Diversity

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The Mitsui Chemicals Group recognizes the importance of diversity in ensuring sustainable growth both for the Group and society. Based on this understanding, we have listed diversity as one of our core values. We strongly believe that a diverse pool of human resources, characterized by wide-ranging experiences and a wealth of new ideas, is the driving force behind innovation, a key source of sustainable growth. We also believe that promoting diversity is an important business strategy. The Mitsui Chemicals Group is resolute in not permitting any discrimination whatsoever based on race, national origin, birthplace, social origin, caste, family lineage, religion, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, family background, marital status, membership of unions, political views, or any other differences as stated in the Mitsui Chemicals Group Human Rights Policy. Aiming to adapt to the diversifying career ambitions of our employees and the changing values perceived for each work style, we are working to implement various diversity promotion measures.

Diversity Promotion Structure

The Mitsui Chemicals Group was focusing its efforts on proactively leveraging the capabilities of female employees in its operations by establishing the Promotion and Development of Women Team in 2006 according to management instructions. In fiscal 2015, the Diversity Promotion Office was established in the HR Division to boost the recruitment, training and promotion of women in response to the passing of the Act on the Promotion of Female Participation and Career Advancement in the Workplace. In fiscal 2016, the division became responsible not only for the advancement of women but also for the advancement of minorities in general within the Group. In fiscal 2019, the division was renamed the Diversity and Inclusion Group. We are establishing a structure that promotes further diversity under the leadership of the senior managing executive officer responsible for the HR Division and the Global HR Division and the general managers of the HR Division.

Encouraging Women’s Advancement

Mitsui Chemicals has been actively encouraging the advancement of women in the workplace, such as by assigning female employees in plants and employing women in career-track positions. Since the establishment of the Promotion and Development of Women Team in 2006, we have been building a corporate culture to enable women to keep working over the years by organizing a range of flexible working schemes. These efforts are now firmly incorporated in our work practices and have received a favorable reputation from external parties. The Long-term Business Plan VISION 2025 set a target ratio of women in management positions (manager level or above) of 10% or more (among Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees) with the aim of diversifying our business decision-makers. However, there are a number of obstacles to overcome to achieve the set target, partly because the percentage of female employees is small compared to the total number of employees. We are employing practical long-term solutions to address this issue, such as setting the target ratio of new female employees in the periodic recruitment for different job types, including career-track technical position, career-track administrative position, and general staff (mainly factory operators) to match the varying employment situations of the differing roles.

NADESHIKO semi 2020

CEO Message for Women's Empowerment

Mitsui Chemicals is aiming to change its business model by transforming the business portfolio. Understanding of diverse values and tastes is required to reach out to markets closer to customers. We must create an environment where a diverse group of people can make the most of their unique talents and potential, and expect ever more opportunities for women to fulfill their potential. We provide a better work environment for employees with family responsibilities such as childcare and nursing care, as our employees have been using our teleworking program more effectively since the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a work environment will also create promotion opportunities for women. We will continue to implement initiatives that encourage the recruitment of talented people.

HASHIMOTO Osamu
Representative Director, President & CEO

A Message from the Outside Director

Promotion of workplace diversity—the source of innovation and reform—is indispensable for Mitsui Chemicals to build a sustainable society and create corporate value through its business model conversion and business portfolio reform.
The Company lists “Diversity” as one of its Core Values, and is committed to permeating the true value of diversity throughout its organizations to further improve its capabilities as a whole. Women’s advancement is the first step to achieve this diversification and its progress is clearly visible and monitorable.
Women advancement plays a key role in Mitsui Chemicals’ sustainable growth and can provide a significant impact on its medium- to long-term business results. Therefore, this progress can serve as an indicator of Mitsui Chemicals’ commitment.
I will continue advising on and supervising this progress as an outside director.

YOSHIMARU Yukiko
Outside Director

*To secure diversity in the Board of Directors, we try to appoint more than one female director since 2006.

*Each affiliation is from the time when the article was created.

