Based on the understanding that the ITOCHU ENEX Group is active in many business fields and the fact that our businesses are influenced by many perspectives, in 2013 we started to increase the number of female workers. The female ratio, at less than 10%, was overwhelmingly small compared to other industries. With our initiative for hiring and retaining women, the ratio has increased to 20% and women are active in various fields. We continue to develop areas where individuals can play an active role and maximize performance regardless of gender or age.
With the aim of letting junior staff show higher performance at an early stage, we introduced a mentoring system where junior women (up to 3rd years) can consult with senior women (4 years+) to share proper advice on issues unique to women and about their career development.
To make this most effective, and as part of a mentor training, we invited external lecturers for senior women. Through this course they learned “an OJT flow and effective interview skills;” “understanding importance of and ways of communication;” and “how to motivate people by scolding and praising.”
We organized a women’s discussion meeting with two guests, Motoyo Yamane, our outside director, and Akiko Shindo, who appeared in the “Enjoy the Power of Language” events hosted by the former, as well as with our six female employees. Discussions were held around “How to Draw Your Career Design” in a relaxing atmosphere, and we heard valuable stories from the two guests. Every participant had the opportunity to reconsider her attitude towards work and to reshape her lifestyle and future work.
Former NHK announcer Motoyo Yamane was appointed as an outside director of our company and the first female director at the ITOCHU ENEX Group. We have received a variety of advice and opinions, especially on our current diversity initiatives.
To facilitate communication among female union members, we have organized a yearly meeting for them since 2013. Through the exchange of opinions at such meetings, we have identified areas to improve for a better working environment.
In the 2019 fiscal year, we set “Self-produce workshop to enhance your potential” as the main theme. Female members who attended learned about diet, ideal food for beautiful skin, posture and walking for a good appearance, and mental health.
To promote diversity, we conducted manager training for all section managers and provided an opportunity to consider the work environment and possible improvement. Discussions were held around expected behavior as managers, understanding diversified human resources, the importance of personnel evaluation, and personal growth and organizational development.
ITOCHU ENEX employs and supports people with disabilities in a variety of ways while meeting the statutory-required employment rates.
Since May 1, 2019, we have engaged with IBUKI, an indoor farm operated by Start Line Co., Ltd. that employs people with disabilities in Toda, Saitama Prefecture. Currently, six employees with disabilities are active at the facility.
Aside from sponsoring the Artbility project, which is operated by the social welfare corporation Tokyo Colony, we issue an original calendar annually featuring artwork registered by Artbility as well as wrapping paper to support the self-reliance of people with disabilities.
Swan Bakery was established by the Yamato Welfare Foundation to support self-reliance and social involvement of people with disabilities. Swan Bakery sells its products every month at our head office, and our Group staff enjoys freshly baked, delicious bread.
Here are some words from our staff who are active in various fields.They showed willingness and motivation to work.
Seconded to PT.ITC ENEX INDONESIA
After joining the company, I was in charge of the LP gas business in Japan until April 2019, when I started sales and marketing of industrial gases in the Indonesian market mainly to Japanese manufacturers with business in the country. When I first set out to work, I was anxious about my expatriation abroad and the different cultures. However, because Indonesian people are generally calm with a spirit of mutual assistance, I was able to quickly adapt to the new environment, although I’m still not used to the world-famous traffic jams. In the future, I would like to continue working to meet the diverse needs of the growing Southeast Asian countries.
Car-Life Division Kansai Branch
I joined ITOCHU ENEX as my fourth company. I was glad to be able express my opinions freely and because those opinions were actually reflected in my work, my sense of involvement improved. When I worked in Hokkaido, the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake occurred and the entire Hokkaido area experienced a blackout. During this emergency period, our affiliated vendors were able to deliver fuel in the area without running out of stock. I was glad when I received appreciation from the vendors. Although there are usually tough negotiations between us, those words made me happy as a salesperson and I felt that they strengthened our business relationship.
Risk Management & Compliance Promotion Office
Since joining ITOCHU ENEX, I have experienced a wide range of assignments at the Home-Life Division, including retail, corporate sales, purchasing, and logistics while relocating around the country. I think it is a great aspect of our company that we can see the industry from different perspectives by having various roles. On top of this, I have become acquainted with hundreds of people from our group companies as well as a number of customers. Through that I feel like I am gaining true value not only in my career but also as a person.
Kyusyu Branch South Kyushu Sales Office
South Kyushu Sales Section
After joining the company, I worked for the Home-Life Division and was engaged in the living environment business for four years. Then I moved to the Car-Life Division. Experiencing different businesses and work in Tokyo, Miyagi and Kagoshima Prefectures, I came to realize that understanding customers’ thoughts, feelings and their true needs is the critical essence of business and adapting myself to each customer is the key to success. As a salesperson, however, I experienced difficult times when I was involved in an uncertain job or when new products were released and I needed to start from zero. Now I believe that my strength is the ability to care for others.
