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Male Maternity Leave Forum 2022″ hosted by Sekisui House
~A society where men can take childcare leave as a matter of course

September 19″ is a day to think about maternity leave.

 Sekisui House, Ltd. has been promoting male employees to fully take at least one month of childcare leave since 2018, and has continued to achieve a 100% rate of male employees taking childcare leave since 2019. Furthermore, in the hope of making male employees’ taking of childcare leave an opportunity to create a better society, we have established September 19 as “Day to Think about Childcare Leave” as a day of commemoration and have held a forum since 2019.
 In this issue, we report on the “Male Maternity Leave Forum 2022” held on September 14.


More Male Childcare Leave in Japan

 Yoshihiro Nakai, president of Sekisui House, which hosted the “Male Childcare Leave Forum 2022,” said, “This year will be a milestone year for the spread of male childcare leave in Japan,” and announced the development of a project to support a society where men can also take childcare leave, together with 81 companies and organizations that support the promotion of male childcare leave. In addition, a web video “What do you think about male parental leave? was also released on the web. This video was produced based on the real voices of various people involved in childcare leave, including those who have taken or attempted to take childcare leave, and conveys the message of “more male childcare leave in Japan.

Web video “Male Maternity Leave, What Do You Think?”

Male employees taking maternity leave is on the rise. 1 in 4 men in their 20s are taking maternity leave.

 At the forum, Sekisui House also presented its “White Paper on Male Maternity Leave 2022,” a survey of 9,400 men across Japan.
 The survey found that overall, 17.2% of men took maternity leave, up 5 percentage points from the previous year; among those in their 20s, one in four took leave.



Positive impact of maternity leave on work

 The survey also found that about 80% of men who took maternity leave felt a positive impact on their work.


Management also worries about promoting maternity leave

 On the other hand, the survey also revealed that although 80% of management is in favor of male employees taking maternity leave, they are concerned about promoting male employees to take maternity leave due to the size of the company and the burden on employees other than those taking leave.




The key to promoting maternity leave is changing the mindset of management

 The panel discussion, moderated by journalist and associate professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s School of Liberal Arts Research and Education, was titled “What Companies and Organizations Can Do to Promote Male Maternity Leave,” and participants exchanged opinions on issues and solutions for promoting male maternity leave.


◆Speakers (from left to right)
-Renge Harube, Journalist/Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Liberal Arts Research and Education (moderator)
-Hiroko Kawamoto, President, National Personnel Authority
-Takenori Wada, Director, Teamwork Research Institute, Cybozu, Inc.
-Atsuyoshi Taxho, Founder, NPO e-Education / Zero Carbon Promoter, Obuse Town
-Yoshihiro Nakai, President and CEO, Sekisui House, Ltd.
-Miwa Yamada, Executive Officer, General Manager of Diversity Promotion Department, Sekisui House, Ltd.


 The discussion focused on the need to change the awareness and attitudes of management, citing the gap in perceptions of maternity leave between generations and gender roles as issues that need to be addressed in order for companies and organizations to promote male maternity leave.
 Specifically, it is important to use different approaches from the top (top-down), the bottom (bottom-up), and the side (horizontal development of role models) according to the corporate culture, business size, and type of managers, and to be flexible in responding to the easiest to change. The speakers introduced their efforts to find solutions and good examples from supporting companies.

 As an example of a top-down approach, Ms. Kawamoto of the National Personnel Authority said, “The current situation is that workplaces are not accustomed to men taking maternity leave. In addition to changing the awareness of the entire workplace, it is important to first identify employees who are eligible for the leave, have their supervisors create a plan for taking the leave, and ensure that business operations are being conducted under the responsibility of the supervisors. It is also important to reflect this in personnel evaluations,” he said, introducing efforts by national public servants to encourage employees to take maternity leave. Moderator Harube also commented, “Men tend to think of maternity leave as something special, but it is the same as when they take on a new job. It is important to have a system in place.
 Regarding the horizontal development of role models, Mr. Wada of Cybozu advised, “The key is to share a set of examples and voices of people in both positions, managers and parties involved.
 Ms. Taxho, who took maternity leave, commented, “My supervisor set up a meeting with me once a month and helped me to realize and discover things during my maternity leave for my own personal growth. One commented, “It would be nice if there was support for employees on maternity leave to help them grow as well.

Promoting maternity leave to keep employees happy

 In closing, Sekisui House President Nakai said, “Employees who take maternity leave become happy. They come back happier, in touch with their families and children, and cherish their friends. I think this is an issue before considering the merits and demerits of childcare leave, so there is no way not to do it. I think it would be a good idea to discuss within the company and create a good system without being uniform.



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