I took two maternity leaves, once when I was 28 and again when I was 35 years old. When I had my first child, the only option available was to return to work full-time 2 months after giving birth. At the time, there were no childcare facilities for newborns so my child and I temporarily lived at my parents' home in Chiba Prefecture, where my commute to work took 2.5 hours each way. By comparison, when I had my second child, I was able to extend my maternity leave until my child was old enough to go to nursery. In addition, I was able to work part-time hours for a year after I started back at work. I really feel that having a good system in place is very important in enabling women to work through various life events.
I have now finished raising my children, but after that ended, I then went through a period of caring for my father and mother. My parent fell, broke a bone and was rushed to hospital, and I later had to look for a hospital to relocate them for rehabilitation. Thus, I experienced different difficulties than in child-rearing. In addition to the childcare issue, caring for the elderly is also becoming a major social concern, as the aging of the Japanese population progresses. I think that there is a growing need to let people work in more flexible ways, so that each employee will be able to continue to work with a sense of fulfillment while rearing children, caring for parents or receiving medical treatment.
April 1981 Joined IT Division, JVCKENWOOD
June 2013 Appointed as Head of IT Division; oversaw IT strategy and the global IT environment.
Often visited overseas sales and production bases in US, Malaysia, Thailand, etc., on business
October 2015 Concurrently served in Diversity Promotion Department (current Diversity Promotion Office)
April 2016 Appointed as Head of Diversity Promotion Department (current Diversity Promotion Office)
Present Serving as Assistant to Head of Diversity Promotion Office
Hitomi Kajitani, Assistant to Head of Diversity Promotion Office
To ensure diversity and create an environment where a variety of employees can work comfortably, we conduct employee trainings as follows.
Instilling a diversity mindset
With the aim of fostering an internal culture that enables everyone to be assessed fairly for their performance and play active roles regardless of race, nationality, religion, culture, disability, work style, age, gender, gender identity and sexual orientation, we have made a variety of efforts since 2015.
In March 2019 we organized an internal event, “Diversity Week,” and held a panel session in which female leaders playing central roles in our group discussed “Women’s Careers and the Future of Work Style”. Timi Jackson, Managing Director of JKUSA (U.S.), an affiliate subsidiary, as well as an attorney at law, and Sara Isoardo, the overseas business manager of Radio Activity (Italy) were invited as panelists. They and the participants discussed primarily the difference in unconscious bias in their respective countries, and barriers and challenges to overcome when women develop their careers.
Also this event was full of programs, such as lectures and panel sessions on “Working together with people with disabilities” and “LGBT”; a music live show with artists from Victor Entertainment, a group company, and special lunches with international flavors served in the canteen. To ensure that employees understand that diversity is an issue close to them, the event was organized to include not only training through lectures but also entertaining programs that would instill a diversity mindset among participants in a fun way.
In order to make management-level decision-making reflect diverse values, dialog with the management will be continued as part of the effort to foster female candidates for executives and increase the ratio of women executives.
Diversity Week poster
Panel Session “Women’s Careers and the Future of Work Style” participants with panelists
To ensure diversity as an established part of our corporate culture, all employees in the JVCKENWOOD Group take diversity training using an e-Learning platform to foster an awareness of diversity among employees.
Employees also take seminars that help them to balance their work with childcare and nursing care. The support seminars offer a program for employees with the theme of “Management that enables employees to exercise their own skills to the maximum.” Furthermore, the support seminars provide lectures on the right mindset to have for nursing care and the basic knowledge they will require when they eventually face a nursing care situation.
*For details, please see Promoting a Healthy Work-life Balance
See the page linked below to learn about stratified training provided to female staff to foster future women executives.
In order to promote diversity, it is particularly urgent and important to promote women’s participation and advancement in the workplace. JVCKENWOOD supports female employees by offering them training and expanding childcare leave and other benefits to ensure that female employees can play an active part in the workplace. In particular, we recognize the low ratio of women executives as a medium- to long-term issue, continuing our efforts to train staff to enable them to continue working and increase the number of women executive candidates.
Year by year JVCKENWOOD is strengthening its efforts to harmonize work and home life (work-life balance: WLB) so that it can help meet the needs arising from individual employees’ diverse lifestyles and work styles.
