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"100 Best Companies Where Women Actively Take Part" 2021
Accenture - Tops in Overall Ranking

Tokyo - May 7, 2021 - 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 2021 version of the"100 Best Companies Where Women Actively Take Part." The overall ranking based on the survey responded by 522 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 2021 version marked the 19th 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 Accenture 78.6
2 IBM Japan 77.0
3 Resona Holdings 76.3
4 Aflac Life Insurance Japan 76.2
5 Shiseido 75.9
6 Chiba Bank 75.4
7 Kao Group 74.5
8 Takashimaya 74.4
9 Daiwa Securities Group 74.3
10 Pasona Group 73.9

Accenture came in the 1st place in the overall ranking this year (2nd place in 2020 overall ranking). The company has been promoting active involvement of female employees since 2006. Its own work-style reforms that started in 2015 brought the synergy effects, and the ratio of female employees increased driven by correction of long working hour. The number of female managerial positions has steadily growing: as of December 2020, the ratios of female managerial positions and executive positions of 18% and 17% respectively, compared to 15% and 8% in 2017 respectively. Accenture was ranked 2nd place in the ranking by category, Promotion to Managerial Positions. IBM Japan came in 2nd place in the overall ranking (1st place in 2020 overall ranking). The company has been a Japan’s pioneer promoting diversity since 1990s. “W50”, a one-year program for development of female managerial positions started in 2019 has made greater achievement than expected, and as of December 2020, the ratio of female managerial positions increased to 18% (17% in 2019). It won 1st place in the ranking of Promotion to Managerial Positions. Resona Holdings ranked 3rd in the overall ranking (5th in 2020 overall ranking). The company has been promoting active participation of female employees since 2003 when public funds were injected. The ratio of female line- managerial positions was 30.4 % in FY2020, achieving the increase in nine years in a row (23.7% in FY2015). Also, it implements the measures for work-life balance such as promotion of paternity leave and teleworking.

Along with the overall ranking, rankings on four specific categories are compiled. 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 ranked 1st place. With its successful program for development of female managerial positions, 50% and 25% of the participants in the programs in 2019 and 2020 respectively have been promoted to the managerial positions (as of January 2021). The ratio of female board member-level positions increased to 20% (18% in 2019). The number of female employees in board member-level positions marked a record high of 51. Accenture, ranked 2nd, prepares a human-resource development plan designed for each female employee who is an executive candidate, where their boss supports their promotion. As of December 2020, the ratio of female executive positions was 17% (8% in 2017). The ratio of female managerial positions was 18% (15% in 2017). Pasona Group came in 3rd place, with the ratio of female managerial positions of 39% and the ratio of female board members of 36%.

Rank Company
1 IBM Japan
2 Accenture
3 Pasona Group
4 Shiseido
5 Pfizer
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.

Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Hitachi, and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance tied for the top. Dai-ichi Life Holdings started training program for female managerial candidates in 2015 and has subdivided the program since 2020 to strengthen human-resource development. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance achieved the target of “the ratio of female pre-managerial (equivalent to assistant manager) positions to exceed 50% by end-FY2023” in April 2020. Hitachi achieved the target of “800 female managerial positions in Japan by end-FY2020 (double the number in FY2012)”. Mitsui Sumitomo Life Insurance has been working on promoting active participation of female employees since 2006 and has enhanced the training program by position.

Rank Company
1 Dai-ichi Life Holdings
1 Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance
1 Hitachi
1 Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance
5 Daiwa Securities Group
5 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 used by both male and female employees, etc.

Nippon Life Insurance, ranked 1st place, reduced the average monthly overtime working hours as of March 2020 by 18% compared to FY2016. With increasing usage of annual leave, the usage rate of leave increased to 70%. The usage rate of paternity leave achieved 100% for eight consecutive years from FY2013 to FY2020. Sumitomo Life Insurance, ranked 2nd, has been working on the work-style reform since 2017, and the total working hours as of March 2020 was reduced by 11.6% compared to FY2016 due to reduction and efficiency improvement of existing operations and review of evaluation system (introduction of productivity assessment per hour). It achieved the usage rate of paternity leave to be 100% in March 2020. Chiba Bank, ranked 3rd place, added the time management in the personnel evaluation items with the aim of raising employees’ awareness to work-life balance. It has been reflecting the opinions and requests of employees in its measures and has implemented approx. 60 measures such as leave systems for morning sickness and fertility treatment.

Rank Company
1 Nippon Life Insurance
2 Sumitomo Life Insurance
3 Chiba Bank
4 Takashimaya
4 Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire 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.

This ranking evaluated higher the companies that have enhanced support systems including measures and expanded support systems for work-life balance, in order for everyone to be able to work longer regardless of gender, age, or disability. NEC, ranked 1st place, has 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 93%. Kao Group, 2nd ranked, has established the childcare support system, and it became ordinary to continue working after childbirth in the mid-1990s. In its major group companies, 54% of female full-time employees are married and 46% have a child. 53% of female managerial positions are working mothers. In Aflac Life Insurance Japan ranked 3rd, 51% of female full-time employees are married and 36% are working mothers. Its turnover rate of young female employees has improved due to diversification of work-style such as teleworking.

Rank Company
2 Kao Group
3 Aflac Life Insurance Japan
4 Resona Holdings
5 Canon

Detailed survey results are covered in the June 2021 issue (out May 7, 2021) of Nikkei Woman.

[Outline of Survey]

The survey was conducted by Nikkei BP Consulting between January and mid-February 2021, among 4,468 leading Japanese companies most of who are listed in the Japan Stock Market. There were valid responses from 522 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.

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