Ratio of Female Employees (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Ratio of Female Employees (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Percentage of Women among Regular Hires (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

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  FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 Goals
Career-track Administrative Positions 46% 47% 52% 50% 40% or more
Career-track Technical Positions 11% 16% 16% 15% 20% or more
General Positions
(mainly factory operators)
3% 5% 11% 7% 7% or more

Non-Japanese Employees’ Active Participation in the Workplace

The Company began the full-scale hiring of non-Japanese employees in Japan in 2005.
For non-Japanese employees working in Japan, we provide dedicated consultation services. In addition to supporting trouble-free work and life styles, we are committed to maintaining a workplace that provides non-Japanese employees with a good work environment and employing talented human resources.

Specific Examples of Assistance Provided to Non-Japanese Employees

  • Assisted with Japanese language training
  • Assisted with visa procedures
  • Addressed daily inquiries regarding HR systems, initiatives, company regulations
  • Conveyed information required for working in Japan in English and Japanese
  • Conduct inclusion study lectures (promote awareness of cultural differences)
  • Created English manuals for HR-related applications
  • Responses to consultations from non-Japanese employees (assigned staff in charge to each business site)

Number of Non-Japanese Employees (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
55 57 54 54 53

Enabling Employees with Disabilities to Reach Their Full Potential in the Workplace

In hiring employees with disabilities, the Company goes beyond achieving the legally required employment ratio and is committed to maintaining an environment in which people with disabilities can play an active role while accumulating their skills, and feel accepted as members of the organization.
Before assigning an employee with disability to a certain position, we select the most appropriate place for the employee, taking into account not only their job role, but also the work environment and workplace members, to avoid putting under pressure on the employee to adapt to the work environment. In addition to conducting training sessions at sites that accept employees with disabilities to help other employees understand what a disability entails, we set incubation periods and adaptation/learning periods for a certain period after hiring and introduce measures suited to the employee’s particular disability to enable them to work smoothly. We also provide regular interviews for both employees with disabilities and their superiors to help to retain employees with disabilities in the workplace. Listening to difficulties and issues from both sides helps to improve the workplace environment and work styles and creates a comfortable work environment.
We also offer subsidies for learning skills that are useful to employees with disabilities in their work, such as language and computer skills, to help improve their skills in a way that is suited to their individual talents. We also hold inclusion lecture meetings that employees with disabilities or illnesses speak about their own disabilities and experiences, to foster a climate that accepts into the organization not only people with disabilities but also people with diverse personalities and characters and people receiving medical treatment.
Mitsui Chemicals has endorsed and signed on to “The Valuable 500” in October 2019. Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit, the Valuable 500 is an initiative created to promote the participation of disabled people in the workforce. The initiative looks for business leaders to carry out reform that allows disabled people to fulfil their potential in business, society and the economy.

The Valuable 500

Ratio of Employees with Disabilities (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Ratio of Employees with Disabilities (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Employee Comments

Workplace Where I Feel Reassured

The main impression of Mitsui Chemicals that I gained through my job is “I’m in safe hands.” I have mobility restrictions due to my visual impairment. When I visited the company for my job application, they kindly guided me from the closest station to the office. They also changed the interview and the hands-on training session from face-to-face to online because of the COVID-19 pandemic restriction. The training was also carefully tailored for me to work around my disability.
My current role is an officer for the employment of disabled people. Because the colleagues in my job group instruct me in a straightforward manner and support me for anything I cannot do because of my condition, I can work with a feeling of reassurance. Also, my colleagues are working actively making the best of their respective strengths, which inspires me to follow their path.
I would like to play my part in our efforts to help create a workplace where people can work and continue building their skills with an easy mind.

