Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement

Progress so far, and the key issues

Promoting women's participation and advancement from the three perspectives of recruitment, cultivation, and support for employment continuation

At the time of 2015, our company was men-centric and was not providing adequate opportunities for women's participation and advancement.

Our group's activities to promote women's participation and advancement in the workplace started in earnest with the launch of the Women Empowerment Promotion Group in 2015.

In our Phase one action plan that spanned FY2017 to FY2021, we set targets of doubling the number of women in managerial positions from the FY2016 level and raising the ratio of women in career track positions*1 to 15%. We have advanced a number of initiatives focused on the three aspects of recruitment, development, and support for continued employment. As a result, by the end of FY2021, we had tripled the number of women in managerial positions to 13 and raised the ratio of women in career track positions to 17.1%, achieving our targets.

For our Phase two action plan from April 2021 to the end of March 2026, we announced a plan to raise the ratio of women in managerial positions to at least 5% and the ratio of women in career track positions to at least 22%, as well as to raise the number of men employees taking paternity leave to at least 80% and increase the number of days of leave taken by 20% from the level in FY2021. These numbers are steadily improving at present as well.

A factor that contributed greatly towards the achievement of these goals was our setting a 40% ratio of women among recent graduate hires on the global career track*2 as one of our recruitment policies. In parallel with this, we have also worked to expand the range of work roles open to women and have substantially increased the number of women assigned to the sales and manufacturing divisions, to which women in career track positions had not been assigned in the past. The actions have made the issue of women's advancement more directly relevant for many managers and have led to a change in attitudes and a transformation in the culture of the organization overall.

In addition to the continuation of these measures, the ongoing issue that we face is that of making the granting of equal opportunities and responsibilities without gender discrimination the norm, thereby doing away with the need for affirmative action. We believe that achieving our Phase two action plan is a requisite for making this happen, and that raising the sensitivity of employees with respect to diversity issues is important.

Defined as all employees on the managerial career track, including those who have only just joined the company.
Including all women employees with the rank of section chief or higher.
Ratio of women Managers

Ratio of women Managers

Main measures implemented
  • Women leader development seminars
  • Seminars for managers on managing women employees
  • Career development support programf
  • Women Empowerment Promotion Project:Activities implemented continuously over a six-year period, with changing participants
  • Mentoring system(for women up to the second year after new graduate hiring or mid-career hiring)
  • Promotion of notification to superiors and leave-takers, and interviews before and after leave, to increase the rate of men employees taking paternity leave
  • Holding "cross-industry exchange meetings" with other companies to broaden the working perspectives of young employees and women
  • Babysitter support system, childcare costs incurred while away on business trips entirely covered by the company
  • Establishment of a nursery within the company (at the Research Center) enrollment capacity: 10 children

Targets and action plans

In April 2021, we started our Phase two action plan for promoting participation and advancement by women. We set numerical targets to be achieved by FY2026 including at least 5% ratio of women managers*3. To meet these targets, we are advancing an initiative to increase the ratio of women among recent graduate hires on the global career track to 40%. In FY2023, our ratio of women managers was 4.7% and the ratio of women among recent graduates hires on the global career track was 35%.

In addition, we introduced a new Career Development Support Program for women employees who are currently on the regional career track*4. Participants meet with their supervisor over a period of three years to discuss a career development cultivation plan that incorporates a formal schedule for the acquisition of specialist technical know-how and other knowledge, for example through on-the-job training, as well as self-development, etc., with an implementation cycle that includes an annual progress report and refresher training.

We will present career development paths for women on the area career track, which had been unclear in the past, and will support the subsequent demonstration of capabilities by women employees. 

Toyobo also has a policy of participating actively in external initiatives. The company has already expressed its support for 30% by 2030 Challenge*5 goal announced by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) to raise the ratio of women executives to 30% by 2030, and for the Women's Empowerment Principles*6, which outline a code of conduct for actively promoting women empowerment; Toyobo has signed a statement committing itself to act in accordance with the WEPs.

Through these activities, we received the second level Eruboshi*7 certification from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare in December 2021.


Targets and Initiative Content

【Target No.1】Raise the share of managers who are women to at least 5% by the end of fiscal 2026
April 2021 onwards: Implement women leader cultivation training for women managers and women candidates for managerial positions
(continued implementation since August 2017)
April 2021 onwards: Implement women leader cultivation training for women section chiefs and women candidates for section chief positions
(continued implementation since September 2019)
April 2021 onwards: Implement mid-career hiring of women managers
September 2021 onwards: Establish and implement women empowerment promotion action plans at the unit level
【Target No.2】Raise the share of women on the career track to at least 22% by the end of fiscal 2026
April 2021 onwards: Maintain women's share of new graduate recruitment at a level of at least 40%
April 2021 onwards: Actively promote mid-career hiring of women employees
April 2021 onwards: Implement follow-up interviews for women employees (continued implementation since April 2015)
April 2021 onwards: Establishment and operation of a three-year career development support program
【Target No.3】Raise the percentage of eligible men employees taking childcare leave to at least 80%, and increase the number of days of childcare leave taken by at least 20% by the end of fiscal 2026
April 2021 onwards: Make eligible employees aware of the childcare leave system (continued implementation since April 2019)
April 2021 onwards: Send eligible employees' supervisors details of the encouragement that should be provided to subordinates to encourage them to take childcare leave (continued implementation since September 2019)
October 2022 onwards: To support trouble-free acquisition of leave and return to work, interviews between superiors and leave-takers before and after taking childcare leave are mandatory
Career track for employees who are expected to be active throughout the entire company.
Career track for employees whose career is expected to be confined to one specific business site.
This is one of the targets for promoting D&I to realize sustainable growth in line with “. The NEW Growth Strategy” announced by the Keidanren in November, 2020.
The Women's Empowerment Principles were formulated jointly by UNGC and UN Women in 2010.
Eruboshi (2-star) criteria: Must meet 3–4 of the specified criteria, and must demonstrate continued improvement for a period of at least two consecutive years.

Message from manager

Our group's activities to promote women's participation and advancement in the workplace started in earnest with the launch of the Women Empowerment Promotion Group in 2015.

In April 2023, the department name was changed to Diversity & Inclusion Group. In addition to the existing women empowerment promotion, we have broadened the scope to include human rights issues and employment of people with disabilities, and we have started to address the foreign employees and LGBTQs.

Achieving innovation and growing the company sustainably require that we remain a company that is able to acquire and utilize the skills and knowledge of diverse human resources. For participation and advancement by women, it is important that every woman is aware of her own capabilities and works where she can demonstrate those capabilities. For superiors, the maturity to provide opportunities and responsibilities fairly and without gender discrimination is vital.

The purpose of achieving diversity is adding value to people and making them strengths of the company.
Although we will continue affirmative action toward women due to its importance, we will go beyond that to also emphasize the importance of superiors realizing that attitudes and values have changed significantly among young people, and taking a stance of addressing people as individuals and providing opportunities fairly. We believe that workplaces where opportunities and responsibilities are provided regardless of personal attributes and where employees are able to grow will result in companies that are able to attract employees who have abundant knowledge and play active roles. Based on this conviction, we will retain affirmative action for women in the future and provide support for women, while taking steps to build workplaces where women can participate and advance without gender consciousness.

Masako Tezuka

Diversity & Inclusion Group Manager,
Labor Affairs Department
Masako Tezuka