Material Issue 4 Supporting the Active Role of Women, Youth and Seniors across the Group and in Society
Diversity and Inclusion
The Seven & i Group has approximately 140,000 employees working throughout the Group. Workplaces also include part-time employees, non-Japanese employees, and employees working short hours due to childcare and family care responsibilities. With this diverse workforce, we recognize that we have a duty as a corporation to support diverse working formats. We support the careers of our diverse employees and strive to adjust workplaces so as to make work feel worthwhile. We understand that this not only improves productivity and enables us to secure human resources, but also leads to greater customer satisfaction and the generation of innovation, thereby increasing our competitive power.
Targets and Steps for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
Seven & i Holdings established the Diversity Promotion Project in 2012. At the time, it promoted initiatives with a focus particularly on women's participation and advancement, based in part on the thinking that incorporating the perspectives and sensibilities of women into product and service development as well as sales floor arrangements would translate into higher customer satisfaction given that a majority of customers that visit the Group's stores are women. As the next steps in the initiative, in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2013, we created a promotion system and in 2013 conducted measures for awareness-raising among women themselves and revised operation of the system. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2015, we moved to the stage of raising the awareness of management-level employees. In addition, since the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, we have supported the balancing of work and family care responsibilities, and in 2017, our theme was LGBT. Thus, since 2013 we have decided to determine an annual theme and have been implementing measures based since then.
At the same time, we have also reviewed working formats for greater productivity, focusing on rectifying long working hours, which have been a barrier to the further advancement of diverse human resources, and on achieving employee work-life balance.
Diversity Promotion Targets
- Raise percentage of female managers: 30%
(section managers and team leaders)
- Encourage male employees to participate in housework and childcare
- Eliminate retirements resulting from need to provide family care
- Improve employee satisfaction
- Improve external evaluation
System to Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Based on the commitment of its top level members, Seven & i Holdings established a Seven & i Group Diversity and Inclusion Promotion Project (initially referred to as the Diversity Promotion Project) in 2012 within the Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee under the CSR Management Committee. This project has involved the formulation of policies for activities to promote diversity and inclusion at the group as well as the formulation and execution of group-wide measures.
From 2013 specialized diversity organizations have also been established at stores including Seven-Eleven Japan and Ito-Yokado. Such organizations have set individual goals in accordance with the characteristics of each group company and initiatives are being implemented. In addition, a Diversity Promotion Liaison Council at which persons in charge of diversity promotion at 11 main group companies is held on a quarterly basis. The aim of this council is to share information on the progress of and issues related to promotion activities at each group company while also facilitating the horizontal deployment of superior initiatives to other group companies. The details of activities are reported on regularly at the Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee at which personnel and CSR managers from 28 group companies attend, and the CSR Management Committee chaired by the President and Representative Director of Seven & i Holdings. The aim is to spread and bring to concrete fruition diversity and inclusion activities throughout the entire group.
General Employers Action Plan pursuant to the Act on the Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace
Changes in the Ratio of Female Managers
We are working to promote highly capable women and further bolster personnel training to meet the goal of a 30% ratio of female managers by 2020, one of our targets for diversity promotion. As of the end of February 2019, the percentage of female managers has increased to 32.8% for team leaders and 23.1% for section managers. There has also been progress in changing awareness among female employees and managers, and there are now actually numerous managers in the short working hours program. At present, we are working to further train and promote women by holding selective training for managerial roles and management track candidates at Group companies and encouraging them to share career plans with supervisors during individual meetings.
Fostering a Culture Where Diverse Human Resources Can Play an Active Role
The Seven & i Holdings Group is working to promote active roles for women and other diverse human resources by conducting community activities and seminars targeting various levels within the Group.
Community Activities for Employees Involved in Raising Children
Since 2012, Seven & i Holdings has been implementing community activities aiming to construct networks and eliminate anxiety for employees who are involved in raising children as well as pregnant employees as a group-wide initiative. Information is exchanged and discussions are held during lunch breaks based on the predetermined theme at each session in relation to balancing work and child-raising. These activities have led to a review of work styles.
