The breadth of our business supports our growth. Careers as female managers expand in the value-up area

Mai Sakai is in charge of production management as a director. After gaining experience in a variety of fields including commercial facilities, hotels, and events, I am currently working primarily in the area of increasing the value of office buildings. In addition to being involved in management as a section manager, Sakai has also participated in recruitment activities and human resource development projects, so what is her goal as a director and as a female manager?


Engaged in value enhancement to maximize the value of office buildings

The 2nd Product Direction Department of the 5th Division of the Sales Promotion Headquarters, to which Sakai belongs, primarily deals with the workplace and building value enhancement markets. We have particularly excelled in increasing the value of office buildings.

Sakai: ``Increasing the value of a building means adding value to the building again by renewing common areas such as the entrance.As the market is expected to continue to grow in the future, our company is considering this as an area. I'm focusing on it.

My role is to work with sales to develop new customers and projects. In addition, since value-up construction often involves work while the building is in operation, one of the important tasks is to discuss with the customer to finalize the construction conditions and formulate a construction plan."

Sakai will be participating in the project as production manager. He says that because he is responsible for increasing value, there are certain things he keeps in mind.

Sakai: ``Many of our customers are building owners and management companies.We are taking great care to ensure safe and smooth construction so as not to cause any inconvenience to our tenants.

In recent years, there has also been an increasing need for eco-materials, materials that combine excellent functionality with environmental performance. Since 'environment' is also a keyword in NOMURA 's social good activities, we actively try to propose such materials to increase the value of buildings."

Sakai will be appointed to the department in 2022. As of December 2023, I am managing 6 members as a section manager.

Sakai: ``My main duties as a section manager include assigning projects to members, managing progress, and following up with members.I hold progress confirmation meetings once a week for each project to listen to any problems and give advice. During the initial phase, I may participate in meetings with the customer to show them the path of the project, and I may also be on-site at important times such as mid-term inspections.

There are also projects that I am in charge of promoting, so I act like a playing manager."

On the other hand, Sakai has also been involved in work outside of his department.

Sakai: “I have been in charge of interviewing new graduates for director positions for a while now. I am also a member of the production management human resources development project, and I am involved in considering training methods and thinking about placing the right people in the right jobs. I also participate in activities etc.


He joined NOMURA in search of a place where he could gain diverse experiences. Serving as the driving force behind a project was a turning point for him.

▲ Meeting with team members

Sakai majored in architecture and studied urban planning in graduate school. As part of a laboratory project, I was involved in renovating an old folk house in a certain village, which led me to pursue a career in production management.

Sakai: "When renovating the old house, I was in charge of arranging for craftsmen, coordinating schedules, and managing the finances. I really enjoyed communicating with the villagers and the craftsmen, and I began to think that I was better suited to a job that promoted projects rather than concept design or planning.

Not everyone in the village welcomed us, the students, who suddenly invaded their living space. I found the process of building good relationships with everyone through repeated dialogue through various events very rewarding."

Sakai narrowed his job search down to the display industry, and ultimately chose NOMURA, Ltd. The deciding factor was that the company was involved in a wide range of markets.

Sakai: "I had always wanted to work in production management, so I could have gone on to work for a general contractor, but my interest in interiors grew while I was working on renovating old houses, and I wanted to be involved in spaces that have a big impact on people. NOMURA is the largest company in the industry. I was attracted by the opportunity to experience a variety of different jobs, so I decided to join the company."

Since joining the company, Sakai has been involved in a wide variety of projects in a wide range of markets, just as he had hoped, including commercial facilities such as apparel and restaurants, hotels, events and displays, etc. There was one project where he felt a definite response as a production manager.

Sakai: “Five or six years after joining the company, I was assigned to a project to renovate Honda Innovation Lab Tokyo Roppongi, which aims to be a place for co-creation to collaborate with business partners and research institutions. I was involved in the promotion of the project, working closely with the public.

We participated in the project from the early stages of planning, and were involved in every process from an overall perspective, not only managing construction but also communicating with designers and cooperating companies.

I really enjoyed the process of getting the customer's consent here, doing this next, and making course corrections if things didn't go well, assembling each piece one by one and moving forward with the project. It was a workplace where I was able to demonstrate my aptitude and at the same time experience great growth."

