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Together with Our Employees

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Promotion System

The Hitachi Chemical Group has made promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I) one of its management strategies upon which to build a competitive edge. By establishing a department at Hitachi Chemical’s Headquarters to exclusively promote D&I, the Group is actively engaging in various policies from the viewpoints including management stance, environment, mindset and corporate system.

Under the heading “Ensuring Diversity,” the Corporate Governance Guidelines state that “Directors and Executive Officers shall respect the character and individuality of each employee, recognize that it is essential to generate innovation and provide solutions through corporate management where diverse human resources with various values and ideas can exercise their individualities and capabilities and play an active role in the company, regardless of nationality, gender, race, age, disability or sexual orientation, and promote measures on diversity.” Management plays specific roles in promoting D&I, including Executive Officers taking ownership of D&I projects and Outside Director George Olcott giving a lecture for employees on the importance of diversity in corporate governance.

In fiscal 2017, the president convened a gathering of male and female employees who had taken parental leave or spousal maternity leave. Ideas suggested during the event led to the holding of lunch meetings with senior employees and publication of the Handbook on Pregnancy, Maternity and Childcare. The D&I projects that have been implemented since 2014 under the ownership of Executive Officers have covered, in their scope, changing in awareness, supporting foreign national employees, and LGBT/elderly care/disability issues.

Hitachi Chemical provides employees with D&I training to foster awareness at the stages of on-boarding, becoming a newly appointed section manager, and taking on personnel management responsibilities. The Company also plans to accelerate awareness-raising by incorporating exercises to help employees become aware of unconscious bias.

The Group will continue to set up specific numerical goals pertaining to diversity promotion and announce them externally, so that each and every employee can attain a proper understanding of diversity promotion within the context of management strategy, and that they can reform their actions. The Group will continue to operate the plan–do–check–act (PDCA) cycle by measuring the effect of each program in a quantitative manner.

Building Pipelines and Empowering Women in Sogoshoku

The Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace took effect in April 2016. At the Hitachi Chemical Group, Hitachi Chemical, Hitachi Chemical Automotive Products, Hitachi Chemical Techno Service, and Hitachi Chemical Electronics have disclosed required information by preparing and submitting their action plans. In June 2017, Hitachi Chemical received two stars under the Eruboshi (L Star) certification system based on the Act.


Since fiscal 2016, Hitachi Chemical has set goals pertaining to: 1) the hiring ratio of newly graduated women in the engineering field, 2) the turnover rate of Sogoshoku (regular positions) male/female workers 3–7 years after entering the Company as a new graduate, 3) the proportion of female employees in managerial positions, and 4) the proportion of female assistant managers, etc. The Company has implemented various measures centering around the D&I promotion projects. To build pipelines for Sogoshoku female workers, each division has formulated a plan for developing female personnel and monitored its progress. All women with Sogoshoku (regular positions) in their third year with the company participate in career design training that serves as a place for female employees to evaluate their careers early on. For the development of future female leaders, the Company has dispatched female employees to J-Win (Japan Women’s Innovative Network), an NPO promoting corporate diversity & inclusion, since its creation in 2007. This has led to voluntary activities for D&I promotion being undertaken by participants. An increase from 18 to 32 in the number of women at assistant manager's position, including those working shorter hours, suggests that the foundation for pipeline creation is being built. Through these types of activities, the Group sees a solid change in female employees regarding career awareness. Compared with the results of the diversity awareness survey conducted in 2015, the number of Sogoshoku female workers aspiring to managerial positions increased by 0.5 points (on a 5-point scale; a change of 0.2 points or greater is considered a significant difference). And more and more women are maintaining communication with their workplaces even during maternity leave or parental leave, thereby minimizing their career interruption to ensure a smooth return to the workplace.

Meanwhile, Hitachi Chemical has continued to provide its D&I management program to train so-called “ikubosu,” meaning bosses who are able to communicate with, train, and manage subordinates from diverse backgrounds. In fiscal 2017, the Company held the program 10 times, including twice at regional sites, including those from Group companies in Japan. A total of more than 800 persons have now undertaken the training. The abovementioned D&I awareness survey reveals that the program is having positive impacts on the workplace environment. For instance, scores given by women improved by a significant amount (more than 0.2 points on a 5-point scale) for the questions “You have fair opportunities for growth regardless of personal attributes” and “Your boss is providing you with guidance and advice regarding your career.”

