Initiatives for Inclusion

The 7th D’s Diversity Forum
Practice of Diversity Management for the Active Participation of Diverse Human Resources

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The D’s Diversity Forum is jointly held by Daiwa House Group companies for the promotion of diversity. Participants learn the importance of practicing diversity within an organization, and themselves become agents for the promotion of diversity at each group company, thereby accelerating initiatives throughout the entire group. The forum began in fiscal 2013. Participants at the 7th and latest forum numbered 400, including staff from our head office and Tokyo head office, with employees from 12 other facilities joining via video conferencing. Participants considered the importance and possibilities of diversity management and exchanged opinions.

  • Thursday, September 5, 2019
  • Venue: Daiwa House Tokyo Building
  • Satellite venue: Daiwa House Head Office Building

President’s presentation

Awareness and Action as a Leader in Diversity Management

President, CEO, COO
Keiichi Yoshii

This fiscal year the Daiwa House Group has encountered circumstances that have damaged the trust of our stakeholders, and we are currently speedily addressing those issues. Accordingly, I will talk about four things that we must accomplish and uphold going forward.
The first is to conduct management in accordance with the law. Management is only achieved when the two laws of social law and company rules are understood and upheld. We must be an organization that spreads awareness of compliance with laws and rules to every corner of the group and executes those rules.
The second thing we must do is to know what our shareholders think and want, especially foreign investors, who hold more than 30% of our stock. When speaking with institutional investors and analysts during our overseas roadshows, they question our numbers of foreign executives and female executives. Please understand that it is not just a matter of gender and age, but that the global standard is promotion of diversity management in which all people, including foreigners, can thrive.

The third point is the importance of giving employees opportunities to grow. For the growth of our group, it is essential that women participate in management as managers. Managers need to have work plans tailored to each of their subordinates and, for example, even while an employee is on childcare leave and after they return to work, ensure they are given opportunities to grow. The future of the Daiwa House Group depends on it.

Furthermore, when I visit housing display centers, I see that most of the staff dealing with customers are men. In a field such as housing where there are many female customers, I believe it is possible for all sales, design and construction staff to be women. That brings us to the fourth point, which is to increase the fields in which women are involved, in order to utilize their superior powers of observation and empathy toward others. In order to be a company in which everyone can grow, regardless of whether they are a man or a woman, I anticipate each of you here today being leaders of diversity management.

Keynote speech

Practice of Diversity Management That Gets Results

President, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
Haruaki Deguchi

Humans are animals that only look at what they want to look at, or they adjust reality so that it looks like what they want to see. To see the world, you need the “vertical, horizontal, arithmetical” methodology. “Vertical” refers to history and the opinions of people from history, “horizontal” is the world, and “arithmetical” is numbers, facts and logic.

For example, Taira no Masako, who married shogun Minamoto no Yoshitomo, used her maiden name. If you take an honest look at the “vertical” of history, Japan is a nation of separate surnames among spouses. You understand that people who say that it is not the tradition of Japan have either not studied enough, or have strong assumptions based on ideology. If we look at the “horizontal” of the world, among the 36 OECD member nations, there is none that enforces same surnames as a requirement for marriage by law. For the “arithmetical,” we can interchange the term “evidence.” In response to the Western-style of management, there are people who say that Japanese management is superior and cite the “sanpo yoshi” principle (of transactions being good for the seller, the buyer and society), but if you look at the data, Japan works for 2,000 hours to make just 1% of growth. In Europe, where society is aging and the birthrate declining just as it is in Japan, they achieve 2% growth in under 1,500 hours of labor. There is only one answer to draw from this. That is that Japanese management is inept and inadequate.

Furthermore, Japan is the most aging society in the world. In five years’ time, baby-boomers will turn 75 or older and the problem of nursing care will be so bad that it will hurt our eyes just to look at it. The global definition of “nursing care” is life expectancy minus healthy life expectancy. What you see from this formula is that the only way to solve the issue of nursing care is to extend healthy life expectancy. If you were to ask 30 doctors, they would all answer that the best way to do that is to work. In that case, the only thing that Japan needs to do is to eliminate retirement. Retirement is a custom unique to Japan. Simultaneous recruitment of new graduates, lifetime employment, seniority by length of service, retirement, these cannot exist without rapid economy growth and population increase. They are labor practices not found anywhere else in the history of the world.

Ending retirement kills five birds with one stone. The first is that if you work, you become healthy. The problem of needing 20 million yen for your old age will disappear. In Sweden, in Northern Europe, where there is an established public pension system, the key goal of pension public relations is to communicate the importance of working. That shifts people from receivers of the pension to those who pay into it, and the second merit is that it benefits medical care and pension public finances. The third is that the middle aged and elderly will suddenly become motivated. In an era of living to 100, if you start working at age 20, 60 is right in the middle. Why do people think one’s working life should end there? The fourth merit is that if retirement is ended, then seniority by length of service will also disappear. People should work according to their current will, physical strength and capabilities. What they did in the past is not relevant. The fifth advantage is that it would solve the labor shortage. As an example, Google had removed from the employee data in its human resources department, not only age, but also nationality, gender and photographs. All it needs is details of employees’ past career, current work and their preferences for the future. So you can see that it is because Google takes care of its people, regardless of age and gender, that it is growing.

