HOME > Company News

Nikkei Woman and Nikkei Womenomics Project Conduct Survey on Female Worker's Workplace Opportunity

"100 Best Companies Where Women Actively Take Part" 2019
Kao Group - Tops in Overall Ranking

Tokyo - May 7, 2019 - Nikkei Woman, a women's career and their lifestyle magazine published by Nikkei Business Publications (President & CEO: Naoto Yoshida, Tokyo), conducted the "Survey on Female Workers' Workplace Opportunities" together with Nikkei Womenomics Project of Nikkei Group and announced the 2019 version of the"100 Best Companies Where Women Actively Take Part." The overall ranking based on the survey responded by 538 companies was unveiled in the June issue of Nikkei Woman (on sale May 7). The survey has been conducted irregularly by Nikkei Woman since its launch in 1988, and the 2019 version marked the 17th time.

From the two perspectives of how female workers are motivated and how they are treated and/or appointed, the survey measures the present state of how women's abilities are utilized in the workforce under the following four categories: 1) promotion to managerial positions, 2) active use of women's ability, 3) work-life balance, and 4) diversity workstyle promotion. The measurements are then scored, and deviation values calculated from the total scores are compiled as overall scores and rankings are made accordingly. The summary of the survey results are as follows:

The total scores (deviation value) are rounded to one decimal place. If companies with same score are ranked differently on the list of overall rankings and/or each category rankings, it means there are differences in below the second decimal place.

Overall Ranking Top 10 Companies
Rank Company Score
1 Kao Group 78.8
2 Resona Holdings 75.3
3 IBM Japan 75.3
4 Takashimaya 75.1
5 Sumitomo Life Insurance 74.9
6 Daiwa Securities Group 74.3
7 Aeon 73.7
8 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance 73.7
9 Seven & i Holdings 73.7
10 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance 73.2

Kao Group came in the 1st place in the overall ranking (5th in the 2018 overall ranking). It established the childcare support program in 1990s. Simultaneously focusing on creating the environment where the program is fully utilized, it became natural in the company to continue working after childbirth around mid-1990s. Currently, the ratio of female regular employees with children is 45% and many female employees are actively taking part even after their marriage and childbirth. In 2018, female presidents were appointed in two beauty counseling companies in the Group. Kao also appointed female auditor and outside director in March 2019. Resona Holdings ranked 2nd place (16th in the 2018 overall ranking), abolished the career course of general employment position in 2008. Expanding the system enabling flexible work style based on life events, its female ratio of line managerial positions increased 4.6 points to 28.3% from 2015. The 3rd ranked IBM Japan (7th in the 2018 overall ranking), launched the female success promotion project under the direct control of the president in 1998. Thanks to the sponsorship program with individual guidance by executives, the ratio of female executives increased to 16%. Just as last year, this year saw a small difference of scores with only 5.6 points among top 10 companies. The companies who took measures for utilization of female employees around 1990s and consistently continue such activities were ranked higher.

In addition to the overall ranking, rankings on four categories are announced to show in what specific ways the surveyed companies are promoting the appointment of their female employees. The evaluation criteria and the top ten companies for each category are as follow.

Category 1: Promotion for to Managerial Positions

~Women's promotion to managerial position is rated by whether the company has female executives, by the male-female ratio of employees in managerial positions, as well as the number of women in managerial positions who have children.

IBM Japan was ranked 1st place. Thanks to the sponsorship program as above, the female ratio of executive level increased to 16%, reaching a record of 41 females. The ratio of female managerial positions is 14% as of December 2018. At 2nd ranked Pfizer, the ratio of female managerial positions exceeds 25%, while female regular employee ratio of over 20%. Its female executives occupy six out of seventeen executives and play active role in the company. Takashimaya ranked 3rd place, achieved the ratio of female managerial positions of 30% in March 2018 to aim 35% in 2020.

