fifth year at the company for a mid-to long-term career development training session to discuss their strengths as individuals, and how to manage life events alongside a career. The training included a joint session for both female employees and their managers. Participants commented that it was a good opportunity to reflect on how mutual understanding can promote more effective communication.

As of FY2021, Sojitz has begun offering a mentorship program geared towards female career-track employees in their late 20s and early 30s, who will be in the next generation of managers to lead the company a decade from now. Members of Sojitz management will serve as mentors to support female career-track employees in clarifying their personal career goals and developing a vision for the future, with the aim of raising greater awareness of professional development opportunities for women.

Joint training program for female career-track employees and their managers

External Manager Training

As a way to strengthen management capabilities, Sojitz sends female managers to cross-industry “Step-Up Training” for female managers hosted by the Japan Business Federation and to business school training programs. Female managers gain further management experience through appointments to executive officer roles leading Sojitz Group companies. Sojitz has appointed its first female executive officer through internal promotion as of April 2021.

Pre-Manager Training
Since September 2019, Sojitz has been holding a three-month career training program for female career-track employees in assistant manager positions which includes coaching and discussions with managers and executives, as part of its efforts to support the promotion of women to section manager and general manager positions.

Initiatives for Administrative-track Employees
For female employees in administrative-track positions, we have established a new job grade system and offer specialized trainings among other measures to promote diverse career paths and opportunities to excel.

Related Data

Percentage of female employees hired

FY2015
FY2016
FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
FY2020
New female graduate hires
(career track and administrative track)
26.8% 34.2% 35.8% 47.9% 46.0% 49.0%
New female graduate hires
(career track)
14.3% 21.9% 23.6% 37.0% 32.0% 31.9%
Mid-career hires 30.8% 26.1% 21.7% 40.7% 44.0% 53.3%

Statistics on women in managerial positions

FY2015
FY2016
FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
FY2020
Managers 1,046 men
27 women
1,038 men
32 women
1,031 men
33 women
1,020 men
40 women
1,000 men
46 women
954 men
54 women
Percentage women 2.5% 3.0% 3.1% 3.8% 4.4% 5.4%
General Manager-Level 159 men
0 women
174 men
0 women
184 men
0 women
186 men
0 women
187 men
3 women
176 men
2 women
Section Manager-Level 880 men
27women
856 men
32 women
841 men
33 women
834 men
38 women
813 men
43 women
778 men
52 women
Number of New Managers 52 men
8 women
33 men
4 women
50 men
3 women
28 men
7 women
28 men
5 women
35 men
9 women

Women in Assistant Manager Positions

FY2015
FY2016
FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
FY2020
Percentage of Women in Assistant Manager Positions 241 men
46 women
261 men
46 women
275 men
44 women
294 men
44 women
297 men
38 women
284 men
38 women

Additional Data

  • ・Percentage of female employees
  • ・Percentage of female management-level employees
  • ・Percentage of women hired
  • ・Difference between men and women in years of continuous employee service
  • ・Percentage of female directors

  • Third-party assurance on women in the workplace

Various Support Systems for Work-Life Management

Platinum Kurumin

Sojitz offers various support systems for work-life management, enabling employees to balance work with childcare and caregiving for family members.

In August 2021, Sojitz received “Platinum Kurumin” certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Kurumin certification recognizes companies with excellent childcare support policies that meet the specified requirements for certification and that have achieved the targets set out in their General Employer Action Plans based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children. As a recipient of Kurumin certification for four consecutive years since 2010, Sojitz is proud to announce that it has been awarded “Platinum Kurumin” certification, which recognizes outstanding companies that meet higher standards in supporting employees to balance work and childcare.
Sojitz has recently established a new General Employer Action Plan for FY2021 to FY2023 based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children. We will continue to create a corporate culture which makes it possible for working parents to pursue both work and childcare and to establish a work environment that supports the careers of employees after childbirth.

