HOME > Sustainability > News & Updates > Fast Retailing Receives Top Rating in Japan's D&I Award - Recognized for Initiatives Promoting Corporate Diversity and Inclusion

News & Updates

Last Updated: 2023.02.14

Fast Retailing Receives Top Rating in Japan's D&I Award - Recognized for Initiatives Promoting Corporate Diversity and Inclusion

to Japanese page

Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. was rated highly in the D&I Award 2022 index to recognize its efforts toward diversity and inclusion (D&I). Fast Retailing received a diversity score of 96 (out of 100) and the best-possible rating of "Best Workplace" alongside other well-performing companies in Japan. The award acknowledges Fast Retailing's respect for individuality, and its efforts to create a workplace with equal opportunities for all employees to challenge themselves and expand their potential.

The D&I Award, by supporting corporate efforts for D&I, aims to promote diversity in society, and help create a world in which D&I becomes the norm. Established in 2021, it is the first index of its kind in Japan. Corporate measures are assessed across five categories in the index; Gender Gap, LGBT, Disability, Multiculturalism, and Child/Nursing Care, with companies receiving a diversity score out of a 100-point total. The Best Workplace rating for companies with a diversity score of 81 or higher is given to "Leading companies in D&I that promote a high standard of D&I in Japan and around the world, foster a corporate culture of D&I, and where all employees are actively engaged as individuals in furthering D&I. The principle of D&I is reflected in all aspects of service, business, and corporate organization, and spreads beyond the company."

Fast Retailing's D&I Initiatives
In 2015, Fast Retailing established an office within its Human Resources Department to promote active roles for women in the workplace, supporting women both in their careers and the major milestones in their lives. In June 2019, the company expanded this to a Diversity and Inclusion Team, directly under the CEO office, to further promote diversity in a coordinated manner. This team pursues initiatives centered on four focus areas: Gender, Global One Team, Disability, and LGBTQ+.

Fast Retailing has set a target for more than half of managerial positions to be held by women no later than 2030 and is taking steps to support more active roles for female employees. Career sessions with female executives and directors are held regularly to support career development and to nurture female employees for managerial positions. Further, to allow all employees, regardless of gender, to choose the work style best suited to their life stage and develop their career, Fast Retailing has introduced a babysitter subsidy program for head office employees in Japan, and a busy season daycare support system for store employees. Further, to ease the process for employees on maternity or childcare leave to return to work, Fast Retailing holds sessions for returning employees to explain company policies and benefits regarding childcare, also inviting employees who have taken childcare leave to share their experiences.

Global One Team
To help enable international employees to make full use of their strengths and play an active role, Fast Retailing introduced a mentor program in 2021 at its Tokyo global headquarters, which began as a series of intimate roundtable discussions with senior company executives. The company has also set up a consulting service on living and working in Japan, arranges personal interviews with volunteer members of the employee network group, and holds networking events to provide employees with opportunities to freely discuss everyday concerns and problems. Fast Retailing also proactively rotates personnel around the markets where it operates to enhance its global organizational structure. In 2022, the company strengthened the R&D centers at the core of its new global strategy, as well as the New York Headquarters, handling product development, merchandising, marketing, and other key functions.

Fast Retailing proactively hires persons with disabilities. UNIQLO Japan began hiring persons with disabilities in 2001, setting a target of at least one such person in each UNIQLO store in Japan, and has established an environment in which all new recruits can thrive. The target was later also adopted by GU stores in Japan. The 2022 employment rate for persons with disabilities in the Fast Retailing Group was 4.92% (calculated annually on June 1), significantly exceeding Japan's national statutory employment rate of 2.3%. This drive has spread beyond Japan to ASEAN countries, the EU and other regions around the world, with around 1,500 persons with disabilities now working as UNIQLO staff. UNIQLO Japan has also launched a project, conducted mainly by volunteer employees, to create stores that are more accessible for persons with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women, and other customers who may require special consideration. The project utilizes a wide range of customer feedback to improve product development, marketing, store design, customer support, and service delivery.

Fast Retailing respects diversity in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity and strives to create workplaces where all employees feel comfortable and at ease. In 2019, Fast Retailing in Japan introduced the Partnership Registration System, ensuring that employees who have a same-sex partner will be eligible to receive marriage-related company benefits such as special leave for family events, or congratulations and condolence allowances. In addition, in December 2018, Fast Retailing formed an LGBTQ+ networking group called "Symphony," made up of volunteer employees from across business divisions, to raise internal awareness of LGBTQ+ topics. Since September 2021, this group has regularly published "Symphony News," a newsletter for all head office and store employees that contains basic knowledge regarding LGBTQ+ and simple explanations of points to consider when communicating with LGBTQ+ persons.

Fast Retailing fosters an environment in which its rich and diverse global human resources are assured mutual respect and can learn and perform at their best. The company believes this environment leads to better products and services for customers, and continues to further promote diversity and inclusion.


Top of page