The FINANCIAL -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has been named a “Nadeshiko” brand by the Tokyo Stock Exchange for its efforts to support women in the workplace, which have successfully boosted the number of female managers at the company.
Nissan received the recognition today for the fifth consecutive year. As of April 2016, women made up 9.1% of the company’s managers in Japan, up from 1.6% in 2004, when Nissan opened its Diversity Development Office. The ratio is expected to rise to 10% by April 2017. Also in April, the company will gain its newest female officer, Catherine Perez, who will be corporate vice president for strategy, partnerships and business development, according to Nissan.
The Nadeshiko designation, named after a flower that symbolizes female strength and empowerment in Japan, is part of a joint effort by the stock exchange and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to acknowledge efforts to improve the working environment for women.
The stock exchange cited Nissan’s efforts to promote the active participation of female employees as part of the company’s management strategy. These efforts include career development workshops, skill development training and a mentoring program for female employees.
As a pioneer of workplace reform in the industry, Nissan also helps employees improve their work-life balance. In 2015, the company kicked off the “Happy 8” program, which encourages employees in Japan to work eight hours a day, aiming to improve productivity, workers’ health and the quality of time spent both at work and at home. Five thousand employees will participate in Nissan’s Work-at-Home program in fiscal 2016 as a result of efforts to encourage all non-manufacturing workers to join. The number is expected to reach 6,000 in fiscal 2017.
In February, Nissan joined the “Happy Friday” initiative in Japan, encouraging all workers outside its manufacturing plants to leave by 3 p.m. on the last Friday of every month.
Nissan is actively promoting diversity as a corporate strength. Women are the main decision-makers for more than 60% of vehicle purchases, and Nissan believes it is essential to develop products and services that take this into account.