ITOCHU Announces Progress and Future Initiatives in Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace

April 19, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that its Board of Directors established a Women's Advancement Committee in October 2021 as an advisory committee to the Board of Directors. The Committee has since met three times to discuss the future direction of this initiative based on a recognition of the current issues regarding the promotion of female employees to official positions and training of candidates for the positions as well as career and work style diversity. ITOCHU reports that it has achieved the following results (1) and will institute new support measures (2) and (3) as progress.

(1) Accelerated training for promotion of female employees to official positions

The number of female employees at official positions has increased from 35 as of April 2021 to 46 as of April 2022, giving impetus to their promotion to official positions. ITOCHU is also making progress in promoting them to key positions, including the first female general manager of an overseas office, the first female president of a Group company in Japan and the second female president of an overseas Group company. ITOCHU was also selected for Stocks of Nadeshiko Brand in fiscal 2021, which are jointly organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and which certify listed companies that excel in promoting women's participation and advancement in the workplace in fiscal 2021. ITOCHU will continue to work on training female employees for their future promotion to official positions, while strengthening the monitoring function of the Women's Advancement Committee.

(2) Evolution of morning-focused working system

Since fiscal 2010, ITOCHU has been actively promoting work-style reforms and striving to foster a corporate culture that allows employees to continue their careers while raising children by providing support for balancing work and childcare. This result was corroborated by the fact that the total period fertility rate (*) at ITOCHU has continued to rise since fiscal 2013 when the Company introduced the morning-focused working system reaching 1.97 in fiscal 2021. This is significantly higher than the period total fertility rate in the Vital Statistics of Japan in 2020 announced by the Ministry of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Moreover, given continuous career support for female employees in their 30s and 40s, the peak of childbearing and childcare years, ITOCHU decided to introduce a morning-focused flexible time system, which allows employees to leave after 3:00 p.m., and a working from home system for all employees in May 2022 as the second stage of its work-style reforms, in addition to its prohibition on overtime work after 8:00 p.m., in principle, and its morning-focused working system allowing starts before 8:00 a.m.

(3) Assistance for early reinstatement after childbearing

To help female employees who seek early reinstatement after childbearing minimize gaps in their careers by choosing when to return to work themselves, without being influenced by the timing of nursery school enrollment (daycare hunting), ITOCHU will broaden options for work styles after childbirth for those female employees who return to work within a year after giving birth, including the establishment of a new early reinstatement support grant.

ITOCHU will continue to incorporate these initiatives into effective measures by continuing a series of cycles of consultation with the front lines, discussions at the Women's Advancement Committee, and reports to the Board of Directors after understanding individual circumstances.
Through these initiatives, ITOCHU will also aim for further improvements in labor productivity and the enhancement of corporate value as a challenging but rewarding company to work for, where not only the health of employees will be maintained and promoted, but also the ability of female employees, employees with working spouses and employees with diverse values will be maximized.

■Major initiatives for labor productivity improvement

  • *The total fertility rate is the sum of age-specific fertility rates for women aged 15 through 49.