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Respect for Diversity

Last Updated: 2024.01.31
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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

To continue creating LifeWear that can improve the lives of people everywhere, we believe it is important to build a diverse organisation that combines individuality and talent. To ensure a balanced leadership team, we actively recruit women and international talent with strong potential to join the ranks of our Group's senior management. For these key positions, we prioritize people with the spirit to take on challenges and generate new ideas, regardless of nationality or experience, and we actively support their growth via constructive assessment and support.

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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Initiative to promote diversity and inclusion globally

As of August 2023, Fast Retailing employs approximately 110,000 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. Across four focus areas, Gender, Global One Team, Disability, and LGBTQ+, we implement various measures to meet local circumstances, in addition to actions and training to raise awareness and understanding globally.

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Initiatives to promote gender equality

Fast Retailing employs various human resource measures to enable all employees to work in a style that suits their life stage, and to develop a rewarding career that draws on their individual strengths and talents.

Promoting female employees' participation and advancement

Fast Retailing's ratio of female employees at the Group level is 68.9% (as of August 2023). In fiscal 2023, women made up 44.7%*1 (including 9.6% of executive officers) of total management positions*2 within the Fast Retailing Group. By the end of fiscal 2030 at the latest, we aim to achieve a female ratio of 50% (including 30% of executive officers) for all managers*2. For our own target, we have emphasized efforts in Japan, introducing various improvements to our human resource and training programs to promote the participation and advancement of female employees. Key initiatives include: human resource system reforms and training to eliminate unconscious bias for management and manager candidates.

Moreover, we identify career challenges faced by female executive management candidates, and create plans to help women develop and flourish at work over the medium to long term. We regularly hold a Women's Human Resource Development Meeting, encourage women to engage in dialogues with existing female officers and leaders, and provide various programs such as a mentor system for support. Other opportunities are provided for employees in Japan, regardless of gender, to deepen their understanding of important health topics. This includes holding open sessions on topics specific to female health, and the production of a women's health guide.

Talk Session with Womenomics Pioneer and External Director Kathy Matsui

In addition, the Diversity and Inclusion team regularly analyzes and monitors the gender ratio of departments and of promoted employees to identify gaps and opportunities. We will further extend individual systems and provide career advancement opportunities to support our female employees.

*1 To improve reliability, third-party verification has been conducted by SGS Japan Co., Ltd.
*2 Management positions refer to block leaders, area managers, and store managers above a certain grade (sales), and corporate officers, general managers, and leaders (head office).

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 have introduced a work-from-home arrangement and a baby-sitter subsidy program for eligible Fast Retailing Group head office employees, and a childcare support program for UNIQLO and GU store employees in Japan. In addition, in fiscal 2022, Fast Retailing and its group companies in the United States started a child care stipend of a maximum $1,000 a month per child for up to 36 months. The program is for eligible employees above a certain grade caring for children, from newborns through to 78 months.
The rate of childcare leave taken by male workers of Fast Retailing Group in Japan was 38.1%*3,4 in fiscal 2023. We aim to ensure that all employees who wish to take parental leave do so. We have put in place various measures to promote awareness of the program, and to create a culture that makes it easier for employees to take leave. Specifically, the Human Resources Department explains the program to eligible employees and their supervisors, confirms the intention of eligible employees to take the leave, and holds briefings for eligible employees, hosted by the childcare network organization.

*3 Ratio of 'number of male employees who took childcare leave' (not including leave for the purpose of childcare) to 'number of male employees whose spouse gave birth' in the financial year.
*4 To improve reliability, third-party verification has been conducted by SGS Japan Co., Ltd.

・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 Chat Group.

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

・Regional Regular Employees System
UNIQLO and GU in Japan introduced the concept of regional regular employees on April 1st, 2007 to encourage more diversity in work styles. We have promoted contract changes to regional regular employees with limited work areas for those who had worked as part-time at stores to secure and develop excellent human resources. 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. Regional regular employees may also take advantage of shorter working hours, home care/nursing care leave, and other arrangements.

