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. Five targets were set, including that for the percentage of female managers, based in part on the strategy to 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. We undertake initiatives after deciding on a theme.

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 since the fiscal year ending February 28, 2018, we have been encouraging the understanding of LGBT issues.

In the fiscal year ending February 29, 2020, we returned to our roots to promote Diversity 2.0. 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

By the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023

  • Raise percentage of female managers: 30%
  • Encourage male employees to participate in housework and childcare
  • Eliminate retirements resulting from need to provide family care
  • Promote normalization
  • Encourage understanding of LGBT

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 regular]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, one of our targets for diversity promotion. As of the end of February 2019, the percentage of female managers has increased to 32.4 % for team leaders and 22.3% for section managers. There has also been progress in changing awareness among female employees and managers, and there are now many managers in the midst of child raising as well as in the short working hours program. At present, we are working to 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 foster a culture where women and other diverse human resources can play active roles by conducting community activities and training targeting various levels within the Group.

Support for Employees 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. The seminars were held four times in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020 with participation from 85 persons from Group companies.

Child-Raising Community

At Group companies, various awareness-raising activities and support are conducted to develop environments where employees seeking to balance work and the raising of children can fully apply their abilities. At Seven-Eleven Japan, since 2015, Reappointment Guidance Sessions have been held for employees returning to work after childcare leave. Since the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, these sessions have been held twice each year, in spring and autumn respectively. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019, 162 employees participated in the sessions, and in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, 130 employees participated. An environment is in place to allow easy participation in these sessions. For example, TV conferencing is used to link the Tokyo head office with offices nationwide in Japan, and temporary childcare is provided within the company so that employees can participate in the sessions.

In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, Seven & i Food Systems organized the “Papa’s & Mama’s Community” to support employees who work while raising children. For employees who are about to return to work from raising children and those who are thinking about taking maternity leave, an opportunity was created to explain the re-challenge plan and form communities with employees who have parenting experience to help reduce concerns about balancing work with child-raising.

At York Mart, three gatherings were held in fiscal 2019 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.


Return-to-work Guidance Session (Seven-Eleven Japan)

Career Development Support for Women

Seven & i Holdings continues to undertake initiatives that support women’s career development as part of positive action. In 2017, the Company started holding the “Nadeshiko Academy” to teach knowledge and skills necessary for managers so as to develop future managers. The seminars have been held 12 times as of February 29, 2020, and approximately 1,500 people from all Group companies have participated. From the fiscal year ending February 28, 2021, the Company plans to hold seminars targeting an even wider range of participants.

Nadeshiko Academy

Promotion of Participation in Housework and Child-Raising by Men

At Seven & i Holdings, the Ikumen (child-raising men) Promotion Program—which targets male employees to raise their desire for participating in housework and child-raising—has been implemented as a group-wide initiative since 2013. In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, time-saving cooking classes were conducted using Seven-Eleven’s cooking kits.

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.


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 a group-wide initiative 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 20 times as of February 29 2020, and approximately 5,500 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 the fiscal year ending February 28, 2021, training has been started to eradicate unconscious bias.

In addition, other measures are being taken to further train managers to make good use of their diverse human resources to generate results, such as distributing the Diversity Management Handbook to managers at all Group companies to promote communication with staff members working to balance work and childcare or family care responsibilities.

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 raise 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 management of diverse subordinates, including the importance of workplaces where diverse employees can apply themselves, the understanding of systems for supporting balance between child-raising and family care with work, and the evaluation of employees in the short working hours program. Five such sessions were held in fiscal 2019, with 124 executives attending.

A Diversity Management Seminar

Awareness-raising of LGBT Rights

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”. Each year since 2017, we have been conducting seminars for promoting understanding of LGBT rights led by an outside speaker. As of February 29, 2020, a total of 387 employees from 17 Group companies have attended these seminars. 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.

Seven-Eleven Japan set up a corporate booth for two consecutive years—2018 and 2019—at Japan’s largest LGBT awareness-raising event, Tokyo Rainbow Pride, to communicate both internally and externally our corporate stance that seeks to be LGBT-friendly company. We are also undertaking awareness-raising activities in regional communities, setting up a booth at Kyushu Rainbow Pride in 2018. Through theses activities, we were recognized with the “Gold” rank in 2018 and “Silver” rank in 2019 on the PRIDE Index, the only indicator in Japan for progress in LGBT initiatives.


Seven-Eleven Japan’s booth at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2019

Work with Pride2019.jpg

PRIDE  Index: Silver 2019

External Recognition

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 “Semi- Nadeshiko 2019 ” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.


Semi- Nadeshiko 2019

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, Ito-Yokado, 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 29, 2020). In addition, in September 2020, Seven-Eleven Japan obtained second rank in the “L-Boshi” Designation.

3-stars (the highet level)


“L-boshi” certification

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. Providing an environment where everyone can play an active role, 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 22 people with disabilities as of June 1, 2020, making the Group's employment rate of people with disabilities*2, including those employed by Terube, 2.96%. The goal for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2021 is 2.96%. 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, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, 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, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, 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”

Support for Employment Stability of Employees with Disabilities

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 89 employees certified as “Employment Counselor for People with Disabilities” and 12 employees certified as “Job Coaches (in-house workplace adjustment supporters )” as of the end of February 2020.

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 2020, 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.

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 Ito-Yokado, 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 2020, 7,471 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, Seven-Eleven Japan 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, Seven-Eleven Japan 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 9.7% as of the end of February 2020, accounting for approximately 39,000 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 relocating to country-side

Seven-Eleven Japan has started an Independent Support System for people hoping to relocate themselves to their hometown or country-side. The initiative supports the applicants who are wanting to move to an area for reasons such as seeking a better child-raising or living environment, to start the business. By supporting the migration of people who want to start a Seven-Eleven business in a local area - 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.

Initiatives for Material Issue 4