Material Issue 5 Improve work engagement and environment for people working in Group businesses

Diversity and Inclusion

Seven & i Group is building an organization in which diverse human resources are motivated to demonstrate their abilities and in which the company and employees can grow together by strengthening the linkage between management strategy and human resources strategy. In the entire Group, approximately 170,000 people work. Our workplace includes employees working short hours due to childcare and family care responsibilities, part-time employees, and non-Japanese employees. Seven & i Holdings supports the activities of this diverse workforce and strive to build work environments that enable employees to work with satisfaction. We also recognize that such an approach leads to the improvement of productivity and securing human resources and in turn to the improvement of customer satisfaction and generation of innovation, which are the wellspring of our competitiveness.

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

Targets and Steps for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

To promote diversity and inclusion, Seven & i Holdings established the Diversity Promotion Project in 2012 and set five targets, including for the ratio of female managers. We have been conducting our initiatives in accordance with decided themes. Thus, after establishing the promotion structure in FY2012, in FY2013 we implemented measures for raising awareness among women themselves and revised the operation of the system; in FY2014 we set about raising the awareness of management-level employees; since FY2015 we have been supporting the balancing of work and family care responsibilities, since FY2017 we have been promoting understanding of LGBT issues. and since FY2019 we have been promoting Diversity 2.0.

To strengthen our diversity and inclusion activities, and especially initiatives relating to the promotion of the activities of women, in May 2021 we joined the 30% Club Japan and set a new target of raising the ratio of female executive officers to 30% by the end of February 2026. 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

1.Ratio of female executive officers: Raise to 30% (by the end of February 2026) ※1

   Ratio of female managers: Raise to 30% (by the end of February 2022)※2

2.Encourage male employees to participate in housework and childcare

3.Eliminate retirements resulting from need to provide family care

4.Promote normalization

5.Encourage understanding of LGBT

※1 Totals are for six companies: Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, York, Sogo & Seibu

※2 Totals are for eight companies: Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, Sogo &Seibu, Akachan Honpo, Seven & i Food Systems, Seven Bank

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System to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Based on the commitment of its top level members, Seven & i Holdings established the 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 organizations for diversity have also been established 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 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 expanding 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 (in Japanese)

Changes in the Ratio of Female Managers

Seven & i Group is 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 2022, the ratio of female managers has increased to 30.4 % for team leaders and 23.3% 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 the Group companies and encouraging them to share career plans with supervisors during individual meetings.

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Gender Pay Gap

Seven & i Holdings has no gender gap in its personnel system, and in its wage program, compensation reflects the role and contribution of each individual regardless of gender. However, the average age and percentage of management positions at each group company are higher for men than for women, and more women choose to work shorter hours or work in limited regions in order to balance work and family life, such as childcare. In order to eliminate the differences, we are continuing our efforts to create a comfortable working environment for employees by encouraging male employees to take childcare leave and reducing long working hours, as well as to support and develop the careers of female employees and actively promote them to management positions. 

FY2022 Gender pay gap (ratio of women's wages to men's wages)

  Full-time employees Part-time employees
Seven-Eleven Japan 73.9%

84.7%

Ito-Yokado 70.4% 101.2%
Seven & i Holdings 72.8% 83.7%


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

Seven & i 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.

Career Development Support for Women

Seven & i Holdings continues to undertake initiatives that support women’s career development as part of positive action. As a recent initiative, in 2021 we launched the Female Encouragement Seminar to provide Group-wide training aimed at fostering female manager candidates. Female employees from 22 Group companies take part in the seminar.

In this seminar, participants listen to talks by the president and other members of management on such topics as the Group’s management policy and philosophy, product strategy, and efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, and have discussions with other participants. Since the seminar is implemented online, women from around Japan can take part, and women working shorter hours due to parenting can participate too. The seminar is an opportunity to let women hear lectures from a perspective and position differing from their everyday work and to raise their interest in management. In addition, the discussions among employees with diverse academic and career backgrounds and jobs serve to increase motivation. Participants have frequently made such comments as “I was encouraged by the comments of women working in the same Group” and “It was stimulating.”

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Female Encouragement Seminar

Training and Awareness-raising for Management

Seven & i Holdings has held the Diversity Management Seminars 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 22 times as of the end of February 2022, and approximately 5,700 people from all Group companies have participated. Led by outside lecturers, the seminars cover such issues as the management of diverse staff members, improving work style, and leadership. They provide the opportunity for managers to think about diversity from a number of different perspectives.

In addition, the Group companies are promoting understanding among managers of the significance of diversity management and support for the balancing of work with childcare and family care responsibilities to further train managers to make good use of their diverse human resources to generate results.

For example, starting in 2021 Seven-Eleven Japan has been inviting outside lecturers to begin training on the subjects of diversity management and unconscious bias with the goal of encouraging understanding among managers. It has also been providing training for managers since July 2021 on normalization support. This aimed at creating opportunities to deepen managers' understanding of colleagues and subordinates with disabilities and to learn about how to deal with customers who have disabilities or cognitive impairments.

