Rakuten has proudly built a history of showing up for the LGBTQ+ community every Pride month for the past few years, and this year was no different. Diversity and inclusion has always been at the heart of the Rakuten Group ethics, with the company empowering Diversity & Inclusion champions to foster a culture of belonging within the company and to continue to build an inclusive brand that empowers communities all around.
Walking the streets of Tokyo with Pride
In the spirit of embracing diversity and showing support towards the LGBTQ+ community, Rakuten made its presence known at this year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade, which was held earlier in April. Clad in matching Rakuten Pride logo t-shirts, members of Rakuten’s LGBT+ Network* and allies were present to show their support for the community ahead of International Pride Month, marching the streets of Tokyo and showing off their encouragement while proudly representing Rakuten at the parade. This was also the first time since the pandemic that Rakuten was able to march the Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade and with approximately a hundred Tokyo-based Rakuten employees participating, it marked for a bright and unifying event.
At the event space in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park, Rakuten’s LGBT+ Network and employee volunteers also curated initiatives specifically for Tokyo Rainbow Pride to call the attention of festival attendees and contribute to creating a welcoming atmosphere for the festival. Similar to last year, Rakuten hosted a branded photo booth that invited event-goers to participate to take photos and show their pride, whether as members of the LGBTQ+ community or as allies. Rakuten also displayed informative cards to help inform event goers about the several ways in which Rakuten’s services built their businesses to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community in Japan. The team on the ground also held a survey for Rakuten Beauty, Rakuten’s online salon reservation service in Japan, as a first step in hearing the voices and understanding the needs of the community when it comes to the accessibility of salon related services in Japan.
“Rakuten understands the importance of diversity and inclusion, and that’s why we have been continuously putting in the effort to empower society by diversifying the organization and building one team”Masatada “Seichu” Kobayashi, Co-founder and Chief Well-being Officer, Rakuten Group
Rakuten Group’s Chief Wellbeing Officer Masatada “Seichu” Kobayashi joined this year’s festivities, marching the Pride parade front and center.
“Rakuten understands the importance of diversity and inclusion, and that’s why we have been continuously putting in the effort to empower society by diversifying the organization and building one team” shared Kobayashi during this year’s event – his second time participating in Tokyo Rainbow Pride following last year.
“Our company’s DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) concept promotes different initiatives such as supporting the LGBT+ network in the workplace and being present in events like Tokyo Rainbow Pride.”
Showing solidarity for Pride globally
Rakuten Group’s Japan-based employees are not the only ones who proudly celebrated Pride month. Back in October of 2022, Rakuten Taiwan participated in Taiwan’s own Pride parade, giving visibility to the LGBT+ community in Taiwan and shedding a spotlight to Rakuten and its ecosystem in Taiwan.
In Rakuten’s America offices, several internal events were held over the course of International Pride month. Panel discussions centering on the stories of transgender and non-binary panelists, talks on how to support queer youth and dialogue on the importance of allyship were just some of the topics that kept employees engaged in this year’s Pride month festivities.
Continuing the dialogue for change
While progress is being made in Japan and around the world to provide better visibility and wholeheartedly accept the LGBTQ+ community, continuous changes still need to be made to combat prejudice and create a more equal society – and Rakuten will remain dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and its allies both inside and outside the organization to help lead the charge for positive change.