*For details, please see Promotion of Work-life Balance
In Japan, where the population is declining due to decreasing birth rates and increasing life expectancy, it has become increasingly important to hire talented employees, regardless of nationality, to secure a workforce and ensure the prosperity of the company. JVCKENWOOD has been active in hiring foreign employees and engaged in developing workplace systems to accommodate cultural and lifestyle differences. As of April 2019, 21 foreign employees work at our company. We expect the number to increase to 30 by FY2020. We will remain committed to hiring foreign employees and creating a workplace culture that can enable them to realize their full potential.
The JVCKENWOOD Group is a global company operating in 19 countries in the Americas, EMEA, APAC and China, with approximately 18,000 employees worldwide. We recognize that understanding and respecting the unique features of each region is extremely important in paving the way for our smooth operation, and that local hiring to take full advantage of what local human resources have to offer is a major driving force toward that end. In particular, we try to accommodate the religious beliefs or practices of employees as much as possible, by providing private spaces for prayer or other religious observance, etc. By actively employing and cultivating executives locally, we are striving to put in place the in-house systems needed to enable all employees to participate fully in local operations.
JVCKENWOOD is working to create an inclusive working environment for all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation. JVCKENWOOD provides employees with training to advance their understanding of LGBT issues. In FY2018, LGBT training courses were held at the Hachioji Business Center and the Hakusan Business Center, and at the Headquarters/Yokohama Office in FY 2019. We also conducted an interview with LGBT employees at our subsidiary, JVCKENWOOD Optical Electronics (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (JKOT), and featured it on our website to share their thoughts and hopes for the future across the JVCKENWOOD Group and with the public.
In 2019, continuing from the previous year, JVCKENWOOD participated in Tokyo Rainbow Pride, one of largest LGBT festivals in Japan. We joined the parade and exhibited panels to call for LGBT inclusion, in collaboration with other companies involved in the LGBT-Ally Project.
Because of these efforts, JVCKENWOOD received the highest Gold rating in the PRIDE Index in FY2018 and FY2019, which was created by work with Pride (wwP), a nonprofit voluntary group, to evaluate companies and groups for their friendliness to LGBT and other sexual minorities. We will continue these activities in and out of the company.
PRIDE Index Gold Award logo
Tokyo rainbow pride 2019
Ms. Napaphat Chubsuwan (a transgender) at JKOT (Photo from interview)
JVCKENWOOD works to create an inclusive working environment for all employees, with or without disabilities. We have been providing employees with internal training on how to work with people with disabilities to cultivate knowledge and thoughtfulness on a continual basis, and a cumulative total of 379 employees took this training in 2018 and 2019. With employees with disabilities accounting for 2.40% of the workforce as of March 2020, we will continue to work to keep the ratio above the mandatory employment quota (2.2% as of April 2020 and to be raised to 2.3% by April 2021).
As an external activity, we have concluded a memorandum with the Yokohama City Government and the two sponsors of the Yokohama Paratriennale, Randez-vous Project Yokohama Committee and SLOW LABEL (Specified Nonprofit Corporation), to hold the Yokohama Paratriennale to support collaborative cultural and artistic activities between people with and without disabilities.
Going forward, we will continue to work to further increase support and understanding in the workplace and create a better working environment so that all employees, with or without disabilities, can work enthusiastically and comfortably.
JVCKENWOOD is aiming to become a company where employees can play an active part, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, culture, disability, work style, age, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and promoting the activities of the project team “Pleasure in the Job” to identify issues and propose solutions from an employee perspective.
From FY2017 through FY2018, seminars were held with the theme of “Health Management for Women to Continue Working with Enthusiasm” aimed at promoting interactions among female employees. Additionally, each business place conducted workplace surveys in which different generations of employees with different backgrounds from different departments took part and discussed their problems in the workplace and their ideas for improvements.
In FY2019, project members had discussions at monthly regular meetings and compiled proposals for improvements toward “Creation of Workplace where Employees Can Work Enthusiastically” and submitted them to the management.
Scenes of discussions
JVCKENWOOD worked closely with the Yokohama Arts Foundation (Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1) in a joint corporate/local effort to produce a corporate promotion video featuring an original dance performance (JVCKENWOODancing) and a motif of “a diversity of employees working together positively”.
*For details, please see Production of corporate promotion video with employee participation (Japanese)