In its level-based executive training, Ito-Yokado is implementing sessions on the management of diverse subordinates, including the importance of workplaces where diverse employees can apply themselves, the understanding of programs for supporting the balance between childcare and family care with work, and the evaluation of employees in the short working hours program.

Awareness-raising of LGBT Rights

Seven & i Holdings revised the Corporate Action Guidelines in 2016 and began implementing measures outlined in the “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. By the end of February 2022, a total of about 600 employees in the Group had attended these seminars. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2022, we posted videos of the LGBT seminars and a leaflet outline basic knowledge necessary for stores on our website so that all Group employees can view them and as many as possible can acquire basic knowledge about LGBT rights.

Support for Active Participation of Seniors and Non-Japanese Employees

Seven & i Group companies have a system for rehiring employees after mandatory retirement, providing an opportunity for experienced workers 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 Part-timer System was implemented to allow part-time employees to work until age 65 as well. As of the end of February 2022, 7,359 senior part-timers were active in the Group. The system was expanded in May 2017 to enable people to continue working up to the age of 70. Furthermore, as of the end of February 2022, 1,038 non-Japanese employees were working in the Group.

Amid the low birthrate, aging of society, and shrinking working-age population, Seven-Eleven Japan is creating employment opportunities for seniors who want to work. For seniors recruited by stores, including franchised stores, head office instructors give careful and considerate explanations of how to handle equipment and deal with customers to allay their fears about operating the cash registers. The ratio of employees of non-Japanese nationality working at stores, including franchised stores, is also increasing. As of the end of February 2022, the national average was approximately 9.3%, and the number of non-Japanese staff was about 38,400. In September 2020, we started so-called Hospitality Training, providing lectures to foreign students and other non-Japanese employees on the basics of Japanese culture and customer response. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2022, about 280 employees received this training.

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「シニアお仕事説明会」の様子(セブン‐イレブン)

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「おもてなし研修」の様子(セブン‐イレブン)

Promotion of foreign nationals and mid-career hires

The Seven & I Group has long actively promoted overseas employees to local management positions. Our new Medium-term Management Plan announced in July 2021 calls for the strengthening of global strategies, and we are focusing on the development and promotion of core human resources to support these global strategies. We position mid-career hires as "work-ready" persons, and in FY2021, a total of 205 mid-careers joined 8 group companies of the Group.

Although we do not set specific targets for the appointment of foreign nationals and mid-career hires, we evaluate their abilities and achievements fairly and promote them to management positions regardless of their nationality or employment status (new graduate or mid-career hire) so that a diverse range of human resources can demonstrate their abilities.

  • Totals are for eight companies: Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, Sogo &Seibu, Akachan Honpo, Seven & i Food Systems, Seven Bank

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, each Group company consults 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 recruitment and training personnel of the Group companies understand disabilities and that they considerate to employees with disabilities.

Promotion of the Employment of People with Severe Disabilities

In 1994, Terube, Ltd. was established with joint funding of five companies (Seven & i Holdings, Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, and Seven & i Food Systems) and the city of Kitami in Hokkaido. Terube is a special subsidiary founded to promote the employment of people with severe disabilities. As of June 1, 2022, Terube employed 21 people with disabilities, and the Group's employment rate of people with disabilities, including Terube, was 2.98%.

The goal for the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023 is 2.98%. In recognition of its efforts in the 23 years since its founding to practice normalization with the aim of creating workplace environments amenable to people with disabilities, Terube became the commemorative first company to be certified as the Employer Promoting the Active Roles of Persons with Disabilities in 2017, the first year that certifications were issued by the Japan Association of Employers of Persons with Disabilities.

  • 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.

Certification No.1 : Employer Promoting the Active Roles of Persons with Disabilities 2017

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Implementation of Employment Support Training in Collaboration with Administrative Authorities to Promote the Employment of People with Disabilities

Seven-Eleven Japan conducts employment support training nationwide involving “Seven-Eleven Work Experience,” “Customer Relations Training,” and “Classes on Learning from Graduates to Prepare to Become a Working Adult” 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.

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Employment support training “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 following the Act on Employment Promotion, etc. of Persons with Disabilities. Various initiatives have been promoted, with 96 employees having been certified as “Employment Counselors for People with Disabilities” and 15 employees certified as “Job Coaches (in-house workplace adjustment supporters)” as of the end of February 2022. These job coaches (in-house workplace adjustment supporters) with specialized knowledge provide training on how to support oneself in daily life and on how to behave as a working adult, conduct interviews over the internet, and the like. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been endeavoring to create great places to work.

In addition, the company has introduced a voice-recognition system that can allow hearing-impaired employees to participate in remote meetings, and it is striving to create an environment where communications among all employees will be smooth.

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.

Seven & i Holdings acquired the third level – 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 acquired the third level, and Seven-Eleven Japan and Seven & i Food Systems acquired the second level (as of February 28, 2022). 

3 stars (the highest level)

2 stars

“L-boshi” certification

Initiatives for Material Issue 5