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" 2020
IBM Japan - Tops in Overall Ranking

Tokyo - May 7, 2020 - 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 2020 version of the"100 Best Companies Where Women Actively Take Part." The overall ranking based on the survey responded by 542 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 2020 version marked the 18th 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 IBM Japan 77.5
2 Accenture 77.4
3 Kao Group 77.2
4 Aflac Life Insurance Japan 77.2
5 Resona Holdings 75.5
6 Aeon 75.3
7 JTB 75.2
8 Takashimaya 75.0
9 Daiwa Securities Group 74.3
10 Shiseido 74.2

IBM Japan was ranked highest in the overall ranking this year (3rd in the 2019 overall ranking). The company has ingrained in the company the cross-company organization to develop female leaders, establishing advisory committee under direct control of the president, “Japan Women’s Council” and “COSMOS” in 1998 in the aim of promoting active involvement of female employees. “W50”, an annual program to develop female employees in managerial positions has been implemented since 2019. Out of 54 participants, 30 % were promoted to managerial positions. Accenture, ranked 2nd place (14th in the 2019 overall ranking) launched cross-company organization “Japan Women’s Initiatives” in 2006. It provides female employees with an integrated support by the management, HR, and workplace. The screening-oriented training of female executive candidates is attended by 150 employees (30 Japanese employees) from Asia Pacific region. The number of female executives in the company more than tripled from 21 in 2017 to 68 in 2020. Kao Group, ranked 3rd (1st in the 2019 overall ranking) established a childcare support system in the 1990s. At the same time, the company focused on creating an environment where the system is fully utilized and in the mid-1990s, it became natural to continue working after childbirth. The ratio of female managerial positions is 21% as of end-December 2019 and the female auditor was appointed in March 2019. The company is nurturing the corporate culture to promote capable and motivated human resources regardless of attributes such as gender or nationality. These highly ranked companies have points in common; the top management is taking the initiative to promote active involvement of female employees, such activity has continued at least for 10 years or more, and the structure to develop female leaders has been established.
Along with the overall ranking, rankings on four specific categories are compiled to analyze in detail each company’s initiatives to promote active involvement of female employees. Points of evaluation and top five companies for each category are as follows.

Category 1: Promotion to Managerial Positions

~ Promotion to Managerial Positions is evaluated by the number of female executives and the ratio of female employees in total managerial positions as well as the number of female employees in managerial positions with child
IBM Japan won 1st place in addition to its 1st in the overall ranking. The ratio of female executives increased to 18% (16% in 2018) with a record of 44 females executives. The ratio of female managerial positions is 17% as of December 2019. Pfizer, ranked 2nd has seven female executives among total 17 seats. 3rd ranked Accenture aims to increase the ratio of female managerial positions from current 17% to 20% by end-2020. The ratio of female executives is 18%. Creating individual human development plan for female candidates of managerial positions, the company fully supports their career development.

Rank Company
1 IBM Japan
2 Pfizer
3 Accenture
4 CMIC Holdings
5 Takashimaya
5 MetLife
Category 2: Active Use of Women's Ability

~Use of women's ability is evaluated by whether a company has a dedicated section for utilizing women's capabilities and skills or training programs for female employees, etc.
JTB, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, and Hitachi tied for the top. JTB has been promoting active use of women’s ability since 2006, with the ratio of female managerial positions reaching 38%. The company, on a company-wide basis, addresses challenges such as concerns of young sales staffs or child rearing employees and issues on managerial positions’ work style, by appointing dedicated female executive officer. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance has started since 2019, the career course that enables even employees in career-track position within a restricted region to choose to be transferred accompanying moving home, to expand the field of activities. It supports female employees’ development through “Female Managers’ Committee” across the group. Hitachi has been making efforts in promotion of active use of women’s ability since 2000s. It accelerates the initiatives by setting “numerical goal for female managerial positions” as a common benchmark across the group including overseas.

Rank Company
1 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
1 Hitachi
4 Daiwa Securities Group
4 Nippon Life Insurance
Category 3: Work-Life Balance

~Work-life balance is evaluated by total annual working hours, percentage of paid holidays taken, and percentage of childcare leave taken by both male and female employees, etc.
Top ranked Nippon Life Insurance formulated “Work-style Reform Action Plan” in FY2018. As of March 2019, the company reduced the average monthly overtime by 16.2% compared to FY2016. The percentage of childcare leave taken by male employees achieved 100% for the seventh straight year. Sumitomo Life Insurance, ranked 2nd has been working on the work-style reform since 2017, carrying out infrastructure building including IT environment and review of existing operations. In 2019, it changed the employee evaluation method to evaluate “balance between achievement and time”. Chiba Bank, ranked 3rd has been promoting operational efficiency improvement and go-home-early practice since September 2013. It collects opinions of the employees from bottom-up to utilize for system establishment and new initiatives. The examples include holiday system for morning sickness and fertility treatment and break-in working system for reinstatement from childcare leave.
In this year's survey, the total annual working hours per employee among responding companies averaged 1958.2 hours (1973.5 hours in 2019), reduced by 15.3 hours from the previous year. Increasing number of companies are making substantial efforts in the work-style reform.

Rank Company
1 Nippon Life Insurance
2 Sumitomo Life Insurance
3 Chiba Bank
4 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance
4 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
Category 4: Diversity

~Diversity is evaluated by ratio of female employees and retention rate such as years of service, etc., as well as employment ratio of disabled employees and measures to promote understanding on LGBT
The ranking evaluated higher the companies implementing enhanced support system such as measures for work-life balance and expanded support system, so that everyone can work longer regardless of gender, age, or disability. At top ranked Kao Group, 55% of female full-time employees are married and 47% have a child. Many female employees are actively working even after their marriage and childbirth. At 2nd ranked NEC, there is almost no gender difference in the average age and average years of service of full-time employees, with higher retention rate of new graduate employees after three years from joining the company at around 91%. At 3rd ranked Nippon Life Insurance, approx. 70% of female full-time employees have a child and many are actively working by balancing childcare and career.

Rank Company
1 Kao Group
3 Nippon Life Insurance
4 Aflac Life Insurance Japan
5 Dai-ichi Life Holdings
5 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance
5 Fujitsu

Detailed survey results are covered in the June 2020 issue (out May 7, 2020) of Nikkei Woman.

[Outline of Survey]

The survey was conducted by Nikkei BP Consulting between January and mid-February 2020, among 4,449 leading Japanese companies most of who are listed in the Japan Stock Market. There were valid responses from 542 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