SoftBank Corp.’s LGBTQ Inclusion Initatives Awarded Highest Rating for Fourth Year in a Row

SoftBank Corp.’s LGBTQ Inclusion Initatives Awarded Highest Rating for Fourth Year in a Row

A central tenet of SoftBank Corp.’s (TOKYO: 9434) human resource policy is “creating a strong organization by combining the capabilities of diverse individuals.” With the belief that the promotion of diversity is key to company growth, SoftBank has strived to provide a working environment in which all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation, can feel proud of and rewarded by the work they do.

In Japan, where it is said that one in 11 people identify as LGBTQ, SoftBank has driven a number of initiatives to promote LGBTQ inclusion. It amended its internal company rules to recognize same-sex partners as spouses, set up an LGBTQ-related consultation desk and has been promoting LGBTQ awareness through e-learning and training programs. Furthermore, in 2020, SoftBank launched “Diversity Week,” which includes various events and seminars for employees, with one that was attended by more than 100 employees.

In recognition of SoftBank’s efforts, work with Pride (“wwP”), a Japan-based organization that promotes LGBTQ-friendly human resource practices, awarded SoftBank the gold award, the highest ranking, in its ‘PRIDE Index 2020.’ SoftBank has now received the gold award for four consecutive years starting in 2017.

The PRIDE Index is an evaluation method that was drawn up by wwP in 2016 to measure work environments on their LGBTQ-friendliness and spread LGBTQ awareness. Companies are evaluated according to the five categories below.

  • Policy
  • Representation
  • Inspiration
  • Development
  • Engagement/Empowerment


Companies and organizations that receive the PRIDE Index gold rating are able to display the gold award mark pictured above on their websites and brochures.

Kim Yongae, who supervises diversity promotion at SoftBank’s HR division, commented, “We’re very pleased to receive the gold award again. Under the company slogan ‘a world where all things, information and minds are connected,’ all employees are striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across all businesses with a global viewpoint. At HR, we’re also working to contribute to the SDGs by strengthening diversity programs, raising awareness and providing a work environment where all employees can demonstrate their individuality.”

SDGs materiality: Developing a resilient management foundation

SDGs materiality: Developing a resilient management foundation

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted by the United Nations are a global initiative which establishes 17 goals to be achieved on a global scale. SoftBank has selected six materiality themes as key initiatives to be achieved by 2030. “Developing a resilient management foundation” is one of those themes, and building an advanced workplace where a diverse workforce can thrive is key to achieving it. SoftBank will work to foster innovation and increase employee wellbeing.

(Original article posted on November 17, 2020)
by SoftBank News Editors