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Name of Organization/Company: Rakuten Americas, San Mateo, CA USA
Category: Employer of the Year - Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations

Entry Title: Rakuten Americas


In Japanese, Rakuten stands for ‘optimism.’ It means we believe in the future. It’s an understanding that, with the right mind-set, we can make the future better by what we do today. So, we challenge ourselves to evolve, innovate and experiment, to create a better, happier future for everyone. Today, our 70+ businesses span e-commerce, digital content, communications and fintech, bringing the joy of discovery to more than 1 billion members across the world.

Headquartered in San Mateo, California with more than 3,000 employees worldwide, the Rakuten Americas business portfolio includes market leaders in e-commerce, digital marketing, advertising, business intelligence, logistics, communications, and entertainment. We create products and services that provide exceptional value them by aligning members and the businesses that wish to engage them in a shared community.

In January, Rakuten Americas launched One Rakuten Culture – cultivated programming for employee unity and equity across all of Rakuten Americas focusing on three key areas: well-being, diversity & inclusion, and Rakuten Cares (CSR).

In March, Rakuten Americas launched an Employee Well-being Committee to establish and promote our wellness initiatives, including:

-Care@Work – providing 20 days of back-up child, adult and pet care and other assistance with managing life’s unplanned events.
-Thrive Global offering – providing access to the Thrive app and learning platform for a wealth of resources for taking charge of their mental well-being.
-Well-being@Rakuten – a virtual library of health and well-being content and information on offerings, resources and tips.
-Rakuten Americas takes tangible actions to promote diversity and equity internally through company practices such as:
-Improving recruiting processes and sources for Black, LatinX and female candidates.
-Creating greater transparency in promotion process.
-Setting actionable goals toward building an inclusive culture.
-Expanding employee resource groups and establishing a mentorship program.

-Commitments toward tracking diversity of its suppliers, merchants and partners.
-Leveraging non-profit partnerships to build community connections.

Rakuten launched an annual roadmap of D&I celebrations, activities, education campaigns and more, and has launched employee resource groups to advance support for minority groups, including Pride+, Black Employee Alliance, and Women@Rakuten.

Rakuten launched the Rakuten Cares Community Page, its first-ever CSR platform across Rakuten Americas for donating and volunteering.

In December 2020, they launched the first-ever matching program for Giving Tuesday on with $41,374 donated to over 213 charities.

One Rakuten Culture was not only built for Rakuten employees, but the areas of focus were chosen by Rakuten employees. By providing employees with the power to tell executive leadership what is most important to them, the company has been able to develop programs and initiatives that actually make a difference.

What makes Rakuten’s commitment to its employees truly unique is the ways in which the company engrains employee engagement throughout everything that it does. For example, the company leveraged its relationship with the Golden State Warriors to allow employee volunteers to help distribute gifts and food boxes to more than 1,000 local families in the Oakland, CA area with Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation.

Understanding that we live in a volatile world, and that employee priorities and passions will undoubtedly change, Rakuten understands the importance of building employee programs that reflect their needs in that moment. Especially with a culture that is as diverse as Rakuten’s, making sure that everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone feels seen and equally represented is the company’s top priority.

Like every company, Rakuten Americas is surveying its employees to see how and when they would be comfortable returning to the office—if at all. But that’s not what makes Rakuten a great employer. A great employer doesn’t hang its hat only on how it helps employees work comfortably. It needs to prioritize helping employees live comfortably and support them outside the confines of the office. That’s what Rakuten does best.

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