Joined in fiscal 2020 (Visual disability)

Retired Employees’ Active Participation in the Workplace

Mitsui Chemicals is moving forward in making use of the wealth of experience possessed by senior human resources, and to those retired employees who wish to continue working, calls for ongoing employment through its system of rehiring. We do this to address the challenges presented by the shortage of human resources associated with our expanding business operations and the generational retirement of whole generations of employees who were recruited in large groups, as well as to utilize employees who are highly motivated to work, even after their retirement. From fiscal 2018, we will improve the level of compensation offered when rehiring to increase the numbers of employees who wish to continue working.

Ratio of Re-employment for Retired Employees (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
81.3% 76.7% 87.6% 85.5% 87.1%

LGBT Awareness

The Mitsui Chemicals Group Human Rights Policy prohibits all forms of discrimination whatsoever, including sexual orientation and gender identity. The harassment lecture in the compliance e-learning program targeting all employees covers topics such as prohibition of discrimination and harassment over sexual orientation, in addition to conventional topics on sexual and power harassment. The New Line Manager Training Program also includes a diversity seminar, which provides a group workshop to teach new line managers about Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) harassment and actions to take when they are consulted by their subordinates about gender issues.
In November 2020, we endorsed the LUX Social Damage Care Project announced by Unilever Japan Customer Marketing K.K., by abolishing the requirement for gender description, photo submission, and dressing in a standard recruitment suit at the time of job application. This is our effort to employ people with motivation and skills regardless of their gender or appearance.
In fiscal 2021, we started a project across multiple business sites to discuss what we can change to make the workplace more LGBT-friendly.

History of LGBT Efforts

FY2016 Voluntary learning session inviting a transgender person (head office)
FY2017 LGBT awareness training for harassment contact officers in domestic Mitsui Chemicals Group
FY2018 Lecture by a transgender person
LGBT awareness-raising lecture as a part of New Line Manager Training Program (held annually since then)
FY2019 A movie to encourage understanding of sexual minorities
FY2020 LGBT lecture as a part of new employee training (introducing the consultation contact, etc.)
Study group on the Act on Comprehensive Promotion of Labor Measures and SOGI harassment for the Mitsui Chemicals Group HR officers
SOGI harassment lecture to General Managers and Group Leaders across the Company (450 persons)
FY2021 SOGI harassment lecture to Team Leaders across the Company (to be provided)

Understanding Multiculturalism

Since fiscal 2014 we have provided the Global Business Skill Training, to teach the skills needed when working with multicultural teams. This training program is targeted specifically at employees who have been assigned abroad and engaged in overseas business, that involves managing multicultural teams and negotiating with business partners from different cultural backgrounds. About 30 employees are selected to participate in this program each year. The participants learn about religions, cultures, and ways of thinking in different countries and regions through concrete case studies of business communication, in addition, the program aims to improve employees’ language ability by learning how to give presentations and case studies and hold meetings in English. In fiscal 2021, we plan to invite an external lecturer to hold a non-mandatory online seminar for employees to acquire the knowledge and attitude needed for good multicultural communications.

Training and Lectures Related to Diversity Promotion

Diversity Seminar in the New Line Manager Training Program

New Line Manager Training Program is mandatory for all newly-appointed line managers who will be responsible for subordinates. It aims to raise managers’ awareness through study of management roles and essential skills.

Diversity Seminar (2 hours)

Program Details
Why diversity is necessary in an organization An explanation is given, including social trends and well-known corporate presidents’ comments.
The program also notes that advancement of women is a key to progressing diversity in an organization and the importance of increasing the number of women among decision-makers.
Obstacles to diversity
(unconscious bias)
Concrete examples of unconscious bias from past documents are introduced. An e-learning program is also available, and many participants said they realized that they had more unconscious bias than they had thought.
Harassment The program explains about possible workplace harassments.
Participants discuss in a group how they should handle SOGI and paternity harassments as managers using concrete examples. The FY2020 program was given as an online seminar.
Training program at Omuta Works and Osaka Works
Training program at Omuta Works and Osaka Works

Training program at Omuta Works and Osaka Works

Sales Women Career Training

The percentage of women as new employees in administrative positions in Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. remains at around a half in recent years. At the same time, the number of women who are appointed as sales persons in different business sectors has been increasing. We have received comments such as “It is difficult to know how to balance job and child rearing as there are only a few role models.” This prompted us to hold an online workshop for female sales staff to discuss the issues that arise in pursuing a career and possible solutions to address them. This workshop was held jointly with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, which is experiencing a similar situation.

