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.

● In order to expand the scope of women’s roles within the company and increase the number of female employees in decision-making positions, Sojitz is working to support the active development of its employees, create a leadership pipeline with women at each career stage, and continue to carry out initiatives that support female employees to acquire 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

System

Sojitz Initiatives

Building a Leadership Pipeline with Women at Each Career Stage

Professional Development for Managerial Roles

Sojitz has maintained a female new graduate recruitment ratio of 30% or more for career-track positions since FY2018, which is one of the company’s quantitative targets for promoting women in the workplace. To develop female managers, Sojitz is constructing a leadership pipeline and provides opportunities for female employees to gain experience outside the company in Japan or overseas early in their careers prior to major life events. Sojitz offers trainings for women at each career stage and is actively working to increase the number of female employees promoted to managerial positions with an increasing number of female employees gaining experience as assistant section managers before going on to be promoted to section manager positions.

Initiatives for Junior Employees

In FY2018, Sojitz 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.

In FY2021, Sojitz began 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 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.

Initiatives for Assistant Managers: Pre-Manager Training Program

Since September 2019, Sojitz has held a three-month career training program for female career-track employees in assistant manager positions that 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.

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 appointed its first female executive officer through internal promotion in April 2021.

Initiatives for Managers: Outside Trainings for Managers

As a way to strengthen management capabilities, Sojitz sends managers to business school executive training programs in addition to outside management experience through executive officer appointments at Sojitz Group companies. Sojitz also appointed its first female executive officer through internal promotion in April 2021. A second female executive officer was appointed through external recruitment in December 2021, bringing the total number of female executive officers to two.

Other Initiatives

Career Paths for Administrative-Track Employees

In order to meet the needs of our employees as they plan their career paths and encourage the success of our administrative staff, we revised our human resource system in FY2019 to include a new upper tier of job grades for administrative staff as well as a new region, position, and field-specific career track. A number of administrative track employees have already transferred to the career track and are beginning to leverage their expertise and expand their opportunities to excel at Sojitz.

In FY2021, we also revised our human resource system in order to allow administrative-track employees to leverage their skills and experience and transfer to the career track that is region, position, and field-specific at an earlier stage, for those employees seeking to take on new challenges through the career track. Sojitz hopes to expand opportunities for administrative-track employees by providing career counseling and other educational programs that encourage employees to pursue diverse career paths.

Activities for Fostering Business Creation

Since FY2019, employees of different gender, age, and position work together as part of diverse teams on the Hassojitz Project, Sojitz’s new business creation competition. As part of the FY2020 project, a femtech team formed that is currently working to commercialize their project idea. Utilizing technology to address women’s health issues relating to menstruation, pre-conception care, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and other gynecological conditions, the femtech team is creating a tech business that supports women’s health and empowers women to choose their own unique lifestyles and career paths.

ご参照Hassojitz Project

Related Data

Percentage of female employees hired

FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
FY2020
FY2021
New female graduate hires
(career track and administrative track)
35.8% 47.9% 46.0% 49.0% 45.4%
New female graduate hires
(career track)
23.6% 37.0% 32.0% 34.1% 31.9%
Mid-career hires 21.7% 40.7% 44.0% 53.3% 34.3%

Statistics on women in managerial positions

FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
FY2020
FY2021
Number of female managers 1,031 men
33 women
1,020 men
40 women
1,000 men
46 women
954 men
54 women
915 men
57 women
Percentage of female managers 3.1% 3.8% 4.4% 5.4% 5.9%
General Manager-level 184 men
0 women
186 men
0 women
187 men
3 women
176 men
2 women
154 men
2 women
Section Manager-level 841 men
33 women
834 men
38 women
813 men
43 women
778 men
52 women
761 men
55 women
New managers 50 men
3 women
28 men
7 women
28 men
5 women
35 men
9 women
33 men
4 women

Women in Assistant Manager Positions

FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
FY2020
FY2021
Number of female Assistant Managers 275 men
44 women
294 men
44 women
297 men
38 women
284 men
38 women
287 men
39 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, employees are authorized to take six weeks of paid leave leading up to the birth of a child. Beginning in April 2022, Sojitz also amended its existing parental leave system to include a new type of leave available to both male and female employees following the birth of a child. After childbirth, both male and female employees are entitled to take paid parental leave for a maximum of 40 days (standard working days) in the period up until the child turns 12 months old. There are no restrictions on how leave is divided, and employees are free to utilize parental leave as many times as desired during this period. While employees in Japan are legally permitted to take six weeks of unpaid parental leave prior to childbirth and eight weeks following childbirth, Sojitz’s specialized system ensures that employees are compensated throughout their time on parental leave. 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 system to support women returning to the workplace. Under this 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.

This system helps support women who want to return to the workplace more quickly, as well as incentivizes and encourages women striving to build their careers.

In addition, Sojitz allows employees returning to the office to do so as part of a gradual process in which parents can create a schedule of reduced work hours or workdays. This process supports parents as they catch up on work duties and establishes a comfortable working pace to balance work and childcare.

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:

FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Number of rehired employees 3 4 3 5 2

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

In April 2022, Sojitz revised its parental leave system to allow both male and female employees to take leave following the birth of a child. Employees are now entitled to take paid parental leave for a maximum of 40 days in the period up until the child turns 12 months old. There are no restrictions on how leave is divided, and employees are free to utilize parental leave as many times as desired during this period. While maternity and child-care leave was previously limited to eight weeks after childbirth, under the new system the applicable period will be extended to one year following childbirth.

In recent years, Sojitz has increased accessibility to leave policies and conducted management-level training related to child-care leave. As a result of these initiatives, the company has seen a significant increase in the percentage of male employees taking childcare leave and in the total number of days of child-care leave taken.

Sojitz seeks to further support working parents by raising awareness regarding male child-care leave within the company and fostering understanding among managers and colleagues. By supporting employees to more easily balance work and childcare, Sojitz seeks to create an environment in which all employees can excel regardless of gender.

Sojitz aims 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:

FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Percentage of male employees taking childcare leave 22.8% 31.0% 55.6% 55.6% 83.3%
Average number of childcare leave days taken by male employees 3.7 days 3.5 days 11.7 days 17.2 days 26.5 days

Childcare Concierge

Sojitz works with an outside expert who acts as a childcare concierge for employees returning to work after childcare leave. The childcare expert provides private consultations on topics such as how to search for preschools and how to balance work with childcare. Events including seminars and social gatherings for working parents are held regularly. Many male employees have participated, and the service allows both male and female employees to exchange opinions on childcare.

Childcare Concierge

Women’s Health Initiatives

Sojitz maintains its record of having 100% of employees participate in the annual health check and actively encourages employees to attend any recommended follow-up appointments. In FY2022, Sojitz expanded eligibility for routine cervical and breast cancer screenings to all female employees and strengthened its efforts to support women’s health. In addition, Sojitz added a dedicated gynecologist at its health clinic and offers fertility treatment consultation services. Employees can now take online seminars by doctors and specialists and receive fertility counseling services for themselves and their partners, which will be offered through a contracted outside company. The company also invites medical specialists to hold seminars on maintaining good health including self-care techniques to reduce health risks specific to women and address physical changes due to aging.

Sojitz has been named a Nadeshiko Brand Company

Based on our efforts, Sojitz has been named a “Nadeshiko Brand 2022” 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 sixth 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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