Seven-Eleven Japan held a Reappointment Guidance Session based on the theme of balancing work with housework and child-raising for employees hoping to return to work after childcare leave and their superiors. An external lecturer was invited to the event. The aim of this session is to cultivate women who can balance child-raising with their career. The guidance session was held at the head office in Tokyo and a TV conference system was utilized to enable employees working at business offices throughout Japan to view it. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, two sessions were held (spring and fall), with a total of 162 female employees and 170 management level employees attending. A total of 84 employees from 25 offices nationwide attended the spring fiscal 2019 session.
At York Mart, four gatherings were held in fiscal 2018 for female employees with children. Two of these were held jointly with labor and management. At the gatherings, childcare facilities were provided so that employees currently on childcare leave could also join in discussions on issues and goals related to balancing work with child-raising.
Reappointment Guidance Session (Seven-Eleven Japan)
Career Development Support for Women
At Seven & i Holdings, the Women’s Management Community meetings have been held since 2012 as a group-wide initiative to create a network of female managers and further refine managerial abilities. The community held a total of 19 seminars through to the end of February 29, 2016 and invited speakers from inside and outside the Company and held seminars on management knowledge and skills needed to advance to a higher position. In June 2017, the Company started holding the new “Nadeshiko Academy” for developing future managers. The program was conducted a total of eight times through February 28, 2019, with approximately 1,200 employees participating from Group companies.
At Ito-Yokado, training was held for young female staff to cultivate management knowledge and foster career awareness. In fiscal 2018, 20 female employees participated. At Seven & i Food Systems, a career design seminar was held for young female employees in their 20s, with 15 women participating in fiscal 2018.
Promotion of Participation in Housework and Child-Raising by Men
At Seven & i Holdings, the Ikumen (child-raising men) Promotion Program has been implemented as a group-wide initiative since 2013. Under this program, outside lecturers are invited to speak, supporting changes in awareness among men and promoting review and revision of existing work styles.
From 2018, we have been holding cooking courses for men with the aim of encouraging even greater participation in housework.
Seven-Eleven Japan has also prepared a Working Father’s Guidebook introducing an outline of systems available for childcare leave and methods of utilizing such systems. By enabling employees to view this guidebook at any time, the Company is aiming to promote the participation of men in child-raising.
Ikumen Promotion Program
A cooking course for men
Training and Awareness-raising for Management
At Seven & i Holdings, the Diversity Management Seminars have been held since 2014 as an initiative for the Seven & i Group as a whole to emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion and to change the awareness of managers on the management of diverse human resources. The seminars have been held 15 times as of February 28 2018, and approximately 4,600 people from all Group companies have participated. Led by outside lecturers, the seminars cover such issues as management of diverse staff members, reforming work formats, and leadership. They provide the opportunity for managers to think about diversity from a number of different perspectives. In June 2017, to mark the fifth year since the launch of the Diversity Promotion Project, lecturers were invited from leading companies to “Seven & i Diversity Day 2017.” The event was attended by around 400 CEOs and management team members from 21 Group company.
The Diversity Management Handbook is also distributed to managers at all Group companies to promote communication with staff members working to balance work and childcare or family care responsibilities in order to further train managers to make good use of their diverse human resources to generate results.
Seven-Eleven Japan has published Diversity Tsushin each month since 2017. The aim of this initiative is to share information with all employees including management level employees, and to foster awareness regarding diversity including the significance of diversity management, knowledge on LGBT and understanding of systems for supporting balance. In its hierarchy-based executive training, Ito-Yokado is implementing sessions on understanding systems for supporting balance between child-raising and family support with work, as well as methods of using such systems and the management of diverse subordinates. Three such sessions were held in fiscal 2018, with 187 executives attending.
