Policy Proposals  CSR, Education, D&I   Summary of Action Plan on Women's Active Participation in the Workforce Enhancing Corporate Competitiveness and Achieving Sustainable Economic Growth

April 15, 2014
Keidanren

The women's active participation in the workforce is a path to enhancing corporate value by boosting competitiveness and thus constitutes a strategy to ensure that Japan's economy and society can grow sustainably.

Keidanren compiled and published the proposal "Action Plan on Women's Active Participation in the Workforce." In this proposal, issues related to promoting women's active participation in the corporate workforce are discussed under the headings of "Employment Continuity " and "Promotion to Managerial and Board Positions". The proposal also examines wider social issues in the sections entitled "Gender Role Stereotypes" and "Human Resource Development for Women in Science and Engineering," identifying key points and suggesting action to be taken by Keidanren, enterprises, the government, and other stakeholders.

One of the actions to be implemented by enterprises is to formulate and publish corporate voluntary action plans. The circumstances of each enterprise differ when it comes to encouraging women's active participation in the workforce, depending on factors including corporate history, business type, industry, and business scale. Thus it is not appropriate to impose a uniform quota for the proportion of managerial and board positions to be occupied by women or to make purely numerical comparisons, since such approaches may not enable accurate assessment of corporate initiatives. Each enterprise should take the lead in proactively formulating and publishing a concrete action plan based on its own circumstances.

Other action plans for promoting to managerial and board positions includes raising career consciousness, supporting career paths, transforming managers' attitudes and personnel management practices.

And the action to be taken by both enterprises and the government is reconsidering work styles symbolized by long working hours. Enhancing career education that reflects the social and economic environment should be enforced in close cooperation with business enterprises and universities.

The government needs to examine work-neutral tax and social security systems as well as to make effort to eliminate childcare waiting lists. Furthermore, the government, business enterprises and universities have to take initiatives for increasing women in science and engineering.

Keidanren will support proactive voluntary efforts of enterprises by implementing following 5 action plans:

  1. (1) Posting voluntary action plans on promotion of women to managerial and board position published by its members on the Keidanren website.

  2. (2) Establishing a management development course for women to offer opportunities to gain experience and build networks outside the company after consulting with its members.

  3. (3) Conducting regular Diversity Management Seminars for its member's managers to reaffirm the need for women's active participation in the workforce and encourage participants to consider management styles that enable all employees, including women, to display their skills.

  4. (4) Contributing to enhancement of preemployment career education through initiatives including sending businesspeople to speak in schools.

  5. (5) Publishing pamphlets with profiles of women working in science and engineering jobs and organizing large-scale events involving multiple enterprises in collaboration with the government, universities, and business.