Human Resources Management
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The Mitsui Chemicals Group positions diversity as one of its core values, based on the belief that it is essential not only to promote various initiatives related to the promotion of diversity as a responsible and influential member of society, but also to enable the sustainable growth of our Group. 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
In fiscal 2006, the Mitsui Chemicals Group formed a women’s empowerment promotion team as an organization to embody the management policy for this initiative, and has been working to develop female managers and create a comfortable working environment for women. 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.
In addition, as part of the initiatives for VISION 2030, we have set the target number of diverse executive officers and ratio of female employees in management positions, and the management is committed to promoting diversity by reporting its progress and measures to the Management Committee for approval.
Encouraging Women’s Advancement
For the past 30 years, Mitsui Chemicals has been actively appointing women for business activities in the workplace, such as by assigning female employees to plants and actively hiring women with technological backgrounds for career-track positions. In particular, since establishing the women’s empowerment promotion team in 2006, we have focused on enhancing our systems and fostering a corporate culture where women can continue to work. In recent years, very few female employees have left the company due to insufficient support for childcare, which is a testament to the impact of our initiatives.
Our initiative for empowering women has entered its second stage, where we are currently tackling the challenge of increasing the number of women in decision-making roles. We have set numerical targets to increase the ratio of women in management positions in Mitsui Chemicals to 6% by the end of FY2022 in the short term, to 10% by the end of FY2025 in the medium term, and to 15% by the end of FY2030 in the long term (VISION 2030).
To achieve these goals, we believe it is necessary to further promote accurate knowledge of diversity through management and communication, particularly among managers, and to close the gap in the ratio and speed of promotion to manager-level positions between male and female employees, because the latter currently falls behind their male colleagues.
Specifically, we provide training programs and activities on unconscious bias for general managers and new line managers for them to understand that it is necessary to communicate with female employees who are parents and provide them with opportunities to challenge themselves accordingly, rather than one-sidedly giving excessive consideration, as well as to give proper consideration to male employees who are parents.
To demonstrate the management’s commitment, the CHRO and outside directors hold lectures on women’s empowerment and we also organize career seminars by women who serve as role models.
In addition, in order to increase the ratio of female employees across the company, we emphasize that we provide a comfortable work environment for female employees and actively introduce our successful female employees when recruiting new graduates. We have also set target ratios for female employees, aiming to increase the ratio of female new hires for career-track positions to approximately 30% and to build a human resource pipeline that retains that ratio by achieving at least 40% for administrative positions and 25% for technical positions by the end of FY2023.
For skilled positions, we have set a target to achieve a 10% ratio of female employees by the end of FY2023. We set this target based on the fact that the current ratio of female graduates of technical high schools and technical colleges who majored in mainly eligible disciplines is approximately 10%.
CEO Message for Women's Empowerment
Mitsui Chemicals is aiming to change its business model by transforming the business portfolio. 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.
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.
*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)
Percentage of Women among Regular Hires (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)
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|Career-track Administrative Positions||52%||50%||47%||40% or more|
|Career-track Technical Positions||16%||15%||18%||25% or more|
(mainly factory operators)
|11%||7%||5%||10% or more|
Women’s empowerment initiatives joined by the management and employees
The Mitsui Chemicals Group is actively hiring women and implementing a variety of personnel measures to appoint women to management positions, while at the same time listening to employees of the Group and working to foster an organizational culture where employees are united in the efforts to empower women.
In FY2021, we held an event focused on employee participation. More than 100 employees participated in the project titled “Dialogue with Female Leaders: Becoming a Leader.” Unlike a traditional lecture, the participants were able to exchange frank opinions via online surveys and chats in this event. After joining the event and listening to employees exchange frank opinions, the president said, “I was reminded that we must provide fair evaluation and opportunities. I hope we will have more opportunities for communication like this.” As a follow-up to this event, we held small-group dialogue sessions, where 29 Japanese and non-Japanese participants of both genders from all over Japan engaged in dialogue and shared their experiences several times on the subject of how to increase the number of female leaders, and declared their “one action,” which is the first action they will take to implement that. The president and CHRO also joined this event and declared that they would hold an executive dialogue on diversity as their own one action. As declared, in support of the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2022, they held an executive dialogue based on the assigned book (“Danjo Kakusa Koshin Koku no Shogeki [Shocking Facts about the Gender Gap in Japan]”) by Shogakukan, authored by Jibu Renge). The president, CHRO, and general managers of a wide range of divisions (research, plant, business, and management) shared issues related to women’s empowerment, exchanged opinions on how to solve them, and discussed unconscious bias and how to create equal opportunities. We posted an article of the executive dialogue on the company bulletin board and the discussion was widely shared with employees as messages from the management.
