Human resource management that promotes diversity of gender, nationality and age will help Chugai become a top Japanese pharmaceutical company.
Chugai has placed priority on diversity management to enable a rich variety of employees to work enthusiastically and create new value. Our first step was to launch a management working team in 2010 to promote gender diversity. In January 2012, we established the Diversity Office to strengthen these efforts and implement them more broadly. This office focuses on fostering awareness and improving systems and environments. Forums have been held in every division to give women the opportunity to think about their careers and ways of working. Talks by employees with different experiences, lunchtime gatherings and other such activities have also been held. Initiatives implemented to balance life events and work include a telecommuting system, lending of Company PCs to employees on childcare or nursing care leave so they stay current with developments at the Company and thereby smooth their return to the workplace, and partially paid childcare leave to encourage male employees to take paternity leave. We are also making efforts in areas other than personnel systems, including an e-learning program to deepen understanding of diversity in general, and manager training for overseeing diverse employees. Our objective is to make a workplace environment in which all employees can play important roles. Going forward, we will carry out activities to address nationality and age in addition to gender in order to promote the success of non-Japanese employees with diverse values and senior employees with a wealth of useful experience.
Diversity Promotion Roadmap
Gender diversity activities are primarily conducted by designated members of each division. As a result, activities have been flexible, taking into account the issues and conditions of each division. I feel that interest in employee diversity has also been steadily rising. To ensure the promotion of diversity, I believe we need to encourage greater participation by all employees.
Since various people with different views and work constraints carry out their tasks together, adjustments and decisions will probably take extra time. However, I think it could also be a good opportunity for organizational growth, as people are inspired by other departments’ solutions. Looking at diversity from a broader perspective, we will not only develop ourselves, but also strive to bolster the activities of a diverse range of employees so that autonomous, highly productive talent and the organization can make innovations that contribute to the Company’s performance.
Human Resources Management Department
Key Activities in 2012
Women’s Forum and Lunchtime Gatherings
As of June 2012, all divisions have held a Women’s Forum for giving female employees the opportunity to think about their careers and ways of working. The forum was the first step toward changing the mindset and culture of the Company. Among the comments heard were “This was a good opportunity to think about how I work” and “It was helpful to exchange views with people who are having problems.”
The Women’s Forum has evolved into other forms of activity in divisions and at facilities, such as working groups and lunchtime gatherings. Participation of male employees has also increased, making these meetings an opportunity to gain more recognition.
Interaction with Overseas Employees at the “Roundtable Conference on Diversity Management”
In July 2012, Chugai started promoting diversity of nationality with the “Roundtable Conference on Diversity Management.” Taking advantage of the opportunity provided by Chugai’s employee exchange program with overseas marketing subsidiaries, 12 employees from the U.K., Germany, France, China and Japan participated in the conference, sharing and discussing the cultural aspects and diversity initiatives of each country. The event was a meaningful reminder of the importance of communication and trust in intercultural exchanges.
I felt very privileged to participate in the Roundtable Conference on Diversity Management. As part of the open discussion, we looked at approaches to transcultural management. We reached certain conclusions: to understand diversity you need to consider different backgrounds, nationalities, culture and gender. It’s not enough to scratch the surface; you need to dig deeper and “more than” understand the differences. In fact, we should look for and understand similarities, recognize competing views and perspectives, and then it’s easier to understand each other as individuals. Communication is thus based on “mutual trust and respect,” which is a vital ingredient in promoting diversity. We felt it essential to actively listen to understand others and encourage others to understand, ensuring clarity in our communication. This will achieve successful international business.
Chugai Pharma U.K. Ltd.
What impressed me was that the approach to diversity was different in each country. For example, when an employee goes on educational leave in Japan, people assume that another regular employee usually fills in, but in Europe it’s more common for a temporary worker to be brought in to provide support. I believe diverse employment arrangements are a prerequisite for gender diversity. Being aware of these differences in assumptions can give people the perspective to come up with the best approach in their own country. This opportunity to interact with overseas employees was very stimulating because I was able to experience the process of getting new ideas by recognizing differences. I expect Chugai to make progress on diversity, including nationality, as a global company.
Business Operations Group,
Overseas Business Department