A Fulfilling Workplace Environment

Promoting Diversity

Basic Approach

Sojitz emphasizes diversity as a way of furthering the success of employees and creating new values. The head office hires recent non-Japanese graduates of overseas universities to bring in global talent, in addition to increasing hiring and training of local staff overseas and implementing measures to provide career support for women. We will continue our efforts to make the Sojitz Group a rewarding and fulfilling place to work by creating personnel systems and working environments that empower all Sojitz Group employees to fully realize their potential regardless of characteristics such as race, nationality, gender or age.

Programs to Strengthen Hiring and Development of Local Employees

Global Next Leader Training, which includes the Global Professionals Development (GPD) and Global Next Leaders Development (GNLD) programs, is aimed at the development of local staff overseas. The GNLD was initiated in November 2011 and the GPD in February 2013. Participants thus far have included people from 30 countries in regions including the Americas, Europe, Asia, China, Oceania and the Middle East.

GPD participants

The GPD is designed to deepen employees’ understanding of the Sojitz culture, with a focus on its corporate organization and history, and uses business simulations to teach them to think like managers. The GNLD targets local employees overseas who are management candidates in positions higher than GPD participants. It similarly focuses on deepening understanding of Sojitz’s culture, its corporate organizations and business divisions, and its history, but is also aimed at teaching leadership through a program designed to improve communication skills in order to bring out the abilities of subordinates.

GPD session

■Comments from a Participant

The GNLD offered me the opportunity to improve my skills, develop my talents and face my weaknesses, and reinforced my ability to use my personal expertise and organization resources. Since then I have felt a stronger sense of confidence and unity with my department, which has enhanced my ability to go above and beyond my individual goals and the goals of my organization. Additionally, the GNLD has empowered me to shape a positive culture and promote harmony within my department.

 

Efforts to Promote Women in the Workforce

With respect to women in the workforce, as priority measures we are promoting initiatives to increase hiring of women for career track positions, introducing additional measures to ensure career continuity, and raising employee awareness to increase the number of female managers. Specifically, in addition to measures to increase the number of women employed in career-track positions, we are implementing various support measures, such as flexible working hours, to allow them to concurrently work and raise children. We have also introduced a reemployment system for female employees who accompany spouses who are transferred overseas, thus allowing them to resume their careers when they return to Japan. Furthermore, we are endeavoring to create a corporate culture that is accepting of diverse work styles by promoting understanding among all employees through ongoing career development for female employees, including providing opportunities at an early stage for employees to experience expatriate living and language training, as well as training for women in career-track positions and for female managers. Through these measures, we aim to increase the percentage of female new college graduates hired for career-track positions to 30% (up from 22% of employees that joined the company April in 2016), and by 2021, to double the number of female mangers to 54 (from 27 as of March 31, 2016).

Efforts to Promote Women in the Workforce

Efforts to Promote Women in the Workforce

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 goals set to be achieved by March 31, 2020.

1. Increase the percentage of annual female new college graduate hired for career-track positions from 16% to 30%.

2. By 2021, double the number of female managers from 27 to 54.


Promoting Work-Life Balance

Promoting Work-Life Balance

Sojitz offers various support systems that enable employees to balance work with childcare and caring for family members. Childcare programs include extended childcare leave, shortened work hours for employees raising children, program to support employees returning to work after childcare leave, and subsidies for the use of babysitters. As a result of the introduction of these programs, Sojitz received “Kurumin” certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2010, 2012 and 2015 in recognition of its status as a business that supports the development of the next generation.

Sojitz also offers a range of nursing care programs that increase the number of family care leave days, reduce working hours for caregivers, allow employees to take leave for family care multiple times, and re-hire employees who leave the Company to care for family members. In addition, we have introduced a nursing care consultation hotline and a remote nursing care support program. These systems help to create fulfilling working environments.

 

As one system to support a flexible working style, we have implemented the “flextime system,” setting 10:30-15:30 as core time, and 7:00-10:30 and 15:30-20:00 as flextime. During flextime, employees are permitted to choose when they would like to work.

Outline of Child Care System

Outline of Child Care System

Reemployment System

As a result of several cases of women employees leaving employment at Sojitz to follow their spouses in overseas postings, Sojitz created a reemployment system for such women in May 2008. This system makes it possible for former employees to become part of Sojitz again when they return to Japan after completion of their spouses' overseas assignments.

Initiatives Regarding the Industrial Safety and Health Law

Policy

Based on the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law, Sojitz has established safety and sanitation management regulations to prevent work accidents, employee sickness, and to promote health and environmental infrastructure development. Initiatives based on these regulations are monitored by committees such as the safety and sanitation committee.

Maintaining Employee Health

Employee Health Management
Health Care Room on company premises

We have implemented the following measures to help employees stay healthy.
・We provide all employees with the opportunity to receive a standard medical checkup once per year. In addition, employees can request to receive a flu vaccination.
・At both Tokyo HQ and the Osaka Office Sojitz has a Health Care Room where employees can receive massages to help them recover from fatigue and relieve stress resulting from work. Stress checks are also conducted to prevent or alleviate stress. Medical specialists and counselors are also regularly on duty at the Employee Health Clinic.
・We also monitor workings hours for all employees via their computer usage. If these working hours exceed a certain amount, we share this fact with the Human Resources and General Affairs Dept. This department then provides guidance to the employee’s superiors on reassessing his or her workload and improving work efficiency.

Labor-Management Relations

As part of the Company's efforts to inculcate its management policies and vision, Sojitz and the Sojitz Employees Union regularly hold meetings of the President's Labor-Management Council and the Financial Results Briefing Council. Furthermore, the Company and the union jointly established the Work-Life Balance Committee to create systems for realizing work-life balance and a work environment that sustains employees' enthusiasm.

Working from Home

Due to illness, I became unable to commute, so I left my sales job with an IT company. I was introduced to a job I could do at home for Sojitz through a support group. My work consists of information-gathering about hiring and diversity and maintaining Sojitz's internal website on these topics. I work four days a week in a home office that Sojitz readied for me, and I feel grateful and motivated in my work.
※Excerpt from CSR Report 2009, issued Aug. 2009

Yoshiyuki Kunishige

Yoshiyuki Kunishige
Human Resources& General Affairs Dept., HR Administration & Recruitment Sect.

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