In October, SThree Japan partnered with Kidsdoor, a non-profit organisation that aims to solve social issues surrounding children especially on child poverty, for a volunteering opportunity. As an organisation that commits to ESG (environmental, social and governance), more than 10 employees from our Tokyo office participated in this virtual session, where we all shared our career snapshots including our background, what we do, what made us choose our current job, and any advice we can share with the Japanese youth who may be watching or listening. Our career snapshots were also recorded so that they can be referred to at anytime.
Child poverty in Japan
Unfortunately, child poverty rates in Japan are one of the highest among the OECD countries at 13.5%. This is especially prominent amongst single parent families where more than 50% of these families live below the amount needed to meet their basic needs.
Poverty affects their day-to-day life, but it also casts a shadow on their future as their educational opportunities are often limited. Based on the survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan (MEXT), child poverty and academic ability shows a strong correlation.
In Japan where educational background matters a lot especially when choosing a job, this means children or youth in welfare systems often struggle to build successful careers as they either lack a proper role model or lack the opportunities to pursue an education which often resulted from limited information made available to them on their possible future opportunities.
Why SThree Japan chose Kidsdoor as a volunteering partner
Kidsdoor addressed these real-time issues by providing children on welfare or those from single-parent families free education from primary school to secondary school, as well as providing food for children who cannot afford to purchase food with their own money.
At SThree Japan, we are aligned with the work that Kidsdoor are doing. One of our key focus areas within ESG is providing career support. As specialist recrutiers within STEM, we are able to leverage on our experience, knowledge and expertise to transfer these information to the youths in Japan. This comes after learning from many similar and successful initiatives that were done globally at SThree. The most recent one included a partnership with Generating Genius to fund five university scholarship students in the UK who are studying in STEM-related fields.
Additionally, we are confident that SThree Japan can add value to the Japanese youth by sharing our own stories. Our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds from their nationalities, ethnicity, educational backgrounds and even career opportunities. We are also grateful that our truly diverse and inclusive workplace have allowed us to value everyone by their passion, performance and individuality instead of educational background. As such, we were able to use our experience and learnings to share about building a successful career regardless of your background.
We hope this has inspired the youths within the Japanese welfare system who previously thought that building a successful career is impossible without graduating from a good school.
One of the participants, shares "I appreciate everyone for listening to my story. I hope it could help inspire you in some way to achieve your dreams". Another participant Sawa Hiromoto describes her experience as “Talking about my careers and what I value in my life gave me a chance to think about what achievements I want to make in the future. It was a wonderful opportunity to share insights and experiences through intergenerational exchange”.
What is ESG? And why is ESG important?
ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance and these are criteria for assessing and evaluating a company’s collective conscientiousness for social and environmental factors. Even though these are non-financial factors, they are becoming critical for investors in analysing sustainability and growth opportunities of a company. Beyond that, investing in and actively involving in ESG related activities are also important to become a more socially responsible employer, and is key in building a more inclusive workplace.
SThree’s commitment to ESG and partnership with Goodera
This volunteering session was a big milestone for us as it was one of the first attempts since we started our partnership with Goodera, the global leader in Volunteering, Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG that provides engaging and impactful volunteering opportunities for employees of the partner companies. It wasn’t just the youths who were hopefully impacted. Our volunteers from the Japan team have also been positively influenced.
We appreciate the support we get from Goodera to achieve our ESG goal of positively impacting 150,000 lives by 2024 through bringing people together to build a sustainable future.
If you are interested in an inclusive workplace where you can make a tangible impact, please contact us at [email protected]. We are also open for more local volunteering opportunities or partnerships in Japan, so feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] if your organisation is in need of bilingual career support.