Supporting Work and Childcare

At Sojitz, we strive to create an environment that supports working parents through various paid leave systems, flexible working hours, and other benefits. For instance, parents are eligible for childcare leave up until the child is 12 months old. In the event the child is not accepted into a daycare and the employee cannot return to work, parents have the option to extend childcare leave until the child is two-and-a-half years of age. This extension largely exceeds the duration for childcare leave under Japanese law. In order to make it easier for employees to return to work, we have a corporate contract with a local preschool near Sojitz’s offices for employees whose children could not be admitted to their neighborhood daycare. Sojitz also offers employees the option to use a babysitting service subsidized by the company.

Promoting Flexible Working Styles

Sojitz’s flextime system was revised in November 2017 to eliminate “core working hours,” or hours during which employees were required to be present at the office. Now employees may work anytime between 7AM and 8PM. Working parents may also adjust their start and finish times to be earlier or later under Sojitz’s shortened childcare working hours. In addition, we promote a flexible work environment for working parents by allowing employees raising children to work remotely as part of a telework trial being conducted throughout the company.

Measures to Support Women Returning to the Workplace

In October 2019, Sojitz implemented a new measure to support women returning to the workplace as an addition to its existing policies to support working parents. Under this newly implemented measure, employees who return to work after taking maternity/childcare leave (by the 1st of the month after the child turns 9 months) will be eligible for subsidized daycare.

The  implementation of this measure  helps support women who want to return to the workplace more quickly as well as incentivize and encourage women striving to build their careers. In the period between October 2019 and March 2021, a total of 6 employees applied for and utilized this policy. (This total represents 15% of those returning from childcare leave during the same period.)

Reemployment System

We have introduced a reemployment system for female employees who accompany spouses transferred overseas, thus allowing these female employees to resume their careers when they return to Japan.

Employees rehired through the reemployment system:

FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018FY2019 FY2020
Number of rehired employees 2 1 3 4 3 5

Support for Working Parents During Covid-19

Sojitz has created an environment in which employees can work flexibly to accommodate childcare needs, particularly employees who have children at home due to school closures during Covid-19. Sojitz not only offers special paid leave for childcare during Covid-19, but also special measures that allow for shortened telework hours (fewer hours than the option of reduced working hours) to prepare an employee for a gradual return to the office following maternity/childcare leave.

Childcare Leave for Male Employees

Like female employees, male employees raising children are entitled to childcare leave until the child is 12 months old, with the option to extend until the child is two-and-a-half years old, which exceeds the legal standard. As of April 2019, working fathers can obtain up to 8 weeks of paid childcare leave. Sojitz hopes these new regulations will serve to raise awareness and further spread understanding on the importance of balancing work and childcare. In doing so, we aim to affect an increase in the number of employees (both men and women) who take childcare leave to over 100% by 2023.

Percentage of male employees taking childcare leave:

FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018FY2019FY2020
Percentage of male employees taking childcare leave 4.1% 7.5% 22.8% 31.0% 55.6%55.6%
Average number of childcare leave days taken by male employees 3.3 days 3.3 days 3.7 days 3.5 days 11.7 days 17.2 days

Childcare Concierge

Sojitz has an outside expert act as a childcare concierge, hosting monthly seminars and private consultations for expectant mothers, working parents, and employees who have returned to work after childcare leave. Seminars are held regularly and cover topics such as how to search for preschools, to assist parents aiming to return to the work, as well as advice on how to balance work with childcare. Many male employees have participated, and the service allows both male and female employees to exchange opinions on childcare.

Childcare Concierge

Sojitz has been named a Nadeshiko Brand Company

Based on our efforts, Sojitz has been named a “Nadeshiko Brand 2021” company this March, a designation given by METI and the TSE that recognizes Sojitz as a listed enterprise for its exceptional work to promote the success of women in the workplace. This year marks the fifth consecutive year that Sojitz has received the “Nadeshiko Brand” designation.

Sojitz Receives Encouragement Award in the Ikumen Enterprise Awards

In November 2020, Sojitz received an Encouragement Award in the Ikumen Enterprise Awards 2020 organized by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. The Ikumen Enterprise Award recognizes companies who are making an exceptional effort to encourage male employees to participate in child rearing while also carrying out their job responsibilities.

Related Information

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