In 2002, Chugai Pharmaceutical launched a strategic alliance with Roche. Under our business philosophy of “innovation for all patients,” we specialize in prescription pharmaceuticals with the goal of continuing to provide innovative products and services, and our focus is on discovering groundbreaking new drugs. Looking back, diversity and inclusion (D&I) have been fundamental to the success of this strategic alliance. Despite our different backgrounds, Chugai and Roche have much in common, sharing a philosophy of driving change on behalf of patients around the world, a strong commitment to innovation and a culture that emphasizes mutual respect. As we have learned more about our respective approaches through ongoing, frank dialogue, we have gone beyond being merely business partners, building a solid trust relationship and creating synergies between us. I am confident that this has brought significant improvements in our organizational and human resource capabilities, and dramatic growth in business performance.
Starting in 2019, we have formulated a new mid-term business plan, “IBI 21” (Innovation Beyond Imagination), with a vision of becoming a top innovator in the healthcare industry by realizing advanced and sustainable patient-centric healthcare. In doing so, our basic policy is to strive for the mutual development of Chugai and society.
That said, conditions surrounding the pharmaceutical industry continue to change dynamically and at an unprecedented speed. With advances in disruptive technologies such as AI, IoT and nanotechnology, we are also facing a turning point, what might be called a fourth industrial revolution. To continue creating value in the midst of these enormous changes to the structure of our industry, we must maximize our strengths while driving continuous innovation through new, out-of-the-box perspectives and ideas. We are gradually seeing an expanding diversity among our personnel, with women, foreign employees and mid-career hire playing a greater role. Still, to generate innovation, we will need to take greater advantage of diverse capabilities and ways of thinking. I believe that promoting D&I can serve as a major driver of success in this area. This is why Chugai has positioned D&I as a priority issue for management, and why we promote D&I so aggressively.
Our efforts to promote D&I began in 2010, with the launch of our gender diversity working team. Later, with the shared understanding that diverse values and areas of specialty can generate innovation, we expanded those efforts to encompass seniors and multinational employees, working to put in place an environment in which a diverse workforce can play an active role. In gender diversity, we envisioned a future in which more women are in a leadership position, and in which both men and women have a role in decision making. We are promoting those efforts based on performance indicators intended to encourage the active participation of women. One such index established for 2018 was to bring the ratio of women in management positions to at least 13%. As a result of a focus on measures aimed at career formation and development for women, we achieved that target, with the ratio of women in management positions reaching 13.3% as of December 31, 2018. Going forward, we have set a new target of at least 16% by the end of 2021, and are working to further promote this goal. We are also promoting efforts to put in place a working environment that enables all employees to benefit from a work-life synergy that accommodates a variety of life events, including childbirth, childcare and care for elderly family members.
In responding to an increasingly uncertain and difficult business environment while establishing an organizational culture that continues to generate innovation, it is important that we go beyond simply understanding diversity; inclusion must be a part of that effort. Our goal is to encourage innovation by cultivating an inclusive organizational culture, one in which there is respect for different ideas and ways of thinking, and in which a diverse workforce can play an active role in pursuing innovation. This is why we are stepping up our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, continuing to offer new value as a top innovator in the healthcare industry, and striving for the mutual development of Chugai and society.