Material Issue 4 Supporting the Active Role of Women, Youth and Seniors across the Group and in Society

Making Use of Diverse Human Resources

Seven & i Holdings has positioned supporting active roles for women, youth, and seniors as a material issue, and aims to enhance its corporate competitiveness through active participation of diverse human resources, with the goal of becoming a company with a sustainable competitive advantage.

  • SDGs5 GENDER EQUALITY
  • SDGs8 DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
  • SDGs10 REDUCED INEQUALITIES

Enhancing Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Active Participation of Women

Seven & i Holdings established the Diversity Promotion Project in 2012 and has 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 will translate into higher customer satisfaction given that a majority of customers that visit the Group's stores and other establishments are women. As the next steps in the initiative, in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2012, 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 promoted initiatives to support the balancing of work and family care responsibilities, and we will take further measures to achieve our targets for diversity promotion by 2020.
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. By promoting initiatives in line with the business formats at each Group company, including organizing work process improvement teams to raise the efficiency of store operations, visually representing overtime work and leave days used, and establishing no overtime days, we have successfully corrected overtime work and increased the rate of leave taken. Our next step will be to aim for even greater productivity gains while promoting initiatives to enable flexible work styles that allow diverse human resources to play active roles.

Diversity Promotion Targets

By 2020
  • Raise percentage of female managers: 30%
  • Encourage male employees to participate in housework and childcare
  • Eliminate retirements resulting from need to provide family care
  • Improve employee satisfaction
  • Improve external evaluation

Fostering a Culture Where Diverse Human Resources Can Play an Active Role

Seven & i Holdings 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.

Child-Raising Community

Internal interviews conducted in 2012 revealed concern among many female employees about balancing work and childcare responsibilities. In response, in 2012, we started holding Mama’s Community meetings to build a network of women involved in raising children. The group uses lunch breaks to hold discussions on balancing work and child-raising. In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, a career planning sheet was created and community participants conducted self-analyses of their own strengths and weaknesses and the skills they have acquired to create their own career plans based on life plans, which served to foster greater career awareness. Since April 2017, Mama’s Community has been developed further to host a “Child-Raising Community.” Both male and female employees involved in raising children, as well as pregnant employees, their spouses, and others, share information and hold discussions on balancing work and child-raising. Their activities have led to a review of work styles.

Child-Raising Community

Ikumen Promotion Program

Women’s participation and advancement requires that men become more involved in housework and childcare. For this reason, the Ikumen (child-raising men) Promotion Program was established in October 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.
In May 2018, we held the first cooking course for men with the aim of encouraging even greater participation in housework.

Ikumen Promotion Program

A cooking course for men

Career Support for Women

The Women’s Management Community meetings have been held since 2012 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 four times through February 28, 2018, with approximately 340 employees participating from Group companies.

Nadeshiko Academy

Diversity Management Seminars

The Diversity Management Seminars have been held since June 2014 to change the awareness of managers. 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 every 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.

A Diversity Management Seminar

Addressing LGBT Issues

We revised the Corporate Action Guidelines in September 2016 and began implementing measures in consideration of newly clarified LGBT issues in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018.
In October 2017 we conducted a seminar led by an outside speaker, and 168 employees from 17 Group companies attended. The Group newsletter ran a special feature with basic information on LGBT issues in November 2017. In response to the considerable reaction, the newsletter presented comments submitted by employees in January 2018.
SEJ had a booth at Tokyo Rainbow Pride held in May 2018, issued “Ally nanaco” and emphasized our status as an LGBT-friendly company.

Ally nanaco

SEJ’s booth at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2018

Increasing 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 a result of this initiative, the percentage of female managers increased to 32.6% for team leaders and 23.1% for section managers as of the end of February 2018. There has also been progress in changing awareness among female employees and managers in general, 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.
In addition, Seven & i Holdings President Ryuichi Isaka announced support for the Declaration on Action by a group of male leaders who will create “A Society in which Women Shine” issued by the Cabinet Office.

Improving External Evaluation

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 proactive appointment of female managers were recognized in January 2015, when we were awarded the Prime Minister’s Award at the Leading Companies Where Women Shine Awards, as well as the Corporate Activity Award from Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. In 2017, we were chosen as a “2017 Nadeshiko Brand” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.

Ceremony for the Leading Companies Where Women Shine Awards (January 2015)

2017 Nadeshiko Brand

Initiatives at Operating Companies

Since September 2012, Seven & i Holdings has held quarterly diversity promotion liaison meetings with diversity managers at the Group’s synergies continue to be generated through the meetings.
In addition, dedicated diversity teams have been launched at each Group company since September 2013. To achieve the Group’s targets, individual targets have now also been set in line with operating company characteristics and initiatives are under way.

General Employer Plan pursuant to the Act on the Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace

“L-Boshi” Designation as a gender-advanced company based on the Act on the Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace

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, 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, 2018)

Third rank

Second rank

“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 19 people with disabilities as of June 1, 2018. The Group's employment rate of people with disabilities*2, including those employed by Terube is 2.66% (As of June 1, 2018), and the target for FY2019 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.

  • *1
  • 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.
  • *2
  • 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

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 2018, 6,345 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 company provides training not only for seniors but also for foreign students and non-Japanese employees to give them support.

A briefing for senior employees

Initiatives for Material Issue 4