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Promoting workplace diversity: forming a strong and creative organization - JSR establishes internal Social Networking Service (SNS) for working mothers

CORPORATE  07/20/2010
TOKYO - 20 July 2010 - JSR Corporation (President: Mitsunobu Koshiba) has announced the establishment of an internal social networking service (SNS) for working mothers: "HARMONY" on July 1. "HARMONY" provides a place for working mothers (female employees who work while raising children) and female staff members who are considering marriage or childbirth to casually exchange information with one another, allowing members to look for role models within the company.
As a company, JSR is creating a corporate culture where different values are accepted. Aiming to form a strong and creative organization made up of diverse personnel, initiatives such as reduced working hours, working from home and a career return system have been introduced to provide a favorable working environment for female staff members. JSR has positioned the "promotion of workplace diversity" (NB) to be an important task of our human resource policy as of fiscal 2011, focusing particularly on the capabilities of female employees. JSR is currently planning various measures such as the introduction of "pair training" (one-to-one training composed of a female staff member with a manager) and the implementation of an education program for female employees who have transferred from a general to a main career track.
(NB) The promotion of workplace diversity refers to the acceptance of different attributes (such as gender, age and nationality) as well as the recognition of differing ideas and/or values that were once the mainstream within the workplace and/or Japanese society. Diversity is a management strategy: by capitalizing on different attributes, companies can promptly respond to changing business environments and attempt to enhance profit.

"HARMONY" was established as an outcome of a discussion forum between the company president and staff members, whereby female employees requested "a place where working mothers can communicate". Targeted participants are female employees who are balancing work with child-rearing, female staff members who are pregnant, on maternity leave or taking childcare leave, and employees who are thinking of becoming a working mother. As of 16 July, there are currently 44 registered members. From matters concerning pregnancy, child birth and child-rearing, to themes such as the company's child-rearing support system, balancing work and childcare, as well as career directions, members can exchange information and participate in questions related to specific topics. As with any other SNS website, participants can also create their own online diaries and/or photo albums.

{Diversity at JSR and the promotion of work-life balance at the company}
At JSR, a number of programs are in place to offer effective, varied and flexible working conditions for all staff members to enable employees to balance work with various other factors such as life events. Programs are not only limited to child-bearing, child-caring employees and staff caring for elderly parents; all staff are entitled to the company's support systems. Such programs and support systems are promoted at JSR.
As part of JSR's child-birth and child-rearing support systems, in addition to maternity leave and child care leave (1.5 years), the company has a system in place to enable a smooth transition from childcare leave to returning to work. To support returning staff, a pre-returning interview is conducted. On returning to work, staff are given options as to working arrangements - such as working fewer hours and/or working at home. Six months after returning to work, employees are provided with a benefit to financially support their return to work after taking leave, acknowledge their forthcoming efforts and to show appreciation for their work. Other programs such as a babysitter benefit are provided to assist in halving such expenses.
JSR believes that in an upcoming, further diversified society and market, a foundation in which various values are accepted is necessary to sustain the company's growth. In an attempt for all employees to have a sufficiently-balanced working life and an enriched personal life, the promotion of diversity and work-life management will continue to be proactively addressed as important tasks of our human resource policy.

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* In setting up this website, JSR has adopted GaiaX's SNS product: "airy diversity".