Hitachi Chemical was also acknowledged as having the highest share of international patent applications in which women are named as inventors among the top 100 Japanese companies for international patent applications (PCT applications) filed in 2017 (announced by the World Intellectual Property Organization in April 2018).

Along with promoting awareness among mangers and women, the Company is also providing a working environment that allows individual employees to autonomously choose flexible working styles, including introducing a flextime system without setting core time, a telecommuting system with no limit on reasons or days, and a flexible work hours system, and is making portable computers available to all employees. The Company will continue to make efforts to expand this system to the entire Hitachi Chemical Group.

Number of Female Managerial Positions
FY 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Managerial positions
(Manager or higher)
Number of female 13 14 22 25 csr_check25
Proportion of female (%) 1.9 2.0 2.7 3.1 csr_check3.1
Assistant manager
(Assistant managers)
Number of female 15 21 18 18 csr_check32
Proportion of female (%) 2.6 3.8 2.9 2.6 csr_check4.2

Note: Values for the Company alone.

Ratios of basic salary and total remuneration of female employees to those of male employees (in managerial positions only) (FY2017)
Basic salary ratio (female/male) Total remuneration ratio (female/male)
96.4% 95.7%

* Male and female employees are compensated equally and the differences are accounted for by age and rank distributions.

Hiring of Foreign Nationals

Hitachi Chemical hires and offers equal employment terms and conditions to all people of all nationalities.

The Company actively participates in career forums for foreign students held in Japan and overseas to obtain skilled human resources. Foreign nationals accounted for approximately 5% of the Company’s new recruits in fiscal 2017. To keep up with rapid globalization of the business environment, the Company will continue actively hiring a diverse range of talents.

In cases where foreign nationals need work permits or employment visas to work for the Company, the Company provides the necessary support with documentation, etc.

Additionally, the Hitachi Chemical Group is committed to employee development regardless of nationality, offering equal training opportunities and performance evaluations.

Promoting Employment of Disabled People

The Hitachi Chemical Group provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in society by expanding the range of occupations available to employees with disabilities and improving facilities for them.

In fiscal 2017, employees with disabilities accounted for 2.50% on a domestic consolidated basis (targeting 13 companies with over 50 employees) and 2.28% on a non-consolidated basis. Both of these ratios exceeded the Japanese legal requirement. We remain committed to help people with disabilities find employment at Group companies, and aim to enhance information sharing in this regard.

Employment Ratio of Disabled People (%)
FY 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Japan, consolidated 2.27 2.39 2.44 2.45 2.50
Non-consolidated 2.06 2.09 2.16 2.25 2.28

Promoting Wider Opportunities for Re-employed Workers

In 2001, Hitachi Chemical established a Senior Employment System designed to offer extended employment to those over 60 years of age. It provides opportunities to continue applying their substantial experience and skills after reaching retirement age, and addresses changing social conditions such as the falling birth rate, aging population, and raising the age for receiving pensions, giving people the option to continue working until they receive their pensions.

Under the system, a person is reemployed if he/she wishes at the mandatory retirement age of 60 and agrees to the conditions set out by the Company. Re-employed employees may continue working until the age of 65 in accordance with the Employment for Senior Citizens Law. As of the end of March 2018, 191 employees were employed under this system.

Initiative Toward Stabilizing the Workforce

At Hitachi Chemical, we provide fair and impartial personnel assessment, career development support, and various opportunities for dialogue with the aim of stabilizing our workforce.

Although the gap is closing, at Hitachi Chemical the turnover rate of women in Sogoshoku (regular positions) is still high when compared to men. The difference in turnover rates is attributed to such factors as the lack of role models due to a small number of women in management positions, the lack of communication with their superiors, and the insufficient educational opportunities needed for career advancement of women in Sogoshoku, although numerical results of the awareness survey do show improvements in these factors.

The Company has implemented various measures that support the career development of women in Sogoshoku to stabilize the female workforce. One such measure is career training for women in Sogoshoku being implemented according to the post, and the training is serving as an opportunity for women to reflect on their career and think about their future. Furthermore, the Company has set up the opportunity for women to be able to discuss their mid-term careers with their superior. In addition, under the policy that the foundation of career development is built through a growth seen in daily work, the female employees can decide their quarterly/annual goals under mutual agreement with their superior.

Aside from this, to effectively execute the career support of female employees, the Company has also implemented coaching to reform the awareness of male managers by incorporating communication exercises that are guided by an instructor. The Company believes that by respecting the background and career design of each individual, these initiatives will contribute toward the stabilization of not only female employees, but also all employees.

