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Nikkei Woman and Nikkei Womenomics Project Announce Female Workers' Workplace Opportunity Rankings:
Shiseido Tops in Overall Best 100 Companies for Two Straight Years

Tokyo – May 7, 2015 – Nikkei Woman, a women’s career and lifestyle magazine published by Nikkei Business Publications (President & CEO: Kohei Osada; Tokyo), conducted the “Survey on Female Workers’ Workplace Opportunities” for 2015, together with Nikkei Womenomics Project. Based on the survey responded by the record-high number of 539 companies, the overall ranking of “100 Best Companies Where Women Play Active Part” is unveiled in the June issue of Nikkei Woman (delivered on May 7). The survey has been conducted irregularly by Nikkei Woman since it was first published in 1988, and this year marks the 13th survey.

The survey measures how female workers are treated and promoted in terms of four categories: 1) promotion to managerial positions, 2) work-life balance, 3) active use of women’s ability, and 4) gender equality. After appropriate weights are added to the scores of each category, the results are summed up to derive deviation scores for the overall ranking. The summary of the survey results is as follows:

The total scores (deviation scores) are rounded to one decimal place. If companies with the same scores are rated differently on the lists of overall or category rankings, the scores differ in/below the second decimal place.

Survey on Female Workers’ Workplace Opportunities 2015 – Top 10 in Overall Ranking

Rank Company Score
1 Shiseido 80.7
2 Seven & i Holdings 80.2
3 ANA (All Nippon Airways) 80.0
4 JTB 78.6
5 Dai-ichi Life Insurance 77.6
6 IBM Japan 75.9
7 Takashimaya 75.2
8 Recruit Holdings 75.1
9 Pasona Group 75.1
10 Sumitomo Life Insurance 74.5

Shiseido topped the overall ranking for the second consecutive year. The company is evaluated highly for making efforts in creating environments to promote active participation of women in the workforce, such as through allowing alternative work styles for some 1200 beauty consultants who work on reduced hours for child care. Many of the high-rated companies are taking proactive approaches towards fostering and assigning more female managers, according to the survey.

In addition to the overall ranking, four category rankings are announced to show specifically in what way the surveyed companies are promoting the use of female workers. The evaluation criteria and the top ten companies for each category are shown below:

Category 1: Promotion to Managerial Positions

Women’s promotion to managerial positions is rated by whether the company has female executives, the male-female ratio in the managerial positions, etc.

According to the survey, the percentage of companies that “have a female executive or board member who stepped up the corporate ladder from the entry-level” was 23%, showing a great increase from the last year’s 18.8%. Most of the top 10 companies provide skill trainings and sponsorship programs for mid-level female managers, and place an emphasis on fostering them to be senior executive candidates for the next generation. The top-ranked JTB introduced a mentoring program and offered trainings for selected female employees, which resulted in raising the ratio of female board members to 4.6% in April 2014, from 1% in 2011. Seven & i Holdings, which came in the third place, achieved its initial goal of “female managers to account for 20% or more of total managers”. With commitment from top management, the company is now tackling with even higher goal of having the female manager ratio at “30% by February 2016”.

2 Nichii Gakkan
3 Seven & i Holdings
4 Recruit Holdings
4 Solasto (former Nihon Iryoujimu Center)
6 IBM Japan
7 Pasona Group
8 Shiseido
9 Takashimaya
10 Eli Lilly Japan

Category 2: Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is rated by the total annual working hours, the percentage of paid holidays taken, and the percentage of childcare leave taken by male and female workers, etc.

The survey revealed that the total annual working hours per employee were 1990.1 in average among all respondents, declining 7.1 hours year-on-year (1997.2 hours in 2014). Moreover, 29.9% of the respondents “have introduced the work-from-home option for full-time employees”, while 31.9% (26.5% in 2014) have been “working on telework introduction.” The figures illustrate ongoing progress in diverse work styles introduced among the respondents overall. The first-place Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance has implemented the point-based system to evaluate efforts made at each work division for improving work-life balance and diversity, whose results are reflected in the performance evaluation of the division chief.

1 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
2 Nippon Life Insurance
3 Janssen Pharmaceutical
4 Dai-ichi Life Insurance
4 Sumitomo Life Insurance
7 Teijin
8 Hitachi
9 NTT West
9 Ricoh Leasing

Category 3: Active Use of Women’s Ability

Use of women’s ability is rated by whether the company has a dedicated section for using women’s abilities or training programs designed specifically for female workers, etc.

In this year’s survey, the percentage of companies having a section or program dedicated to use women’s abilities has increased to 53.6%, up more than 10 points from the 2014 figure of 42.9%. Nearly half of the respondents are serious about creating more workplace opportunities for women, with 46.6% setting numerical targets for the number or ratio of female managers in a company. The first-place Hitachi sets a concrete goal of “having 1,000 female managers by FY2020”, while organizing career seminars designed for young female employees and rolling out wide-ranged programs including the formation of female employee networks across regions of Japan.

1 Hitachi
2 Fujitsu
5 Tokyo Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance
6 Seven & i Holdings
7 Toshiba
8 Mizuho Financial Group
9 Dai-ichi Life Insurance
9 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa
9 NTT East
9 Japan Post
9 NTT West

Category 4: Gender Equality

Gender equality is rated by the male-female employee ratio, the degree of equality between male and female workers in terms of the length of employment, etc.

At Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores ranked in the first place, almost half of their full-time employees are females. More than 30% of them are working mothers who benefit from the company’s alternative work system supporting diverse work styles. The female employment ratio of the second-place winner Dai-ichi Life Insurance is more than 90%, with the average age of female workers being 40 years old. Shiseido, in the third place, has female employees which account for approximately 80% of the total workforce, and those working as beauty consultants reach as many as 10,000 across Japan. The data indicate a steady increase in the number of women who choose to stay in the workforce over a long period of time.

1 Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores
2 Dai-ichi Life Insurance
3 Shiseido
4 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
5 Takashimaya
5 Toshiba
8 Asahi Mutual Life Insurance
9 Sumitomo Life Insurance
9 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
9 Nomura Securities
9 Kao Customer Marketing
9 Panasonic
9 Cannon

The survey results are covered in more details in the June 2015 issue of Nikkei Woman (delivered on May 7). Interested readers may also find the survey summary on Nikkei WOMAN Online (

[Survey Outline]
The survey was conducted between January and mid-February 2015 by Nikkei BP Consulting, targeting a total of 4,293 listed and other leading companies in Japan, and received valid responses from 539 companies. The questions in the survey sheet and evaluation method were set by the judges (Mr. Naoki Atsumi, Director of Diversity and Work-life Balance Research Department, Toray Corporate Business Research, Inc.; Ms. Machiko Osawa, Professor of Japan Women’s University; and Ms. Mariko Kono, CEO of Carian Inc.) and the editorial department of Nikkei Woman.

For further details, please contact:
Global Business Development Office
Phone: +81-(0)3-6811-8311
Fax: +81-(0)3-5421-9804

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and business performance. Those forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and the company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, general business and economic conditions, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, cancellation or delay of customer orders.

About NikkeiBP

Nikkei Business Publications is part of The Nikkei group, which has newspaper publication as its main business and three additional business divisions of digital media, publishing and broadcasting under its umbrella. Covering a wide variety of specialized areas including business, computer, electronics, construction, services and medicine, Nikkei Business Publications, in July 2008, merged with its sister company, Nikkei Home Publishing, to also bring consumer magazines into its portfolio.

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