Joint online workshop with Mitsubishi Chemical
Joint online workshop with Mitsubishi Chemical

Women’s Careers and Health

It is now common that women work throughout their lives, yet it is still true that there are events in their lives when they may find it difficult to continue working, such as during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or when facing female-specific diseases. Since fiscal 2017, we have been holding a lecture entitled “Women’s Careers and Heath” to help women to continue working by teaching them about specific health issues and how to manage them in a way that minimizes their impact. The fiscal 2017 lecture, given by a gynecologist, for younger employees focused on how women can manage their physical condition, and for older employees, on the menopause. We have been providing information concerning gynecological diseases and health to our employees. In fiscal 2020, we invited Mamiko Abe, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Communication Department, Corporate Strategy Planning Division, Chukyo TV to provide an online seminar on breast cancer.

Dispatching Female Employees to External Career Training Programs

We dispatch 10 to 20 female employees to external career training programs every year. Such programs include those to motivate female employees who aim at managerial careers and improve their management skills, and programs designed for prospective general managers to impart business management skills and establish a human network outside the company. Exchanges with other business women in similar positions from different companies give employees an opportunity to meet women who can become a role model and raise their career awareness.

Participant’s Comments

Learning Business Management and Leadership with women in management positions in Different Industries

I participated in the “Inspired Women” Support Seminars hosted by Nippon Keidanren. I learned a lot over the three days of the seminars that were held online. Some of my realizations include: “There are various types of leaders and the leader has to be flexible according to the situation (as the same kind of leadership may not fit for everything)”; “Define what kind of leader you wish to be, identify the skills required to be such a leader, and clarify the actions to take to develop those skills”; and “You do not need to do everything. You can cover your shortcomings with other people who are good at it.” It was shame that I could not exchange opinions with other participants for later communications as the course was online, however, it was encouraging to learn that women of my age face similar problems, regardless of their jobs. A variety of experience-based advice from women who are working as leaders in the seminars made me think that I would like to take up more challenges in the future to achieve productive results. I really appreciate the opportunity to attend such interesting seminars.

FUNAKI Setsuko, Strategy Planning Staff, Process Technology Laboratory, R&D Center
FUNAKI Setsuko
Strategy Planning Staff,
Process Technology Laboratory,
R&D Center

*Each affiliation is from the time when the article was created.

Training and lectures for diversity promotion

Fiscal 2020 Results (Cumulative total number of participants: 1,097)

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Theme Lecturer Target audience
Working together with visually disabled people Expert outside the company, employees employees
Learning about prosthetic legs and feet Employees employees
Learning about being color blind Expert outside the company, employees employees
Event to encourage men to participate in child rearing
Child rearing seminar for Dads
- Do not give up career, children, nor good marital relations -
Expert outside the company employees
Seminar on balancing job and family nursing Expert outside the company employees
Seminar on women’s careers and health
“Do you really know to detect breast cancer at an early stage?”
Expert outside the company employees
(including men)
Training program on sexual minority harassment Expert outside the company HR member
Line managers
Organization management respecting diversity for line managers Internal lecturer Management staff
(line managers or higher positions)
SAP learning program Internal lecturer Sales assistant, delivery staff, contract workers
Training program on work style reform for career-track technical employees
(jointly with Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Expert outside the company Production technology employees
Training program on work style reform for sales women in different business divisions
(jointly with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation)
Expert outside the company Sales women in business divisions
Seminar “Eliminating the worries of teleworking” Expert outside the company Employees with Disabilities and their superiors
Development of Various Capabilities
(Computer skills, languages, others)
Expert outside the company Employees with Disabilities
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