Extending the Scope of D&I and Inspiring the D&I Mindset

Hitachi Chemical positions diversity as a management strategy to give us a competitive edge and communicates its initiatives inside and outside the Company to nurture a diversity mindset.

For foreign national employees, the Company has decided to take measures to make improvements in terms of providing a career vision, communication, and support regarding living and working environments based on a hypothesized understanding of constraints identified through interviews with foreign national employees and their superiors.

In 2017, Hitachi Chemical held a seminar in which an LGBT expert from the NPO Nijiiro Diversity was invited to speak to all employees of the Hitachi Chemical Group companies in Japan via a system network, connecting with 40 sites. In conjunction with the seminar, the Company created and distributed an “Ally” sticker, which the LGBT supporters can wear. At the seminar, Vice President Nomura, displaying the sticker attached to his ID, gave opening remarks on communication with LGBT employees in the workplace. A total of 520 persons, including Executive Officers, acknowledged LGBT issues as being important.

In fiscal 2017, Hitachi Chemical took one step further in creating an environment that allows employees to continue their career at the same time as experiencing significant life events by providing seminars and creating the Handbook for Work-Elderly Care Balance.

Hitachi Chemical joined the IkuBoss Alliance to develop superiors who are able to train their staff and achieve organizational goals while respecting the personal lives of their staff and enjoying life themselves. Other changes include the presence of managers who are women, foreign nationals, or persons with disabilities, the Ally sticker that LGBT supporters can attach to their computers to indicate their support, and the “hot desk” movement that began at not only the head office, but also the R&D Division. Additionally, the head office set up a relaxation space called “5-Tsubo Café,” where introductory profiles of employees newly transferred to the office and other information is digitally displayed to facilitate cross-divisional communication.

LGBT “Ally” sticker

LGBT “Ally” sticker

Vice President Nomura delivering a message at Workplaces and LGBT seminar

Vice President Nomura delivering a message at Workplaces and LGBT seminar

5-Tsubo Cafe

5-Tsubo Cafe which activate daily communication in the office

Supporting Work-Childcare Balance

To provide a better working environment where all employees can balance their work and childcare responsibilities and fulfill their potential, Hitachi Chemical has drawn up the Next-generation Care & Support Action Plan to update related systems, increase awareness of the systems, and encourage their use. Measures being implemented under the three-year plan starting fiscal 2017 center around: (1) the rate of male employees taking parental leave, (2) the number of days of annual paid leave taken, and (3) providing an environment conducive to achieving a good work-life balance including appropriate working hours. With regard to parental leave for men, the Company is making it easier for men to participate in childcare by providing five days of paid parental leave in addition to spousal maternity leave and incorporating the perspective of male employees in the Handbook on Pregnancy, Maternity and Childcare.

At Hitachi Chemical parental leave can be taken for a total of up to three years until the end of the child’s first year of elementary school. After returning from parental leave, employees may opt to work from home or to work reduced hours in addition to receiving the statutory exemption from late-night work and the limitation on overtime until the child graduates from elementary school. The Company also has a re-employment program for employees who previously resigned in order to fulfill parental or elder care duties or due to the relocation of their spouse, and an extended leave program for employees accompanying a spouse who is transferred overseas to work on international assignment, offering flexible employment options to fit employees’ different life stages.

President talking with employees who have returned from maternity leave and parental leave

President talking with employees who have returned from maternity leave and parental leave

President talking with employees who have returned from maternity leave and parental leave

The Company has dispatched employees set to take maternity leave, employees planning to return from parental leave, and employees who have recently returned from parental leave—along with their superiors—to the Hitachi Group Seminar on Supporting Employees Before Maternity Leave/Upon Returning to Work hosted by Hitachi, Ltd. In this seminar, employees learn how to engage in their duties and how to maintain a proper mental attitude upon returning to the workplace. They also learn how to enhance their motivation and move forward in their careers. In addition, their superiors are able to gain a deeper understanding of how best to provide appropriate support. The above-mentioned Handbook on Pregnancy, Maternity and Childcare provides communication sheets for the stages of reporting a pregnancy, prior to taking maternity leave, during leave, prior to return to work, after return to work, etc. so that employees can easily understand the key points, even in workplaces where few people have relevant experience.

Handbook on Pregnancy, Maternity and Childcare

Handbook on Pregnancy, Maternity and Childcare

Handbook on Pregnancy, Maternity and Childcare

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