Fostering a Corporate Culture Where Diverse Human Resources Can Work with Enthusiasm and Make Unique Contributions
Top messageOur Commitment to Diversity Management
I Am Convinced That Diversity Management Is Vital to Our Future as a Group
The Sekisui Chemical Group benefits from the diversity of its businesses and its employees. We believe sustained growth of the Company cannot be assured without an honest and open commitment to our various stakeholders.
We view diversity as something that is indispensable to the management of our company moving forward.
A Commitment to Diversity Management
The Sekisui Chemical Group has been able to overcome many difficulties and challenges in the external environment over the past several years, including those brought on by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent financial crisis, the Great East Japan Earthquake, the debt crisis in Europe, and the hike in the consumption tax in Japan. Our perseverance contributed to the Company during the period covered by the previous medium-term business plan recording the highest level of profit since its founding. We have continued to renew past profit highs since, though we note that sustained growth moving forward is not likely to be easy.
I became Sekisui Chemical's 10th president in March 2015 and have since been entrusted with the continued evolution of the Group.
The Sekisui Chemical Group has become increasingly large over the years, and we believe it imperative to continue evolving with all due speed while making continuous improvements to build a more attracting and tougher group that can keep up with the demands of the times. We must strive further to create a structure that, like a ship, can ride out even the toughest of storms in the operating environments. I believe creating such a structure is my greatest responsibility.
I also recognize my duty to design a concrete and detailed growth plan for the next decade.
Focused on the Frontiers Ahead
We are working together with employees and senior executives around the world during the last year in our current medium-term business plan. I believe that if we can finish the current medium-term business plan on a high note, the frontiers ahead could prove even wider for the Company.
My goal is the creation of a foundation for new growth while boldly advancing reforms as we move toward the next medium-term business plan.
Three Requirements for Sustainable Growth
As I have noted several times since assuming the president's office, there are three areas in which we must take the initiative to ensure sustainable growth.
The first of these is strengthening our earnings power. We target an operating profit margin of at least 10% and are therefore focused on improving efficiency in management and promoting selection and concentration in our businesses.
The second of these is innovation. Our goal is to produce new and world changing products, technologies, and businesses. One of our core concepts in this area is the creation of additional Environment-contributing Products, which to date have been a cornerstone for the Company's growth. We also intend to promote collaboration within the group and with outside parties to create next-generation businesses.
The third initiative focuses on the development of new frontiers. Our goal is to capture demand around the world, and using the prominence of the Sekisui Chemical Group, we will strive to develop new frontiers in the seemingly limitless global market.
Diversity in the Human Resources That Support Our Businesses
We believe we will achieve these three goals through the promotion of diversity management.
The Sekisui Chemical Group is developing an unusually diverse range of businesses, from housing to social infrastructure materials such as water supply and sewage pipes, to electronics, automotive and transportation products, residential infrastructure materials, and life science-related products.
Across this wide range of businesses is an equally diverse group of employees with a variety of work experiences and individual characteristics. Without regard to a person's gender, nationality, age, or disability, we encourage each of our employees to maximize his or her distinctive capabilities, as we believe this contributes to a flourishing in innovation, without which we cannot achieve the larger goals we have set for the Group.
We believe the advancement of diversity management is indispensable toward achieving our goals.
Making the Most of Each Employee's Distinctive Characteristics
So how best do we start?
One of the first things we need to do is change how we work. When I was in charge of the housing business, I worked just like every other corporate warrior. However, working without regard to whether it is day or night is no longer compatible with the norms of modern-day society. So, with a limited number of hours, the important questions now are how to improve productivity on the job while balancing one's own time with work, and how to best enrich one's life at work.
Our business, alongside our customers and working people everywhere, continues to diversify. I believe we can only truly succeed by benefiting from diverse range of people and the fostering of each of their individual characteristics and capabilities.
We believe all Sekisui Chemical employees can contribute to innovations by making full use of their distinctive capabilities in each of their positions. Moreover, with the gradual accumulation of these contributions, the Sekisui Chemical Group can truly become an organization valued by society and maintain its presence for at least the next 100 years.
