Roundtable Discussion on
Diversity and Inclusion
The Group is engaged in diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, focused on promoting female participation and career advancement as well as the employment of the disabled and elderly. This feature examines roundtable discussions on “work style reforms” held at the Electronic Materials & System Equipment Group. This business group is at the forefront of D&I, implementing initiatives such as the designation of staff responsible for diversity promotion. The Electronic Materials & System Equipmet Group holds roundtable meetings, attended by officers and employees on themes related to diversity. The theme and content of each roundtable are determined through discussion between staff responsible for diversity promotion. Roundtables have been held on the themes shown on the right.
- Past Roundtable Themes
- 1st Roundtable
- About the promotion of female participation and career advancement (Held on October 10, 2017)
- 2nd Roundtable
- Work style reforms - childcare leave, teleworking, long working hours, etc. - (Held on February 22, 2018)
- 3rd Roundtable
- Roundtable on ikumen (men actively involved in raising their children) (Held on May 25, 2018)
- 4th Roundtable
- Utilizing the human resources of operating personnel during off season in manufacturing divisions (Held on September 11, 2018)
- 5th Roundtable
- Initiatives implemented for off season in manufacturing divisions (Held on February 22, 2019)
- 6th Roundtable
- Differences between operation sites (Held on September 20, 2019)
Roundtable Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion
The theme of the 7th Roundtable, held on February 21, 2020, was “work style reforms.” Laws and regulations to promote “work style reforms” have taken shape with the amendments to the Labor Standards Act that came into effect in April 2019, making it mandatory for employees to take five days of paid leave per year. This theme was chosen because the Company is also in the process of promoting “work style reforms” initiatives.
The roundtable began with a mini-seminar on the Labor Standards Act amendments from the Administration and Human Resources Department. Participants gained a deeper understanding of the amendments to the law and corresponding amendments to internal company systems.
The staff responsible for diversity promotion then gave an explanation of the results of a survey on work style reforms conducted within the Electronic Materials & System Equipment Group prior to the roundtable. The participants discussed and exchanged opinions by group on pros and cons of introduction, merits, and their concerns regarding two topics that were highly advocated by some survey respondents: (1) a work from home program, and (2) paid leave utilization by the hour.
Work from home program
Many participants expressed favorable opinions towards the implementation of working from home, suggesting it would enhance work-life balance and work efficiency: “Working flexibly is possible when a family member is in hospital,” or “I’d like to try working from home one or two times a week. Not having to spend so much time commuting would help me use time more effectively, and I may b e able to concentrate b etter at home than in the office.” At the same time, there were those who disagreed: “How could I separate work and home life, if I have to work while looking after children and caring for the elderly?” or “Human beings are not so morally strong. Working from home brings the risk that people will incline to choose an easier way of working and their work will suffer.”
In addition, some participants expressed concern over the lack of personal interaction: “I think that even now we need more communication, but it would decrease even more if we work from home.” The opinions of others showed an awareness of our relationship with production sites as a manufacturer: “Working from home would be really difficult to implement at production sites. The program should be introduced in a way fair enough for on-site staff,” or “There are a number of different job types within each facility. It’s not right that employees in some jobs can work from home, but others cannot. Employees in technological development and those in manufacturing should be work at office together.”
Other participants were concerned that the program should be designed properly: “When the program is introduced, it will also be necessary to create systems to evaluate the results of work. If the program is introduced in the absence of these systems, then the properness of operation management and the status of planning and execution will become ambiguous.”
Paid leave utilization by the hour
On the other hand, some expressed concerns over administration of the system: “Paid leave by the hour would be difficult to implement in the context of workplace shifts,” or “It would be hard for the Administration and Human Resources Department to administrate.” Some participants also linked the issue with workplace safety: “If employees take paid leave by the hour, then consideration would have to be given to safety, to ensure that the movement of people in and out of the workplace doesn’t lead to confusion.”
Participants expressed their opinions freely and openly, and were able to experience both the usefulness and difficulty of “diversity” and “inclusion” first-hand. Lastly, General Manager (the title was as of the date of the Roundtable) Tsuji of the Electronic Materials & System Equipment Group presented his comments to close the roundtable. “The aim of the recent legal amendments is to realize a society that enables the choice between diverse work styles. We should change internal systems flexibly in accordance with this aim. As a company, we need to consider the introduction of systems that are suited to our circumstances, based on the issues and concerns raised today.”
I would like to express my thanks to the Electronic Materials & System Equipment Group for hosting the diversity roundtable, and to the participants for their valuable opinions, which will serve as reference in future consideration of work style reforms.
The promotion of D&I and work style reforms is vital for TATSUTA’s sustainable growth and development. The work from home program is an important part of implementing diverse work styles. The program was one of the measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It was an emergency response under the circumstances, but we launched the program in March 2020. I think that there were more than a few people whose first reaction was “You can do it if you try.” However, as some expressed in the roundtable discussion, and as we have found through actual operation of the program, there are still issues and problems to be resolved. We aim to make it more efficient and effective.
We will continue our initiatives to make Tatsuta an appealing company, where officers and employees can work vigorously with job satisfaction.
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