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Respect for Diversity

Last Updated: 2021.05.31
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Fast Retailing embraces diversity as one of its most valued principles. We respect and appreciate each individual's points of difference and personality and strive to create a working environment where every person has equal opportunity to use their greatest abilities to fulfill their potential.

Employee Diversity

Fast Retailing recognizes that it is important to cultivate a culture that understands and respects each person's values and background to meet the expectations of our staff and customers around the world. Our Diversity and Inclusion team plays a central role, promoting conducting education and conducting awareness initiatives.

We are striving to understand issues and implement effective measures by integrating diversity elements into the employee engagement survey and 360-degree evaluations.

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Promoting Diversity at Global Level

As of August 2020, Fast Retailing employs 128,492 people around the world. We aim to provide our customers with the best products and services by forming a team of diverse employees. In March 2020, Fast Retailing established the Global Diversity Leadership Team, consisting of executive officers responsible for overseas operations and our Diversity and Inclusion team, to promote diversity and inclusion globally. In addition to global awareness-raising activities and training, we will implement various measures tailored to local circumstances.

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Multicultural Communication Training Program

We encourage employees from diverse backgrounds to respect each other's differences. We provide opportunities for employees from Japan to work in other global locations, and overseas employees to come and work in Japan as part of our multicultural communication training program.

Hiring Refugees

Fast Retailing actively promotes hiring refugees in the world. Since 2011, UNIQLO Japan has been working with the Refugee Headquarters (RHQ) and other organizations to actively promote the employment of refugees, focusing primarily on refugees and their families who have been granted refugee status and the right to settle in Japan. Also, refugees have been hired to work at stores in other countries, such as the United States and Germany.

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Initiatives on Gender Equality

Fast Retailing employs various human resource system reforms and measures to enable all employees to select a work style that suits their life stage, to develop a rewarding career, and to exercise their individuality and talents.

Promoting female employees' participation and advancement

As a global company, Fast Retailing works to introduce programs that will have the greatest immediate impact locally. For example, in Japan, we have introduced various improvements to our human resource systems and training to promote participation and advancement of female employees. Key initiatives include; the Women's Direct Meeting, which encourages discussion between female store managers, management, and external experts; discussion venues for female store managers who are raising children; a training program for female management candidates; and training to eliminate unconscious bias for management and manager candidates.

Employees Participating in the Women Managers' Development Program

In fiscal 2020, women made up 39.2%*1 of total management positions within the Fast Retailing Group*2, well ahead of the 30% target for 2020. In addition, the Diversity and Inclusion team analyzes and monitors the gender ratio of employees by department and the gender ratio of promoted employees, making improvements where required. We will continue to extend individual systems, broaden the selection of management candidates, and provide career advancement opportunities through assignments to new positions and departments.

*1 Data on the ratio of female managers has been verified by SGS Japan Co., Ltd. to ensure reliability.
*2 Management positions includes block leaders, area managers, and store managers above a certain grade and (sales), and corporate officers, general managers, and leaders (head office).

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Work-Life Balance Support Systems

・Child Care/Nursing Care Leave, Reduced Working Hours
Fast Retailing offers a number of different work arrangements that widen the choices for employees to balance work and life events (maternity/paternity, child care, nursing care). These arrangements include maternity/paternity leave and child care/nursing care leave, reduced work hours, flextime, and other systems supporting work-life balance. We introduced a new work-from-home arrangement from fiscal 2017, and a baby-sitter subsidy program in fiscal 2018 for eligible Fast Retailing Group head office employees in Japan.

・Women's Participation and Advancement Network Organization
We have formed a networking organization for women's participation and advancement in the workplace in Japan to help share information on childbirth and childcare, and to ensure the views of female employees are fully reflected in our human resource systems. The organization's main activities include holding guidance sessions on maternity/paternity and childcare leave, and on returning to work after childcare leave for employees who have opted to take maternity/paternity or childcare leave. We also seek to encourage networking among employees currently raising children through our Papa Mama Lunch Group.

A Return-to-Work Information Session for Employees on Childcare Leave

・Regional Regular Employees System
UNIQLO in Japan introduced the concept of regional regular employees to encourage more diversity in work styles. The regional regular employee system provides a way for outstanding personnel to work toward careers as store managers and area managers, even though their responsibilities for child care or nursing care may constrain work time or limit the ability to transfer. In addition to three days off per week, regional regular employees may also take advantage of shorter working hours, home care/nursing care leave, and other arrangements available to full-time employees. At present, one-fourth of store employees at UNIQLO in Japan (approximately 10,000 people) work under the regional regular employee system.

Respecting Diversity regardless of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Fast Retailing respects diversity and strives to create a comfortable working environment for everyone regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

New Partnership Registration System

In January 2019 the Fast Retailing Group in Japan introduced a Partnership Registration System that enables same-sex partners to access welfare benefits such as congratulatory and condolence leave and payments, by registering their partnership with the company.

LGBTQ+ Network Activities

In December 2018, the Fast Retailing Group in Japan formed the Symphony Network for interested employees across all of its brands and operations who wish to learn about LGBTQ+-related topics, as well as to better reflect employees' views regarding products and human resources programs.

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Hiring People with Disabilities

Fast Retailing champions the hiring of people with disabilities. In 2001, UNIQLO began actively recruiting persons with disabilities in Japan. Ever since, both UNIQLO and GU brand stores in Japan have enthusiastically hired persons with disabilities, with a target of hiring at least one person with a disability at every store and endeavored to provide a rewarding environment. The two companies also provide guidance for store managers and employee trainers to broaden the capabilities and potential of persons with various types of disabilities. Working with staff with disabilities teaches employees the importance of teamwork, enhances the spirit of customer service, and offers numerous other benefits. As of fiscal 2020, the employment rate in Japan of people with disabilities is 4.71%*. This figure outperforms Japan's legally mandated figure (2.3 percent) by a significant margin.
*Calculated as of June every year

In January 2021, Fast Retailing has joined The Valuable 500, a global initiative to promote active participation in society for persons with disabilities. The Valuable 500 was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 with the aim of encouraging business leaders to champion reforms that will unlock the value of people with disabilities throughout society, business, and the economy. In joining The Valuable 500, Fast Retailing pursues Diversity & Inclusion through five measures:

  • Hiring of persons with disabilities and acceptance training
  • Creating products, services, and sales spaces based on feedback from customers and employees
  • Special Diversity & Inclusion website
  • Support for sports programs for persons with disabilities
  • Support for persons with disabilities in local communities

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Collaboration with External Organizations

Fast Retailing seeks to continually improve its business activities by deepening its understanding of global social issues through dialogue with stakeholders. In addition, we are participating in efforts to solve key issues for the entire apparel industry in collaboration with various external organizations.

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