Diversity is upheld as one of the Group’s HR strategies in GC2021, the Medium-term Management Strategy. Aiming for the vision of “a strong Marubeni Group in which diverse individuals play active roles,” we will further promote diversity within the Group by building a corporate culture and workplace that utilizes the “strengths of the diverse individuals” of each employee with various personalities, experiences, capabilities, and values. Furthermore, we promote work/life management as the infrastructure for employees with various backgrounds to succeed.
Diagram: Marubeni Diversity Management
Marubeni International Women’s Day
Marubeni has designated “International Women’s Day” (March 8), observed by the United Nations, as “a day to support the vibrant female workforce” and has held “Marubeni International Women’s Day” from the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, Marubeni conducted three programs: “IWD x Health and Productivity Management,” “IWD x Innovation” and “IWD x Career.”
■Part I: “Women’s Health: Topics that Both Genders Should Know About” (IWD x Health and Productivity Management)
We held lectures by OB-GYNs on female physiology, fertility treatments, menopausal disorders, and other topics. These lectures were held as part of the Marubeni Health Project, with the participation of some male employees, and provided an opportunity to acquire correct information on “Women’s health,” which all businesspersons including men should know.
■Part II: “The Potential of Women in Japan through Statistics” (IWD x Innovation)
We held lectures on the correlation between diversity and innovation and the necessity and effects of diversity that utilized OECD statistical data and analyzed the strengths and issues of women in Japan . “Diversity” has, indeed, become one of the keywords for management, as we reach a turning point in an age of drastic changes and rising uncertainty. The lecturer closed his talk with the powerful message which stressed: “the importance of each individual stepping away from the sense of a predetermined path, taking ownership of one’s career and honing the expertise that gives him or her the competitive edge, in order for Japan to compete in the world.”
■Part III: Recruitment PR Seminar “Developing one’s career for a bright future” (IWD x Career)
We held a briefing session for about 200 female students in the job-hunting process to explain the Company’s profile and status in promoting the advancement of women and provided a panel discussion led by female employees. We offered hints to the participating students on how to think about their future through discussions led by the enthusiastic female workforce.
Events commemorating IWD were also held at each location of our overseas offices and Group companies.
Overseas offices wearing purple to show support for International Women's day
Measures to Promote Opportunities for Women in Managerial Staff Positions
Since 2006, Marubeni has been working hard to recruit more women for managerial staff positions. As of October 1st, 2019, there are 338 women in managerial staff positions (10.1% of all managerial staff positions) playing an active role in operations in Japan and other countries around the world.
Many of the women in the manager track are in the early to mid-stage of their careers and are viewed as potential candidates for managerial positions in the future. As such, they are expected to play an even greater role in the years to come. Furthermore in FY2014, Marubeni started new programs designed to expand the number of opportunities for women in managerial staff positions. One of these is the "BENInovation Program", which focuses on opportunities for female employees and their immediate managers.
Also the following action plan was established in response to the promulgation of the Act on Promoting Women’s Empowerment in the Workplace. This plan defines the period leading up to March 31, 2021, as a time for creating foundations for incorporating diversity into decision-making. Looking towards the future, Marubeni will enhance hiring, overseas dispatch, and education activities based on this plan.
Action Plan for Empowering Female Employees (Phase 1: April 1, 2016–March 31, 2021)
Construct HR development pipelines by strengthening hiring, overseas dispatch, and other development programs with the goals of increasing the ratio of female managerial staff to more than 10% and raising the ratio of female managers to above 7% by March 31, 2021.
Diversity is upheld as one of the Group’s HR strategies in GC2021, the Medium-term Management Strategy. While the diversity targeted by Marubeni is not necessarily focused on gender, conscious efforts toward development have become one of the key issues, amid expectations for the further advancement of women. We implement the “BENInovation Program,” a program that primarily targets early to mid-career female managerial track staff and their immediate managers, to encourage these staff to take on greater challenges and to strengthen diversity management. Starting from the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, certain programs have been opened to all employees who wish to participate, regardless of gender or position.
“Kick-off Sessions” for early to mid-career female managerial track staff and their immediate managers
“Career Sessions” for early-career female managerial track staff
Key-note lectures on the essence of diversity-promoting management, the necessity to change the mindset of female employees and changing the awareness of immediate managers, etc.
Group work to envision a more proactive career by playing a vital role as managerial track staff in the future and taking into account future life events
Trial Measures to Support Overseas Postings after Childbirth
Working styles and family circumstances are diversifying, and this includes an increasing number of families where both parents work. Marubeni is therefore taking steps to appropriately allocate and appoint human capital, and to promote continuous career and skills development. These steps include providing the necessary support and environment when employees posted overseas are accompanied by their children. Specifically, we provide support to ensure trouble-free overseas postings and help to prepare a suitable environment for the posting by providing a pre-posting visit, creating childcare check-sheets for posting destinations, and covering part of the cost of essential childcare services. We introduced these measures on a trial basis in April 2018, and will consider full-scale introduction after conducting reviews and revisions.
Employees Posted Overseas (As of April 1, 2019)
Opportunities for Senior Employees
In order to make full use of the knowledge and experience of senior personnel, a Continuing Employment System was introduced and, in principle, covers all employees over the age of 60 who wish to continue working after the normal retirement age. (As of October 1st, 2019 there have been 182 employees who have benefited from the Continuing Employment System.) In addition, through the Senior Career Matching System, we aim to increase the job mobility of senior employees and ensure that the right person is assigned to the right position, so that each employee can be most effective. From April 2018, we created a career counseling section within the Human Resources Development to further the roles of senior personnel in the workplace.