After the success of this project, Sakai started leading the team in a similar position while working on multiple projects. While making use of its unique characteristics, it gradually began to make its presence felt.


Promoted to section manager in 9th year. I found a new sense of fulfillment after becoming a manager.

In 2021, Sakai was promoted to section manager. I look back on my feelings at that time.

Sakai: ` `I was approached for a promotion at a time when I was getting used to my job and was looking for a new stimulus.I had never imagined that I would become a section manager, but I was given a new role and it was a completely different experience than before. I felt it was a good opportunity to try something different, so I decided to take it.”

Sakai became a manager and was in a position to manage his subordinates. Find new meaning in your work.

Sakai: ``I made a conscious effort to actively communicate with the members, such as by making small talk.This is because I believed that in order to bring out their true feelings, it was necessary to create an atmosphere that was conducive to conversation.

I asked them to talk to me about how to behave in the workplace, any problems they had, things they were not good at, etc., and I carefully gave them advice one by one in my own way. After that, the members who listened to his advice gradually became able to do things they had previously been unable to do.

I remember seeing them achieve something and grow, and I felt a joy I had never experienced before."

As a manager, Sakai has always valued respecting the will of the members. He says he has given the utmost consideration to what each person wants to do.

Sakai: ``This is what I'm looking forward to with this project.'' ``If I can grow in this way this time, maybe I can try something like this next time?'' in anticipation of growth that suits the career goals of the members. I have been trying to allocate work while doing so.I also make it a point to explain the details of the project in detail so that they can work on it with a sense of satisfaction.

A while ago, I approached one of our members about a job that seemed a little difficult, and he was very enthusiastic and enjoyed working on it. As a result, the project was a success, and the evaluation of its members increased significantly. If you ask me if I'm able to assign everything the way I want, it's definitely not the case, but little by little I'm starting to feel a response."

Meanwhile, Sakai has actively participated in internal human resource development projects.

Sakai: “For example, around 2020, we started a group to think about PD (Product Director) in 2025.We thought about what production management should look like in the future, and how to develop young human resources in order to do so. It was a great opportunity for us to discuss things.Now, I find it very rewarding to develop young people in this way."


The experience and connections that can only be achieved at NOMURA Eventually, she will become a role model for female production managers.

While the number of women working at NOMURA is steadily increasing, the number of female managers in charge of production management is still low. In this situation, Sakai is eager to become a role model and promote the active participation of women.

Sakai: ``Managers don't often go to the site because there is a person in charge of the site, but if there is an accident, of course they have to rush to the site immediately.At times like that, if there are small children, it's not possible to rush to the site. It won't be long...Construction doesn't necessarily have to be done during the day, so it's even more so at night...

It's easy to think like that, but men can't let go of raising children, either. Of course, this is not just a production management issue. Now that the way we think about work styles has changed dramatically, we are all able to follow each other, and it is now much easier to be flexible than before.

I'm still searching for my future career path and haven't found an answer yet, but I want to take the lead and set an example so that more women want to become managers. ”

The reason we have been able to grow to this extent based on our experience in various markets is because NOMURA handles a wide range of business areas. While touching on the appeal of working at the company, Sakai calls out to his future colleagues as follows:

Sakai: “You might think that if you change the market area you are in charge of, you will have to learn all over again or accumulate knowledge again, but that is not the case. I felt like I was learning a chain of events, such as being useful in other markets, and I was always able to feel that I was growing.

Another benefit is that as you change market areas, such as sales or design, the people you work with also change, which broadens your network within the company. There are many diverse members with skills and ways of thinking that you don't have, and every time you change teams, the relationships that start with "nice to meet you" eventually strengthen the bonds and grow into a great team - this is a unique pleasure of working at NOMURA. I'm looking forward to meeting women who aspire to become production managers."

Sakai has steadily grown while taking advantage of the growth opportunities that are unique to NOMURA Her career, full of possibilities and inspiration as a production manager and female manager, continues to shed a ray of hope on the next generation of leaders.

*The contents are as of December 2023.


Mai Sakai

She majored in urban planning at graduate school and joined NOMURA, Ltd. in 2013. As a director, she has been involved in production management in a variety of fields, including commercial facilities, hotels, events and displays, and building value improvement. She was promoted to section manager in 2021. She is currently active as a management player, working hard every day as a female manager.

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