Aiming to become a company with many female employees who are working in their own way and shine at work
～The switch of emphasis from “supporting a work-life balance” to “providing career support” to accelerate the promotion of more active roles for of female workers～
Aisin has strive to be a company where a diverse range of employees, regardless of nationality, gender, sexuality (LGBT), or disability status, can be respected as individuals, find fulfillment in their work, and bring their skills and characteristics to the table. We have implemented a wide variety of measures to promote women’s active roles in their work from the perspective of female employees. As a result, a growing number of female employees are playing active roles in their workplace while enjoying family life.
In pursuit of maximum results within a limited period of time
- Entered the company as a new graduate in 2005
- Family of 4, with her husband and two children (aged 12 and 9)
- In charge of new technology development and business strategy at the Innovation Center
After entering the company, Ms. Tabata experienced the development of solar cells, and then she was assigned to be involved in developing new technology at the Innovation Center, the mission of which is to create as-yet-unknown technology. Regarding how to pursue a career while raising her children, she said:
“I placed emphasis on maximizing work results within a limited period of time while raising my children by making a solid plan and doing a simulation in my mind in order to smoothly undertake experiments and analytical work on the following day and strengthen collaborative relationships with other team members and those from a joint research destination through close communication.”
She says that she had no anxiety or worries about holding a managerial position.
“In addition to fully developed support systems, including the teleworking and flex-time systems, there were many role models for me in the workplace. I had seen my superiors and other people in managerial positions achieve a work-life balance by taking paid holidays in a planned manner. So, I thought I would be able to play a more active role as a person in a managerial post while raising children.”
Ms. Tabata is currently working on a large project to explore use of new technology and commercialize the technology in the realm/market into which Aisin has never stepped. “I want to become a developer who is not satisfied with the development of new technology but can plan and implement a strategy from the stage of bringing the technology to the market to that of delivering new value to users,” she says.
Visualize what you want to be, and you can see what you should do now.
- Entered the company as a mid-career employee in 2016
- Lives with her husband and a child (aged 1)
- In charge of branding strategy in the Public Relations Dept. and serves as team leader for PR activities within the company
Regarding her attitude toward her career, Ms. Kawase said:
“I visualize what I want to be in the future on a regular basis, by which I can see what kind of skills I need and what should I do now. Now I think this is what is called a “career vision.” Whenever there is a major environmental change in my life, including a career switch, marriage, and childbirth, I redirect my vision flexibly by visualizing what I want to be in the future again.”
Regarding her future career vision, Ms. Kawase, who has extensive experience in PR activities, including media relations and branding, said:
“I think I need to increase my knowledge of Investor Relations, and my specialized knowledge of technology, which continues to evolve on a daily basis. To this end, I’d like to accumulate experience in other departments by using the Career Declaration System* etc. and enhance my capabilities to more strategically disseminate information on the company’s future based on technological evidence.”
* Career Declaration System: designed to encourage employees to shape their career by developing a career and life plan from a mid- to long-term perspective and through consultation with their superiors
Coming back after taking leave for childbirth and childcare, Ms. Kawase is now in a managerial position, responsible for team management while raising her child, who is left in the in-house day care center. “Since several members of my team are also raising children, we can help each other in work in a case where it is necessary to leave early. Family matters are not just limited to childcare, so I pay special attention not to take a toll on other members who do not need to take care of a child.”
Only with passion for their career and an employee-friendly work environment will women be able to play a more active role and shine at work.
Aisin as a company where individual employees can work and shine in their own way
The AISIN Group recognizes that diversity and inclusion are part of an important strategy to survive in an age of rapid change. Top management, including the president, has a high expectation for women’s more active role in “creating new value from an unconventional, fresh perspective.” The president is taking a leadership role in disseminating information to employees, including those in managerial positions, to raise their awareness of the importance of diversity.
Regarding the vision to pursue in promoting female employees’ more active role in the company, Ms. Kamiya, leader of the diversity promotion team in the Human Resources Dept., says: “We are aiming to become a ‘company where female employees can work in their own way and shine at work.’ To this end, we need to take measures for finely tuned responses to individual needs and expectations, including each individual’s concerns and what she wants to be in the future.”
A working environment that enables employees with diverse values to work in their own way and show their abilities can enhance their sense of fulfillment in work, eventually leading to boosting the competitive edge of the AISIN Group.
“In conventional approaches, our efforts were focused on creating systems that allow female employees to remain with the company for a long period of time, with a 'balance between work and family life' as a keyword. These days, however, the concept central to promoting women’s more active role in work is that supporting women in the workplace so that they can perform at their full potential leads to the growth of both employees themselves and the company,” says Ms. Tagawa of the same team.
Promoting women’s career advancement in both top-down and bottom-up fashion
The Kirari Project—whose membership is composed of female employees representing various functions, including sales, technology and production—was launched in 2014, aiming to promote women’s career advancement in the workplace. The project has played a significant role in promoting female employees’ career advancement in the AISIN Group.
“Aisin has a bottom-up culture, which allows female members in various workplaces or various family environments to propose new measures, through repeated discussions, to create a working environment in which they can be themselves and carry out reforms from an on-site perspective,” says Ms. Mine of the same team.
This 'Kirari Project' has launched new measures indispensable for promoting women’s career advancement in the workplace, including the Career Mentor System*1, Ikubosu Academy*2, and a system to encourage male employees to take paternity leave*3.
*1 Career Mentor System: allows employees to seek advice on their career development, a balance between work and family life, or any other worries from senior employees
*2 Ikubosu Academy: a six-month action learning program designed for those in managerial positions to learn about the AISIN Group’s policy on diversity and inclusion and how to manage female subordinates
*3 System to encourage male employees to take paternity leave: the Aisin Group is working toward a workplace where 100% of fathers take paternity leave. Male employees are allowed to take five days of special leave (separately from paid leave) per year after the birth of their children.
The AISIN Group’s initiatives to promote female employees’ career advancement are characterized by accelerated efforts to create a working environment in which women can be themselves at work in both top-down and bottom-up fashion.
The AISIN Group continues to work to promote diversity so that employees with different ways of thinking can perform at their full potential in the workplace and lead a fulfilling life.