Promotion of Work/Life Management
From the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006, Marubeni has gradually expanded our system to go beyond simply what is required of us by law. In January 2017, we shifted from a “support for balance” phase to “support for success,” moving the focus from “work/life balance” to “work/life management” with the goal of being a company where the work is meaningful. With this shift in focus, we aim to achieve “continuous career development” and “continuous performance” regardless of in what stage in life an employee may be. We also carry out various follow-up measures that allow employees to utilize the specific programs when they need them.
Major Measures Related to Work/Life Management
Maternity and Parenting Support Measures
In addition to self-management by individuals who take advantage of this system, we are working to create a system built on mutual cooperation, one that is understood by the managers and the workers around them, fosters mutual respect, and can be effectively utilized regardless of gender. The system offers programs that go further than what the law requires including “Maternity leave,” which can be used during pregnancy; “Family support leave” to support not only children but also other family members including spouses; “Shorter work hours” and “Childcare flex-care leave,” to enable flexible work-hours. There is also a system known as “Ikumen (active father) leave” that allows part of the childcare leave to be taken as paid leave, in order to encourage male employees to take paternity leave.
Improving Awareness of Programs
We provide information to broaden understanding of support programs. In addition to distributing a Pregnancy and Childcare Support Handbook, we hold three-way interviews between the employee going on maternity leave, their immediate manager, and a human resources representative (if the spouse of the employee is also a Marubeni employee, then the spouse and spouse’s immediate manager are also included). Furthermore, we hold an interview three months prior to return to work, and provide a checklist to the immediate manager of the relevant department that covers items relating to before and after the employee’s return.
Follow-up meetings after return to work
We conduct periodic group meetings with more experienced employees to support internal network-building among workers who have come back to work after childcare leave and to share information including expertise and ideas on how to create systems for balancing work and parenting.
Securing Places at Childcare Facilities
A current social issue in Japan is the increasing number of children on waiting lists for places at day-care centers. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, Marubeni introduced a childcare support allowance for returning employees, which covers part of the cost of childcare services so that employees can return to work when they want to. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019, we began a trial of securing permanent places at a day-care center near our Tokyo Head Office, to support employees in returning to work smoothly.
Marubeni Family Day
From the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, we have held Marubeni Kids Project – Visiting Mom and Dad at Work as an annual event mainly for children of elementary school age. In FYE 3/2019, we expanded this event at the Tokyo Head Office into Marubeni Family Day, featuring additional events for employees and their spouses and for junior high and high school students. These events are an opportunity for deepening understanding of the companies and work that employees are involved with, thereby cultivating Marubeni Group supporters, and for companies, employees, and their families to consider the balance between work and private life.
Nursing Care Support Programs
We live in a world characterized by declining birthrates, an aging population, fewer siblings, more people remaining single, and more working couples. This means that nursing care, which was traditionally taken care of mostly by stay-athome family members, is now an issue that working family members must take the initiative in addressing. Marubeni has established support programs so that employees can balance working and caring for relatives, while playing an active work role in the medium and long term.
Improving Awareness of Programs
Marubeni has created and distributes a Family Care Handbook and has also been holding nursing care seminars on various topics from the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, with a cumulative total of 1,300 participants. The handbook and seminars not only explain our programs, but also strongly encourage employees to seek external professional help rather than trying to take on nursing care themselves, so that they can better manage their situation and balance work with nursing care.
Provision of External Services Including Personal Consultations and Remote Nursing Care
We provide free consultation by telephone, email, or in person in collaboration with the Umi wo Koeru Care no Te, an NPO dedicated to supporting nursing care. We have also concluded contracts with various companies to make senior monitoring services available to employees. As part of such services, online security systems are installed at the homes of parents who live far away or are alone during the day, thereby enabling 24-hour monitoring and emergency call-outs.
Fair Recruiting and Hiring
Marubeni's basic hiring policy is to select applicants according to their capability and competence based on a fair recruitment process in which no form of discrimination is tolerated. For example, we use an “open entry” system that offers equal opportunity regardless of citizenship, place of origin, gender, physical disability, or alma mater. Moreover, the job application form does not ask for details such as place of origin, religion, family situation, or any other information not required for us to determine an applicant's capability and competence. During interviews, we respect each applicant's basic human rights by avoiding inappropriate questions and select employees based only on capability and competence. To ensure that fair recruiting activities are conducted across the entire Marubeni Group, we have prepared the Marubeni Recruiting Manual, and strive to ensure that our policies are thoroughly understood across Marubeni Group companies.
Promotion of the Employment of Disabled Persons
Marubeni Office Support Corporation was established in 2008 as a special-purpose subsidiary* of Marubeni designed to provide workplaces that accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.
Special-purpose subsidiary: a subsidiary that has been certified by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare as satisfying the conditions specified in the Act on Employment Promotion, etc., of Persons with Disabilities. The number of workers with disabilities employed by such a subsidiary may be included in the calculation of the employment rate of disabled persons of the parent company.
In March 2016, Marubeni Office Support Corporation was certified by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as a Superior Company in the active employment of persons with mental and other disabilities. They aim to create a company that grows through mutual assistance. This certification is granted to superior companies that actively employ individuals who have mental or other disabilities; a total of 21 companies throughout Japan have received this certification. Today, the Company has a combined staff of 53 persons with disabilities and 8 persons without disabilities in Tokyo and Osaka. Employees with physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities engage in various office services, such as business card production, creating PDF documents, cleaning the building, internal mail, contracted clerical work, support of employee benefit programs, etc.
As of October 2019, the employment rate for persons with disabilities stood at 2.53% (up from 2.58% as of April 2019), higher than the legal minimum rate.
Marubeni will continue striving to create workplaces where all people can work, regardless of disabilities.