Fast Retailing, a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands including UNIQLO, has been recognized for its active employment and support of Person's With Disabilities (PWD), and presented with the Workforce Award at the 2013 Asia Pacific Disability Matters Awards, backed by Springboard Consulting.
Fast Retailing Chairman, President and CEO Tadashi Yanai said, "We are honored to receive this recognition. Working as a team and communicating with PWDs to support one another is essential for a global group like Fast Retailing, in ensuring that we effectively interact with the diverse range of people we come into contact with worldwide. We are committed to actively employing and working with PWDs, and to improving people's lives and giving back to society."
Fast Retailing set the goal of employing at least one PWD at each of its UNIQLO stores in Japan in 2001, and Springboard Consulting recognized Fast Retailing with the Disability Matters Workforce Award in consideration of this commitment to specific target figures.
As of June 1, 2013, PWDs represented 6.64% of the Fast Retailing workforce - well in excess of Japan's legal requirement of 2% for organizations with ten thousand or more employees. And from 2005 to 2012, Fast Retailing for eight years running ranked number one for the employment of PWDs in Japan. In 2012 alone, Fast Retailing hired 136 PWDs in Japan. This is testament to Fast Retailing's commitment to help eliminate discrimination in all of its forms.
Fast Retailing believes that employing PWDs helps to promote team work, and store managers work closely with staff to ensure that PWDs are able to contribute, each according to their strengths. The initiative is now expanding beyond UNIQLO Japan to encompass UNIQLO locations overseas, as well as other Fast Retailing group companies.
Springboard Consulting began assessing the employment of PWDs across the public and private sector and launched awards to recognize related accomplishments in North America in 2007.
Last year, this expanded to Europe, and 2013 marks the inaugural awards in Asia Pacific. Fast Retailing is the first Japan-headquartered organization to receive the acclamation, with awardees in other categories including AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd., Deutsche Bank Group, and Goldman Sachs.
Other awards for 2013 Asia Pacific Disability Matters encompassed the Workforce Award, recognizing employers that provide a positive working environment for PWDS, and the Marketplace Award, for employers that effectively market themselves to PWDs and those who support PWDs.
Fast Retailing Director of General Administration and Employee Satisfaction Toshiyuki Ueki attended the 2013 Asia Pacific Disability Matters Awards ceremony in Bangalore, India on September 18, to receive the award.