A Diversity Management Seminar
Addressing LGBT Issues
Seven & i Holdings revised the Corporate Action Guidelines in 2016 and began implementing measures referred to as “Forbidding Discrimination Due to Sexual Orientation or Sexual Identity”. In 2017 and 2018, we conducted a seminar for promoting understanding of LGBT led by an outside speaker, and a total of 302 employees from 17 Group companies attended. In 2018, e-learning was conducted for domestic group employees, with approximately 17,000 employees studying the course. The Group newsletter distributed to group employees is being used to continuously raise awareness, including a special feature with basic information on LGBT.
SEJ had a booth for the first time at Tokyo Rainbow Pride held in May 2018, the largest-scale LGBT awareness-raising event in Japan. We emphasized our status as an LGBT-friendly company by issuing and selling “Ally nanaco” cards and were highly evaluated, receiving many opinions and impressions. In October, in evaluation of our initiatives up to this point, Seven-Eleven Japan was recognized with the highest “Gold” rank on the PRIDE Index , the only indicator for corporate LGBT initiatives within Japan. We are also proactively participating in external events as an LGBT-friendly company. We are also expanding our activities in regional communities, holding a display at Kyushu Rainbow Pride in November. In April 2019, we held a display for the second time at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2019. With many volunteers from within the company also participating, free and open-hearted communication enabled guests to experience the convenience of original Seven-Eleven products.
SEJ’s booth at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2019
PRIDE Index: Gold 2018
Recognition by Outside Parties
Seven & i Holdings has established specific targets for promoting the active role of women, and the entire Group has worked together to make progress on the targets. The Group’s initiatives and the proactive appointment of female managers have received high recognition by outside parties.
Major recognition by outside parties
- 2014 Empowerment Award (Japan Productivity Center )
- 2015 Prime Minister’s Award at the Leading Companies Where Women Shine Awards (Cabinet Office )
- 2015 Corporate Activity Award (Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. )
- 2017 Chosen as the “2017 Nadeshiko Brand” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.
- 2019 Chosen as “Runner Up Nadeshiko 2019 ” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.
Runner Up Nadeshiko 2019
Moreover, Seven & i Holdings acquired third rank – the highest – in the “L-Boshi” Designation for gender-advanced companies based on the Act on the Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace. We achieved the designation standard in all five evaluation categories: recruitment, career continuation , work style factors such as working hours, management ratio, and diversity of career paths. Similarly, IY, Sogo & Seibu, Seven Bank, Seven Card Services, Seven Financial Service, Nissen, and Nissen Life have also obtained third rank, and Seven & i Food Systems has obtained second rank. (As of February 28, 2019)
“L-boshi” certification mark
Promoting Employment of People with Disabilities
Seven & i Holdings is assisting people with disabilities to demonstrate their abilities at their workplaces based on its commitment to providing an environment where everyone can play an active role. To this end, all operating companies consult with employees with disabilities to determine the workplaces, jobs and working hours that are suitable in consideration of the level and details of their disability and their own preferences. In this way, people with disabilities work in various divisions.
In recruitment, we coordinate with special-needs schools to provide onsite training in stores and participate in job interviews organized by local employment agencies and partner with vocational schools. Furthermore, all Group companies are provided with the Seven & i Holdings Normalization Support Guide, which contains basic knowledge and practical recruitment methods when employing people with disabilities, to ensure that all people who are responsible for recruitment and education at Group companies are aware of considerations regarding disabilities and that they implement them.
Furthermore, Terube, Ltd.*1, which is a special subsidiary established to foster the employment of people with severe disabilities, employs 20 people with disabilities as of June 1, 2019, making the Group's employment rate of people with disabilities*2, including those employed by Terube, 2.84%. The goal for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020 is 2.75%.