The declining birthrate is also a difficult problem. The base cause is gender discrimination. Among advanced nations, Japan has the worst gender discrimination. Recently, on Facebook, I read something a young woman from a dual-income household wrote. The husband had read an article saying that more companies are allowing employees to bring their babies to the office, so he asked his wife, “Could you take our baby with you to the office?” The wife replied, “You’re the one who would take it,” to which the husband said, “Me? I’ve never thought about it.” In a society that thinks that childcare, housework and nursing care is women’s work, and that a good man does all he can to help with that, why would women bear lots of children? Globally, it’s common sense that men and women give equal care and society backs them up. Experience in Europe shows that the most effective method to end gender discrimination is a quota system that sets the ratio of men and women at a specific figure. In this sense, your company’s goal of 500* female managers is fantastic.
*The numerical goal for the consolidated group in fiscal 2020

By the way, the established theory in contemporary neuroscience and psychology is that gender differences are created by the social environment and that, by nature, there are almost no differences. It is said that men don’t have maternal love, but in men, the hormone of family love, oxytocin, is produced when they care for a newborn baby. In other words, if you want to create a man that loves his family, the best way to do that, scientists say, is to give him childcare leave of at least two weeks to two months. In the U.S., they seek the opinions of psychologists and neuroscientists regarding work styles, interviews, training and other things. But in Japan, the closest the management scholars come to teaching theory, at the worst companies, is to rely on willpower of placing importance on “ho-ren-so” (reporting, communicating and consultation). In thinking about future work styles and diversity, science-based management is a key point.

Japan’s current international competitiveness has fallen, and globally, GAFA and unicorn companies viewed as following in their path are at the forefront. There are three keywords that create this new industry: women, diversity, highly educated. This is common knowledge around the world.

In the service industry era, 60%-70% of users worldwide are women. Where is the men’s floor in a department store? Women lead the global economy. Do the old men that lead Japan’s economy know what women want? This is why women must do what they can. If companies don’t have female employees, they won’t come up with ideas that appeal to women. If they don’t respond to the structure of the market, the society and the economy will not grow.

Innovation that gives birth to new ideas is a combination of existing knowledge. And the greater the distance between them the better. Adding char-siu pork to ramen is short-range. But a store that added carrot and mussels to ramen is in the Michelin Guide. So you can see the necessity of diversity. If you always go drinking with the same people from work, you won’t have any new ideas come to you.

Lastly, “highly educated” refers to study. You work until late every day at the office, and once you get home, you eat, take a bath and sleep. You won’t have any desire to study something new if you’re living like that. If you don’t inject new information into your brain, you won’t have any new ideas. In an era of a contest of ideas, what’s important is people, books and travel. Be stimulated by meeting lots of people, reading lots of books and taking trips.

Keywords in order for Japan to become a good society going forward are “vertical, horizontal, arithmetical,” “women, diversity, highly educated.” From these, new ways of working and living, new innovation and industry will be born.

Workshop

After the keynote speech, participants shared their thoughts in small groups, and exchanged opinions about how to put ideas into practice in the workplace. In questions to Mr. Deguchi, participants sought his advice on how to improve the work environment, about the will to keep learning and about the key phrase “highly educated.” The workshop ended with a strong message of support from Mr. Deguchi, that “the minority changes society.”

At the end of the forum, Moritaka Noumura, Senior Executive Officer of Daiwa House Industry shared his thoughts on the day and his determination to utilize the keywords and realizations gained from the keynote speech and workshop to truly reform working styles and advance initiatives for diversity management.

Initiatives of participating group companies

DesignArc Co., Ltd. [Interiors, facilities, building materials, rental business]

Human Resources Department, Career Design Center, Group Manager
Yukari Sakamoto

More than 40% of our employees are women. Consequently, our goal is not a ratio, but the natural nurturing of female managers, so from fiscal 2013 we have held the “Work Design Seminar fW.” As a result of this continued training to improve participants’ abilities, and in the mindset needed to become a manager, the number of female managers has risen to seven, from just one when the training started. In fiscal 2020, we will devise new initiatives. We will also apply what we have learned from the latest forum to shift our efforts to the next level.

Daiwa Living Management Co., Ltd. [Rental housing related business]

Executive Officer, Head of General Affairs and Human Resources Division, Head of Secretariat Office, Head of Sustainability Promotion Division
Masahito Takano

In fiscal 2019, the corporate body that our company is part of, Daiwa Living Companies, defined integrity as a key matter for implementation and gave it top priority in our organizational management. To respond sincerely to our employees and create an environment for them that is easy to work in, we have included programs such as flextime and childcare leave. In recent years, about half of our new recruits have been women, and they are becoming managers one after the other. To promote diversity, we have also introduced a structure through which we hire diverse human resources throughout the year.

Daiwa House Parking Co., Ltd. [Parking and mobility business]

Representative Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, Head of Administration Headquarters Takashi Nakamae (photo right)

Administration Headquarters, General Affairs and Human Resources Division, Head of Human Resources Section Yasuo Tayama (photo left)

Since we joined the Daiwa House Group in 2015, aiming to be a better company, we have sought the opinions of a diverse range of employees, regardless of gender, age and marital status, and applied those in our reforms. As part of that, the in-house, cross-organizational Diversity Promotion Committee played a central role in establishing the Diversity Action Guidelines in 2018. We examined and analyzed the actual conditions of our programs that support work styles and lifestyles and we are improving and expanding them. Committee members from throughout Japan are participating in today’s forum. What they learn here we will utilize in our initiatives.

Fujita Corporation [General construction industry, real estate business]

Management Reform Division, Diversity Promotion Department
Etsuko Ogasawara (photo right)

Building Construction Headquarters, Design Engineering Center, Structural Design Department, Assistant Director
Wakana Miwa (photo left)

In 2007, we organized the “F-net (Fujita Women’s Career-track Jobs Network),” through which women have been at the center of our diversity initiatives. Our results over the past 10 years include the appearance of diverse role models and a reduction in the ratio of employees who quit. Today’s keynote speaker talked about advancing diversity regardless of gender. At our company, we feel the necessity of that. We will consider what our company needs to work on going forward, and utilize that in the next step of F-net.


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