Transforming work styles and promoting active roles for women (STORY 1 Broadening the Range of Work Style Choice)
In the Recruit Group, one in five of our female employees is a working mother, and many of our employees are struggling daily to balance their jobs and housework.
■ Offering work style options suited to the individual
Offering work style options suited to the individual in line with the demands of the period ahead of us is not limited to allowing people to balance work and childcare. Care for senior family members, pursuit of personal interests, study for personal growth, and the creation of new value̶the Recruit Group envisions the creation of working modes that are balanced with diverse individual needs like these, while also raising productivity. In April 2015, we began the "Work Transformation Project" to seek and implement new work styles in our own organizations.
We are widely sharing our know-how about the promotion of diversity and introduction of various work styles and information about the issues we have encountered in this connection, along with examples from other companies, and we intend to continue refining our initiatives in this area so as to help people build lives with more options.
■ Allowing employees to select their workplace
Recruit Holdings' remote work system allows employees to do their jobs without being limited to a particular location. In addition to our main offices, we have set up six satellite offices in the greater Tokyo area (as of March 2016); employees can also work at home and elsewhere. We introduced this system on a full scale in January 2016 for all employees, including temporary workers. About 2,000 people at Recruit Group companies are taking advantage of flexible work styles.
As part of our Work Transformation Project we show on our website both positive cases and cases in which conflict occurred. We also show the transformation process and the things we have learned. For example, there were some concerns about giving all employees permission to work remotely, such as how to deal with situations when people needed to be present in the office. We considered a system in which people would apply to their bosses for approval to use the remote work system, but instead, in order to emphasize individual autonomy, we adopted the rule that if a superior who decides that an employee's presence in the office is necessary may disallow remote work, in which case it is the responsibility of the superior to explain the decision. We will continue to seek and suggest modes of working that can contribute to society through ongoing trials and improvements.
■ Support for all employees to play active roles
The Recruit Group came to the approach of respect for a diversity of work styles as it addressed the issue of how to promote more active roles for female employees.
Since the time our company was founded, we have fostered a culture of evaluating people by their abilities regardless of gender, and many women have played active roles. But it is also true that, because of long working hours, many women felt they had to quit their jobs for private reasons, such as marriage and childbirth. We began with efforts to shorten the long working hours of all employees, and then, starting in 2007, we moved to support work-life balance with the establishment of the "And's" childcare service in the workplace, focusing on creating a stable work environment for employees. We took a further step in 2010 with active appointment of women to management decision-making positions, aiming to have women play a more prominent role and to introduce greater diversity in our management perspectives. In line with these efforts, we have currently set a target of appointing women to at least 30% of the section-chief positions at the 11 major Recruit Group companies in Japan by April 2018. We are currently at 24.4% and moving steadily toward our goal.