- Launching the “Lean In Mitsui Chemicals” Circle -
We have formed an opt-in activity club with the aim of promoting and supporting diversity in leadership that accommodates a wide range of attributes. The philosophy of “Lean In” is to create a society where people of all genders can be ambitious and take on challenges.
This group holds dialogues on a variety of topics each month and the members set their one actions and share their progress in the following month. We would like to go one step further from respecting diversity to increasing the number of people who are aligned on fostering a culture that encourages and cherishes diversity.
*There are approximately 50,000 Lean In Circles around the world. We are registered with a family circle of Lean In Tokyo, which has been designated by the U.S. as the Japanese representative.
Non-Japanese national Employees’ Active Participation in the Workplace
The Company began the full-scale hiring of non-Japanese employees in Japan in 2005. For non-Japanese national 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 national employees with a good work environment and employing talented human resources.
Specific Examples of Assistance Provided to Non-Japanese national 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 national Employees (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)
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. The program has been conducted online since FY2020, enabling participants from business sites across the country to participate.
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.
Ratio of Employees with Disabilities
(Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)
“A workplace where you can grow your career”
At Mitsui Chemicals, you can grow your career at your own pace.
Although I joined this company as a new graduate, I got used to the workplace by working on routine tasks regularly in the beginning.
I mainly analyze personnel data. I have been in charge of this since my first year with the company and find it rewarding to be involved in a relatively new field. In addition, I voluntarily took on the challenge of working on an intra-departmental project in FY2021 that involved a large number of people. I was not originally good at coordinating with many people, but I gained a new perspective after joining the voluntary project.
Recently, I have been involved with managing the department, which has made me more aware that I’m a member of this organization and further nurtured my sense of responsibility.
In the future, I’d like to take initiatives more autonomously to further help improve the department’s performance.
Joined the company in 2017
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)
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. In addition, we have added Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) harassment as an option of the topics to be discussed during the Workplace Discussion, where employees discuss various topics related to legal compliance at their workplaces. In addition, we have added “Diversity Seminar” to the training program for new line managers to educate them on Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) harassment and what actions they should take when consulted by their team members.
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 FY2021, we launched a project involving different business sites to discuss measures to foster a more facilitating environment for LGBTQ employees. As one of the measures, we have launched the ally declaration initiative to increase the number of allies, or supporters, who demonstrate willingness to understand gender minorities. The Mitsui Chemicals LGBTQ Ally Declaration was launched for employees to demonstrate that they are willing to actively understand and stand by gender minorities, not that they have sufficient relevant knowledge. President Hashimoto was the first person to sign the Declaration, and others in the company have gradually joined.
In April 2022, we launched a hot line dedicated to LGBTQ support. This desk is dedicated to (1) consultation on harassment, (2) consultation related to the coming out of an employee with that person’s permission, and (3) inquiries regarding the use of the company’s benefits. We will also continue our efforts to increase the number of allies.
History of LGBTQ 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||Conducted lectures on SOGI harassment for team leaders across the company (approx. 430 leaders)|
|Launched Mitsui Chemicals LGBTQ Ally Declaration|
|FY2022||Launched a hot line dedicated to LGBTQ support|
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 addition, in fiscal 2021, we held an online seminar with Ms. Rochelle Kopp, President of Japan Intercultural Consulting, who explained the characteristics of Japanese culture from a non-Japanese perspective and tips for cross-cultural business communication.
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. Since fiscal 2020, the program has been conducted online.
