Promoting Womens Participation in the Workplace

Initiative to Promote Active Participation of Women

We aim to create a workplace in which all employees, regardless of gender, can work actively.

As we have been promoting positive recruitment of women, the total number of female employees is increasing. However, the ratio of female managers is still low. Going forward, we will continue to implement a variety of initiatives to support women to attain managerial positions and encourage them to work with a sense of fulfillment.

Action Plan on the Act on Promotion of Female Participation and Career Advancement in the Workplace

Our company has formulated the Second Action Plan under the Act on the Promotion of Female Participation and Career Advancement in the Workplace, which aims to realize a society in which women can fully demonstrate their qualities and capabilities.

Second Action Plan (FY2021−FY2023)

  • Target 1: Increase the employment rate of female new graduates to: 50% for administrative career-track positions; 15% for technical career-track positions; and 15% for general technical positions.
  • Target 2: Reduce the retirement rate of female employees who has not reached 10 years of service at the company (to less than 15%)
  • Target 3: Promote active communication beyond organizational boundaries (Improve scores in the employee awareness survey)

Initiative to Increase the Number of Female New Graduates Employed

For promoting active participation of women in the workplace, we will implement initiatives in the employment from fiscal 2022, with the numerical target of increasing the employment rate of female new graduates to: 50% for administrative career-track positions; 15% for technical career-track positions; and 15% for general technical positions.

Transition in the Ratio of Female New Graduates Recruited by Job Types

Transition in the Ratio of Female New Graduates Recruited by Job Types

Initiative to Develop Female Leaders

We are working to develop female leaders with the numerical target of increasing the ratio of female managers and site supervisors by a factor of 2 compared to fiscal 2020".

Ratio of female managers (Kobe Steel)

Ratio of female managers (Kobe Steel)

Initiatives to Support Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace

Kobe Steel introduced a mentoring system in 2006 ahead of other companies. Since 2014, we have implemented various measures to further promote women’s participation and advancement in the workplace.

In particular, we are conducting a variety of initiatives aimed at supporting the long-term career building of young female employees, such as implementation of the following original career advancement plans:

Career Training for Female Technical Employees

Career Training for Female Technical Employees

This training was held for the first time in fiscal 2019 to provide young female technical employees with an opportunity to think about their career from a long-term perspective, including life-altering events (marriage, childbirth, etc.). It also provided an opportunity for female employees to form connections with employees in other business locations and departments.

Employees from all offices gathered at the Kobe Head Office or the Kakogawa Works, and an external lecturer was invited to allow participants to work on deepening their understanding of themselves, thinking about their future career, and coming up with an action plan to work toward their goals.

Training for Managers of Female Technical Employees

Training for Managers of Female Technical Employees

This training was held for the first time in fiscal 2019 for managers of young female technical employees to help them understand and experience the significance of career development, as well as learn how to support the careers of their female subordinates and interact with them. Through group work and other activities, we also provided an opportunity for managers with young female technical employees as subordinates to form networks.

Additional Skill Enhancement Training Options for Technical Employees

Additional Skill Enhancement Training Options for Technical Employees

Based on the interviews we conducted with technical and administrative employees in fiscal 2015, we are promoting initiatives aimed at supporting the active role of these employees in the workplace.

As one part of that effort, we added a significant number of items to the skill enhancement training menu for technical and administrative employees starting in fiscal 2017. We invite lecturers requested by employees and approved by bosses to increase the employees' ability to perform their jobs in accordance with each organization's needs.

Active Dispatching of Female Employees for External Training

Details:
Career-track female employees with four to seven years of experience at the company (including deemed employees) are dispatched for external training.
Background / Purpose:
This training aims to provide participants with an opportunity to form external networks and think about their career development, as well as improve their motivation.

Mentoring System

Details:
Through this system, female career-track employees with four or more years of experience at the company may receive, on request, ongoing support including advice about their jobs and careers from mentors with significant experience (manager-level or above).
Background / Purpose:
  • Accelerated Growth for Female Employees
    By having female career-track employees interact with employees with significant experience who share their knowledge and experience from a perspective different than that offered by training at their workplaces, this initiative aims to provide other role models and promote the growth of younger female career-track employees.
  • Fostering a Climate that Actively Cultivates Female Employees
    By increasing the number of managers who interact with female employees, this initiative aims to deepen the understanding of female employees and foster an atmosphere to actively support them.

Female Employee Training Sessions (Exchange Meetings)

Female Employee Training Sessions (Exchange Meetings)

We have been holding this event once a year since fiscal 2014. The main objective is to support female career-track employees so that they can work for a long time and play an active role in the workplace. We believe that, in the face of a dearth of role models, forming networks among females has a certain effect on raising female employees’ motivation with regard to career development and long-term employment. Male employees have been added to training sessions since fiscal 2016, and we have held group discussions aimed at creating a workplace where all employees feel comfortable working.

Exchange Meetings for Female Managers and Female Career-Track Employees

Kobe Steel has been employing female technical employees that work on-site since 1999, ahead of other companies, and some even serve as team leaders at some workplaces.

However, the rate of female technical employees is still low at approximately 1% to 2%. We learned that this can cause employees a number of issues as they work, including a sense of isolation due to the low number of women. To address this, starting in fiscal 2016, we began holding exchange meetings for female technical employees once a year where new employees can hear directly from female team leaders about their experiences. The aim is to figure out beforehand what difficulties they might experience in the future and how they can overcome them.

Exchange Meeting for Employees from Different Industries

Kobe Steel held an exchange meeting for young female employees to interact with employees from other companies in different industries. The meeting aims to provide an opportunity for employees to think about their own career development objectively and form relationships they can utilize in their jobs from a medium- to long-term perspective by exchanging views with women working at other companies across different industries. It was the first event that we organized with companies outside of our Group.

Exchange Meeting for Employees from Different Industries

Exchange Meeting for Employees from Different Industries

Training for Managers with Female Subordinates / Diversity Training for Line General Managers

Training for Managers with Female Subordinates / Diversity Training for Line General Managers

Since fiscal 2015, we have been holding diversity training for line general managers, the key individuals contributing to creating the workplace atmosphere, with an aim to deepen their understanding on diversity.

We invite lecturers from outside the company to speak from their experience about why diversity is important and what is needed to promote it within workplace environments, referring to relevant topics such as management of subordinates, work styles, and others.

Expansion of Range for Continued Use of Maiden Name

Details:
We have expanded the scope of the continued use of maiden name for employees who have changed their last name in the family register due to marriage and other factors.
Background / Purpose:
Until now, it was only possible to continue using one's maiden name under certain circumstances. However, we received requests to expand the scope of its continued use for various reasons. Some people who had already been using their maiden names felt it would be difficult for other employees to recognize them if they had to change to their married names. One example is employees conducting aptitude evaluations of career-track employees and managers. Another example is personnel-related information published in company notices. In both cases, employees may know others only by their maiden names.

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