Rank Company
1 IBM Japan
2 Pfizer
3 Takashimaya
4 Kao Group
5 CMIC Holdings
7 MetLife
8 JP Holdings
9 Resona Holdings
10 Nichiigakkan
Category 2: Active Use of Women's Ability

~Use of women's ability is rated by whether the company has a dedicated section for utilizing women's capabilities and skills or training programs for female employees.

Top ranked Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has engaged in the promotion of active use of woman’s ability since 2006 and conducts the hierarchy-specific training program for female managerial positions. In April 2019, the company established “Wide Area” career course, a new system that enables even employees in career-track position in restricted region to choose to be transferred accompanying moving home for a limited time. Around 100 employees converted their career course. Expanding the field of activities, it aims to promote female managerial positions. Daiwa Securities Group ranked 2nd place, launched the promotion team for active use of women’s ability in 2005. In 2018, the number of female managerial positions reached 494, almost fivefold increase from 2005. The 3rd place was shared by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, and Fast Retailing.

Rank Company
1 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
2 Daiwa Securities Group
3 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance
3 Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance
3 Fast Retailing
6 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
6 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
8 Seven & i Holdings
9 Aeon
10 Nippon Life Insurance
10 JTB
10 Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Category 3: Work-Life Balance

~Work-life balance is rated by such criteria as the total annual working hours, the percentage of paid holidays taken, and the percentage of childcare leave taken by both male and female employees, etc.

In this year's survey the total annual working hours per employee in average among responding companies was 1973.5 hours (against 1976.9 hours in 2018), which was a reduction of 3.4 hours from the previous year average. More companies have implemented measures to promote the diversification of work style including encouragement for paid holidays, expansion of tele-working and working-from-home systems, and establishment of satellite offices.

In Nippon Life Insurance ranked 1st place, all employees make a declaration on their work style and practice “fifteen minutes reduction campaign”. Male employees achieved 100% childcare leave, taking seven days off on average for six consecutive years since 2013. The 2nd ranked Sumitomo Life Insurance brought forward the compulsory shut down time of computers, etc. by 30 minutes to 19:30 since July 2018. The 3rd ranked Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance started the work style reform in FY2016. It introduced tele-working across the headquarters, before expanding to branch offices, assigned employees, temporary workers, and employees learning abroad.

Rank Company
1 Nippon Life Insurance
2 Sumitomo Life Insurance
3 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
4 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance
4 Dai-ichi Life Holdings
6 Kao Group
7 Aflac Life Insurance Japan
9 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
Category 4: Diversity

~Diversity is rated by the male female employee ratio and the retention rate in terms of the length of years under employment, and other factors. Employment rate of disabled employees and measures taken for and promotion for a better understanding on LGBT are also checked under this category.

Many of the companies are enhancing their measures for work-life balance and expanding its supporting systems so that women employees can continue to actively work longer.
At top ranked Kao Group, approx. 54% of female regular employees are married and 45% have children. Many female employees are actively taking part even after their marriage and childbirth. NEC also ranked top, sees little difference between male and female on the average age and years of service of regular employees, with higher retention rate for three years of new graduate employees at around 92%. In KDDI ranked 3rd place, 50% of female regular employees are married and approx. 39% have children.

Rank Company
1 Kao Group
5 Resona Holdings
5 Nippon Life Insurance
7 Dai-ichi Life Holdings
7 Aflac Life Insurance Japan
7 Japan Post Bank
10 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
10 Konica Minolta

Detailed survey results are covered in the June 2019 issue (out May 7, 2019) of Nikkei Woman.

[Outline of Survey]

The survey was conducted by Nikkei BP Consulting between January and mid-February 2019, among 4,392 leading Japanese companies most of who are listed in the Japan Stock Market. There were valid responses from 538 companies. The questions in the survey and the evaluation method were set by judges (Ms. Nami Otsuki, Professor, University Sacred Heart; Ms. Mariko Kono, CEO, Carian Inc.; and Ms. Emiko Takeishi, Professor, Hosei University) and the editorial department of Nikkei Woman.

go top