Diversity Seminar (2 hours)
|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
|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.|
Training at the Omuta and Osaka Works
Training for Female Skilled Staff (factory operators engaged in technical work)
This training is intended for female skilled staff, who are mainly factory operators engaged in technical work. The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity for female operators to interact with female operators from other business sites and think about their careers. In fiscal 2021, the program was held online for the first time, including the “health seminar for women with irregular work schedule,” which was also joined by their supervisors. The purpose of this program is to help supervisors understand health issues specific to women and to create a culture where female employees can talk about their health issues without hesitation even in workplaces with few female employees. At the beginning of the training, we held a discussion session with President Hashimoto to promote their interaction.
Women’s Careers and Health
Women sometimes experience difficulties working due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or illnesses specific to women. To help female employees learn about and prevent relevant issues in advance and continue to work while coping with changes in their own physical conditions, we have been holding lectures titled “Women’s Careers and Health” since fiscal 2017. In fiscal 2021, we held a seminar on women’s mental health by Yuko Miyata, a representative of the Wellness Dialogue Institute, where participants learned about mental issues specific to women.
Dispatching Female Employees to External Career Training Programs
Every year, Mitsui Chemicals dispatches 10 to 20 employees to external training programs designed to improve the management skills and motivation of female employees who are aiming for managerial positions, as well as those designed to help female candidates for general manager and director positions learn business management and build external networks. 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.
Women’s Initiative for Leadership (WIL) by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
I was convinced that we are in urgent need for diverse talent that supports companies and society to adopt to the drastically changing business environment. When I participated in this program, I was still clueless about what I needed to learn.
I found this program to be a productive and extremely valuable opportunity for people of all genders. This program consisted of in-depth group work and lectures by a variety of speakers, and was designed to help participants recognize multiple perspectives and ways of thinking for a number of social challenges and notice the connections among various events.
Between April and December, the program was held in a hybrid style that combined onsite and online sessions due to the pandemic, but we gradually became friends as each group spent several hours per night discussing their policy research topic.* I will never forget how happy I was when we all finally gathered face-to-face at the final debriefing and greeted one another while exchanging business cards.
I am convinced that the knowledge, interests, perspectives, and networks I built here will be a valuable source for my future activities.
work style reform, new values, regional revitalization, measures for combating global warming, and social disparity
* Each affiliation is from the time when the article was created.
Training and lectures for diversity promotion
Fiscal 2021 Results (Cumulative total number of participants: 1,097)
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|Learning about cross-cultural communication||External experts||Employees|
|“Don’t give up on decluttering!” An ADHD organization and storage advisor shares tips based on her own experience||External experts||Employees|
|Discussion among employees with visual impairment: life and work||Employees with disabilities||Employees|
|Employee training for accepting eye mates (guide dogs)||External experts||Employees|
|Child abuse||External experts||Employees|
|Dialogue among women in management positions: Working in management positions while parenting||Internal lecturer||Employees|
|Seminar on balancing job and family nursing||External experts||Employees|
|Women’s career and health seminar: Women’s mental health||External experts||Employees|
|Health seminar for women with irregular work schedule||External experts||Employees|
|Training program on sexual minority harassment||External experts||Management staff (supervisors, TL level))|
|Lecture on diversity by outside directors (1)||Outside directors||Management staff (open to non-management staff who wish to participate)|
|Lecture on diversity by outside directors (2)||Outside directors||Management staff (open to non-management staff who wish to participate)|
|Dialogue for female leaders||Internal lecturer||Female employees wishing to be appointed to line management positions, and male management staff|
|Unconscious bias||Experts who are outside directors||General managers|
|D&I Session||Internal lecturer||Employees|
(joint event with MOL)
|Internal and external lecturers||Employees|
|Training for mentors||External experts||Mentors|
|Organization management respecting diversity for line managers||Internal lecturer||Training for new line managers|
|Training on SAP deployment||Internal lecturer||Sales assistant, delivery staff, and contract workers|
|Training for female skilled staff or factory operators engaged in technical work (including health seminars for women with irregular work schedule)||Internal and external lecturers||Female employees working in shifts|
|Events for promoting the employment of people with disabilities||External experts||HR members of our business sites and affiliates|
|Developing capabilities||External experts||Employees with disabilities|