Gender Pay Gap in Japan

Fast Retailing has a grading system that defines the skills and requirements necessary for each grade, evaluates and promotes its employees based on their individual abilities without regard to attributes such as gender. It applies a fair wage system with equal pay for men and women under the same grades.
However, due to factors such as the large number of female regional regular employees and the small number of females at higher grades in management positions, including executive officers, a gender gap in total remuneration has been identified.
In fiscal 2023, the average earnings for all females in our workforce in Japan is 65.0% of the average wage for all males in our Japan workforce. We have identified two main reasons for this pay gap. As of the end of August 2023, in Japan, about 8,000 female regular employees, which account for about 80% of the approximately 10,000 female regular employees are working as regional regular employees. Also, we implemented flexible work hours from 6 to 7.5 hours per day for childcare and nursing care for about 30% of female regional regular employees.
While it is important for career development to provide such flexible working styles to fit life stages, we recognize that the female management ratio in Japan is 27% in fiscal 2023, which is lower than that of the Fast Retailing Group worldwide. There are also few female employees in the higher grades of management in Japan. These are both areas where we will aim for significant improvement. We will continue to monitor male and female ratios by grades and among promoted employees and will aim to eliminate the pay gap by improving the ratio of female managers and by strengthening measures to develop female executives in the country.

Gender Pay*5 Gap in Japan (The average wages of females relative to males)

Employee categoryFiscal 2023

1. National employees*4


Employees of management positions*7


General staff*8


2. Regional regular employees


3. All regular employees (1 and 2)*10


4. Non-regular employees*9,10


All employees (3 and 4)*10


*5 Wages: Includes base salary, compensation for overtime work, and bonuses, but excludes retirement, commuting allowances etc.
*6 National employees: employees who have possibilities to be transferred to any areas (members of the board of directors excluded)
*7 Management positions: block leaders, area managers, and store managers above a certain grade (sales), and corporate officers, general managers, and leaders (head office).
*8 General staff: National employees who are not of management position
*9 Non-regular employees: Includes junior employees, part-time workers, temporary part-time workers, part-time and contract employees, but excludes contingent workers.
*10 To improve reliability, third-party verification has been conducted by SGS Japan Co., Ltd.

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Initiatives for Global One team

Promoting Global One

At Fast Retailing, our Diversity and Inclusion team plays a central role in various initiatives to enhance the environment in which our international employees can fully demonstrate their abilities and thrive in the global Headquarter in Japan. In fiscal 2022, we conducted a survey for international employees, started a roundtable discussion between executive officers and international employees and a mentorship system. We also provide opportunities for casual consultation regarding life and work in Japan through the establishment of consultation, as well as personal interviews and networking events held by in-house network groups of volunteer members.
Non-Japanese employees account for 56.4% (including 19.2% of executive officers) of all management positions*2 at Fast Retailing globally, and we aim to achieve 80% non-Japanese nationals in management positions (including 40% of executive officers) by the end of August 2030.

*2 Management positions refer to block leaders, area managers, and store managers above a certain grade (sales), and corporate officers, general managers, and leaders (head office).

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 GU stores and the Fast Retailing Innovation Factory in Japan, as well as at UNIQLO stores in the United States and Europe.

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Initiatives to hire 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 2023, the employment rate in Japan of people with disabilities is 4.89%*11. This figure outperforms Japan's legally mandated figure (2.3 percent) by a significant margin. We are also promoting hiring people with disabilities globally including Southeast Asia and Europe, with about 1,500 staff with disabilities (as of end-August 2023) working across the Group.
*11 Calculated as of 1st 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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LGBTQ+ Initiatives

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. Since September 2020, we have disseminated "Symphony Newsletter," which provides easy-to-understand explanations of LGBTQ+ topics and points to consider in communication to all employees at headquarters and stores.

Adoption of a "Diversity Guide"

In April 2020, Fast Retailing Group in Japan developed and has operated a "Diversity Guide" that summarizes important LGBTQ+ topics, and points to consider for communication in stores, and between employees.

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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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