In the 23 years since its establishment, Terube has sought to create work environments amenable to people with disabilities and has been recognized for its efforts to practice normalization. It is noteworthy that Terube became the first company to be certified as an Employer of Persons with Disabilities in 2017, the first year that certifications were issued.
- Established in 1994 through joint investments from Seven & i Holdings, SEJ, IY, YB, Seven & i Food Systems, and the City of Kitami in Hokkaido Prefecture. The company offers secure, long-term employment for people with disabilities and carries out activities to raise awareness about the concept of normalization.
- The Group’s employment rate of people with disabilities covers the five companies of Seven & i Holdings, Terube, SEJ, IY, and Seven & i Food Systems.
Special subsidiary, Terube Ltd.
The first company certified as an Employer of Persons with Disabilities
Implementation of Employment Support Training in Collaboration with Administrative Authorities to Promote the Employment of People with Disabilities
Seven-Eleven Japan is implementing employment support training involving “Seven-Eleven Work Experience” for teachers and students at special-needs schools as part of its support for the employment of people with disabilities in collaboration with administrative authorities throughout Japan. Currently, it has implemented such training in Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto and Fukuoka, with plans for expansion into more areas going forward.
Employment support training involving “Seven-Eleven Work Experience”
Initiatives for “Universal Manners” on how to interact with a diverse range of people
Seven-Eleven Japan holds seminars for acquiring “Universal Manners Test Grade 3” as an opportunity to learn about basic interaction with a diverse range of people including elderly people, people with disabilities and non-Japanese employees. The seminars deepen employees’ understanding through lectures and group work on topics such as what universal manners are and how employees can show consideration for people who are different to them and act based on appropriate understanding. This initiative was started in July 2018. By the end of February 2019, 159 employees had achieved grade 3 certification. Going forward, we will promote the creation of environments in which it is easy for each individual employee to work.
Aiming to be Company Empowering Individuals
Seven-Eleven Japan has been qualified by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for providing measures to support employment stability for employees with disabilities in accordance with the Act on Employment Promotion etc. of Persons with Disabilities . Various initiatives have been promoted, with 88 employees certified as “Employment Counselor for People with Disabilities” and 10 employees certified as “Job Coaches (in-house workplace adjustment supporters )” as of the end of February 2019,
Support for Participation of Seniors and Non-Japanese Employees
Seven & i Group companies have a system for rehiring employees after mandatory retirement, providing an opportunity for veteran employees to use their skills and abilities. At IY, for example, a re-employment system that allows people to continue working until age 65 was introduced in 1995 in response to employees who said they wanted to continue working after the mandatory retirement age. Employees can select from three options of working days and hours to suit their wishes, enabling them to work in diverse ways. From April 2006, the Senior Partner System was implemented to allow part-time employees to work until age 65 as well. As of the end of February 2019, 6,653 senior partners are active in the company. The system was also expanded in May 2017 to enable people to continue working up to the age of 70.
With the birthrate declining, society aging, and the working-age population decreasing, SEJ is creating employment opportunities for seniors who want to work. The Company actively participates in joint company presentations on senior employment held by municipalities and promotes the hiring of seniors. For people concerned about working at a convenience store, SEJ strives to provide detailed information and maintain conditions that are conducive to working with confidence.
The ratio of employees with non-Japanese nationality working at stores is also increasing, with the national average reaching approximately 8.9% as of the end of February 2019, accounting for approximately 34,000 employees.
The Company provides support not only for seniors but also for foreign students and non-Japanese employees by means of training.
A briefing for senior employees
Independent Support System for People Hoping to Migrate
Seven-Eleven Japan has started an Independent Support System for People Hoping to Migrate that supports people thinking about moving back to their hometown to start a business or wanting to move to an area for reasons such as seeking a better child-raising or living environment. By supporting the migration of people who want to start a Seven-Eleven business in a local area or similar through, for example, providing moving costs or the costs of accommodation and transport when going to confirm properties, we are contributing to reviving local communities through the creation of shopping spots and employment opportunities.