Industrial Business Division
Mobility Business Department
East Japan Mobility Sales Section
I was involved in solar power development and purchasing until last year. This year I switched to corporate sales of gasoline refueling cards. Due to these changes in products and functions, I had to adapt my style. In my previous role in the power business, I frequently consulted with my boss as the power plant business required large capital; however, in my current business, I decide many things on my own and this sometimes makes me uneasy. I believe that my experience is unique to our company thanks to its diversified portfolio. My experience and interactions with people have generated synergies around different departments within our company.
Industrial Business Division
Planning & Administration Department
Sales Support Section
I started working with ITOCHU ENEX as a temporary staff when I had no clerical experience. At first, I was expected to process given jobs accurately and timely while properly understanding the situation. Later, with the accumulation of my experience, plus an added role to training newly hired staff, my involvement in the business has deepened, and I started to think that I wanted to contribute more to strengthening our supporting system. As a result, I decided to take a career change exam and successfully passed to become an official employee of ITOCHU ENEX. Now, as part of the company, I try to enjoy working even when I struggle. I will actively be involved in every aspect of the business to become an asset to the company and be able to further develop my career.
Corporate Administration Division
Human Resources & General Affairs Department
Human Resources & General Affairs Strategy Office
My wife is a foreigner and she believes that it is fair for men and women to raise a child together. I naturally started to cooperate with her in raising our child. Taking advantage of company’s rule, I took childcare leave for three months, then I resumed working with shorter hours. Thanks to this childcare experience, I have become capable of doing everything needed in our child-centered life. Also, this experience made me re-define my role as a father. Today, because we cannot easily ask for our parents’ help, we try to avoid business trips and long distant sales to care for our child’s sudden fever or illness. My wife and I both value not only pursuing career development but balancing work and life.
Planning & Administration Department
I chose to work shorter hours because I wanted to work according to my own style and contribute in society while raising a child. When I returned to work, it was sometimes difficult to balance between childcare and work. I might have bothered people around me at that time. After a while, however, it became easier. My co-workers always encouraged me to leave the office at 4:00 p.m., saying that they would finish the rest. I always appreciate their kindness and, in return, I am always trying to maximize my performance within the limited time frame.
Legal & Credit Control Department
Legal & Credit Control Section
I once resigned from the company as my husband was transferred abroad, but I re-joined by taking advantage of the company’s re-employment system. I decided to return to ITOCHU ENEX, because there was an environment where junior staff could experience a wide range of business, and I thought I wanted to enhance my career in this environment. Another reason I decided to rejoin the company was that when I resigned, my boss and colleagues said that they looked forward to me returning in the future. After a two-year interval, I restarted work without any difficulties and, today, I work here happily and healthy motivation.
Industrial Business Division
AdBlue & Demand-Supply Department
International Supply Section
In order to promote a healthy life and to facilitate interactions within the organization, I play a role in assisting the running club activities. I used the company’s sports activity support system and I have been expanding my network. While the number of people who associate through the ordinary scope of business is limited, we can interact with many other people across departments and group companies through the club activities. Doing a common sport and sharing time together, we have opportunities to hear interesting stories that are not usually heard in the normal course of business and I believe this is important in understanding the reality of the business as well as the organization and people.
In the 2018 fiscal year, we started to send our staff to global positions to strengthen our human resources. They are expected to become capable in all aspects of foreign business management, including business development, corporate administration, and local management. With this practical approach, we aim to achieve the advancement of diversification within our group companies.
Seconded to Itochu Petroleum Co., (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
I am currently seconded to Itochu Petroleum Co., (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., which is engaged in trading crude oil, petroleum products and LPG. I am engaged in finance and accounting. Since the trading business involves large amounts of money, my team members and I carefully monitor the financials and manage cash flows by working closely with the CFO and local staff. This is my first experience working abroad and I sometimes encounter difficulties in understanding not only the language but the local culture, the laws/regulations and the accounting standards. Nevertheless, I continue to contribute to the team. In the long term, I hope to be able to capitalize on this unique experience, being in the commercial flows of crude oil and petroleum products trading, to explore overseas business opportunities for the growth of ITOCHU ENEX.
Seconded to Isla Petroleum & Gas Corporation
In the Philippines, everyone seems to be well organized, securing private time while placing value on work-life balance. They think diligently and strive to meet goals because the achievement is everything to them. I was impressed by such a different ideal compared to Japan and had the opportunity to review my workstyle. In the future, I would like to be an overseas human resource who can contribute in various countries. To that end, English is just one of the tools, and I want to focus gaining knowledge and improving my critical thinking skills.
Seconded to Vehicles Middle East FZE
I was seconded to a subsidiary of the ITOCHU Group in UAE. Because more than 90% of its population is foreigners, the culture is unique to this country. As the UAE or the Middle East in a broader sense consists of a variety of ethnic groups, people who work here are also diverse with nationalities such as German, Indian and Syrian. Through my work, I come to realize that there are so many differences in the ways of thinking and working between Japanese people and foreigners that I sometimes feel difficulties when communicating. To be more effective in conducting my role, I am determined to continue improving my communication skills.