With this belief in mind, we will continue to promote diversity management.
Focusing on Every Sekisui Chemical Group Employee
The diversity management efforts of the Sekisui Chemical Group are aimed at every employee in the organization. As an example, we believe a company in which only men are the leading decisions makers is a company that will not be able to respond effectively to development opportunities that may present themselves in the days ahead. Moreover, we believe strides in the global market cannot occur without the active participation of people of varying nationalities. It is indeed our goal to create new innovations through the promotion of diversity.
Starting by Promoting the Empowerment of Women
Diversity management can come in many forms depending on the organization within the group. We believe empowerment of women, who represent the most familiar form of diversity, is not yet at a sufficient level. As an example, of the approximately 20,000 domestic employees, there are about 4,000 managers, and only recently has the number of women in management positions exceeded 100. This number is simply too small. We have accordingly decided to direct our diversity management efforts first at empowering women.
Over the last few years, our goal has been to increase the number of women in management positions to 200 and I have directed my own energies toward this goal. There are many women at Sekisui Chemical with strong abilities and we will focus our efforts on giving these workers the opportunities they deserve, rather than focusing on promoting workers simply because they are women. We must not be afraid to move forward due to a lack of precedent. Anyone can fail after accepting new and difficult challenges, but I believe people can grow from the experience and as a result overcome similar challenges in the future. Our goal is to provide the same opportunities to women that we have given to men.
Making a Real Change in our Way of Thinking
It will take time before the results of these changes are felt in the organization and we believe it therefore necessary to continue to gather examples of success.
We believe middle management is one area in which changes to our way of thinking have been relatively slow in coming. However, we are committed to making improvements in this area. We believe it is vital for each of the group's organizations to craft a clear message from top-level management and focus their efforts on changing the way in which its employees work, the structure of the organization, and the way employees think about this issue.
Accordingly, we think it is important to place those who can motivate individuals in their work in management positions, including positions where they can make the workplace a more comfortable place to work and one in which each employee can make the most of their individual capabilities. To be sure, changing the way of thinking of an entire company, as well as its culture, will take some time, though we believe this is an effort worth continued emphasis. If we maintain our efforts, we expect this way of thinking to become commonplace within no more than ten years.
Working with the Person Right in Front of You
Changing an entire system for the better is a major task, though we believe gradual improvements can be made if leaders in each workplace focus their efforts on how to best motivate their subordinates while establishing connections with those closest to them
We look for the emergence of a number of women in the organization aiming to refine their abilities and move higher in the Company. We believe it is vital to establish a system allowing this, and to continuously monitor the effectiveness of such as system.
Returning to our ship analogy, we believe a vessel cannot proceed at speed in rough weather unless it has created a structure in which this kind of thinking is considered fundamental and a matter of course.
Focused on Maintaining a Strong Corporate Presence for at Least 100 Years.
We believe it would be difficult for Sekisui Chemical Group to maintain its presence over the next hundred years under the current corporate structure and way of working. It is incumbent on leadership to promote the growth and success of the diverse group of individuals in subordinate groups.
It is also our hope that each employee will take advantages of changes in their work place to demonstrate their unique capabilities and further develop themselves as individuals.
I intend to work at the forefront to create an environment where individuals can develop their capabilities to the fullest possible extent.
President & CEO, Teiji Koge
The Sekisui Chemical Group's Diversity Management Policy
Not only perceiving diversity by differences understood from outward appearance-such as gender, age and nationality-the Sekisui Chemical Group will also focus on differences that include careers, values and personality while understanding, recognizing and utilizing the differences between each and every employee as strengths.
Diversity Management Policy
Diversity is essential to maintain our strong corporate presence for 100 years and beyond. We understand and recognize that every employee’s orientation to work and life, and their personal strengths are different and thus we use this to our advantage. Through employee dialogue, we will strengthen our organizational culture by providing employment, opportunities for development and an enhanced work environment to support growth.