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Proactively promoting diversity: a team of unique, talented employees fuels innovation and globalization

Otsuka Pharmaceutical believes that utilizing the talents of a diverse workforce, regardless of nationality, race, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, is the best way to generate innovative ideas and create wholly original new products that drive corporate growth. Top management at Otsuka has actively pursued diversity since the 1980s, well before the concept was widely accepted in Japan. The company has been progressive and proactive in its approach, organizing its first Women's Forum (now known as the Diversity Forum) in 1990, aimed at boosting awareness of the importance of gender equality both among managers and also among our female employees themselves. In addition to expanding our employee leave program for childcare and nursing care, we have also introduced policies to maintain and boost individual employee motivation, helping ensure that all employees can continue with their careers.

Diversity Forum

In 2007, Otsuka Pharmaceutical introduced a number of diversity promotion projects, actively seeking ways to encourage employees at the company to share information and experiences to maintain and boost employee motivation. One such initiative, the Diversity Forum, has been held since 2008 with the aim of introducing role models of diversity from Otsuka Group companies located both in Japan and other countries.
In 2017, the Otsuka Group signed the "Women's Empowerment Principles," a set of voluntary corporate behavioral initiatives that promotes the advancement of women in the workplace. In 2019, Otsuka Holdings was selected as a “Semi-Nadeshiko Brand,” an accreditation given to enterprises that encourage women’s success in the workplace, and in 2020, we were promoted to a “Nadeshiko Brand,” meaning we have become a listed company for our outstanding efforts in supporting women's achievement.

Encouraging the active participation of female employees

Otsuka Women’s Workshop

To encourage the active participation of female Medical Representatives (MR) and sales representatives, Otsuka Women's Workshops give employees an opportunity to share information about bringing up children. These workshops aim to help female employees continue their careers after they get married, give birth, and start raising children. We also established WING, a cross-organizational voluntary study group that actively engages in initiatives centering on the idea that changes made by employees can change the modus operandi of the whole company.

Today, we have women in leadership positions in a number of different departments and projects, from research to production to marketing, and the percentage of women in executive positions at Otsuka Pharmaceutical is significantly higher than the average for publicly listed companies in Japan. In 2018, we welcomed our first female board member.

Supporting diverse work practices compatible with child and nursing care

“Ikuboss” seminar

Increasing numbers of male employees want to both work and play a significant role in raising children. This is just one trend that requires managers to expand their perspectives in an age of increasing employee diversity. In 2015, Otsuka Pharmaceutical joined the “Ikuboss Company Alliance,” a network of corporations that aims to foster male and female managers who are understanding of the needs that employees have for a sustainable work-life balance. Otsuka Pharmaceutical has also issued its own declaration stating the company's commitment to supporting staff in achieving this. In 2019, we held an "Ikuboss Seminar" for all employees of management and above, including executives. About 600 people involved came to a shared understanding, which led to a change in awareness that supported new diverse ways of working.

The number of people needing nursing care is increasing as the population ages. Unlike childcare, the need for nursing care often arises unexpectedly, and it can be difficult to anticipate how long it will be needed, making it difficult to manage with a career. To address this issue, we have a robust nursing care system and host "Balancing Work and Nursing Care Seminars" to provide relevant information.

BeanStalk Kids Center Tokushima

Otsuka provides an environment where employees can continue to work with peace of mind, even as they experience a wide range of major life events. In 2011 in Tokushima, and 2014 in Osaka, we established workplace daycare centers called the BeanStalk Kids Centers to support employees who are working while taking care of children. In spring 2018, BeanStalk Kids Center Tokushima more than doubled its original capacity, from 100 to 210, and remains one of the few large-scale workplace daycare centers in Japan.

In recognition of these and other initiatives, Otsuka Pharmaceutical received Next-Generation Certification ("Kurumin" certification in Japanese) in 2008, and in 2014 was awarded Diversity Management Selection 100 status by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Supporting employees with disabilities

An employee with Heartful Kawauchi tends to crops

To encourage employees with disabilities to fully utilize their talents, in October 2011, Otsuka Pharmaceutical established Heartful Kawauchi, a special subsidiary based in Tokushima. The subsidiary creates employment opportunities for individuals with physical and or mental disabilities, also providing a venue for them to demonstrate their abilities to the full. Employees at Heartful Kawauchi are currently actively engaged in the local community in roles ranging from office and production support to agricultural activities like growing tomatoes. In 2016, an employee received the Tokushima Prefecture "Challenged" Award, which is given to those with disabilities who have been active in the workforce for many years. In 2017, MagokoroFarm Cosmos, a farm that hires people with disabilities, including from Heartful Kawauchi, was granted an AnAnGAP Certification, a commendation of excellence, from Tokushima Prefecture, following a thorough inspection of the farm’s production and quality control system and certifying that they are providing safe and secure agricultural products. Furthermore, in 2018, Chugoku-Shikoku Regional Agricultural Administration Office selected it as a MURA no TAKARA site, an excellent example of regional revitalization that brings the full potential of an agricultural, mountainous, or fishing community.

Otsuka remains committed to promoting diversity in the workplace by hiring a diverse range of talented people and striving to make the most of each individual's strengths.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical diversity initiatives & accomplishments

Otsuka launched its Diversity Promotion Project in 2007, to promote diversity in many areas, not only regarding gender equality. We have established a person in charge of each business division to work with our employees, and we have set up regular discussion sessions with executives to promote this diversity.

Systems and Mechanisms for Career Continuity

Support for cohabitation when married Employees who get married can apply for a transfer regardless of gender, following a recommendation from their supervisors.
Maternity leave and child-care leave Although Japanese law mandates that employees on childcare leave receive two-thirds of their salary, Otsuka employees receive full pay during maternity leave (before and after birth).
As a general rule, employees are allowed to take one year of childcare leave, with a maximum of two years if extended.
Shortened/ flexible
working hours
Shortened working hours are available to employees with children who have not yet entered elementary school (Legally, up to 3 years old). Flextime work hours are available from confirmation of pregnancy until a child enters secondary school.
Telecommuting This program was initiated as a career advancement initiative based on changing conceptions of work, increasing productivity, and improving work-life balance.
As a general rule, telecommuting is permitted once a week.
Family smile support system In principle, employees are allowed to work from home for 12 months and commute to the office once a month.
This applies to women from pregnancy to childbirth, men and women who raise children below first grade, and caregivers.
Inter-work intervals This was established with the aim of creating an environment in which employees can work in a healthy state by providing a certain amount of time off to rest between finishing work and starting work the next day, particularly if employees unavoidably finish work after midnight.
The designated recommended interval time is 10 hours.
Healthcare-work balance
support system
We have implemented shortened hours and staggered hours so that employees may continue working while undergoing medical treatment, including cancer treatment and kidney dialysis (working hours are 10:00-15:00 in both systems).
Caregiver leave Employees may take caregiver leave for up to one year (Japanese law mandates up to 93 days of leave for each eligible family member).
Nursing care work (short-time work, flexible start and end time) is up to 3 years.
Additional initiatives Additional initiatives include accumulated paid leave systems (also available for those undergoing treatment for infertility or menopause), a re-challenge system for returning to work as a fulltime employee following a period of absence, and other programs.
Company daycare centers The first Otsuka daycare center was opened in Tokushima City in April 2011. In spring 2018, the center more than doubled its original capacity, from 100 to 210. The second company daycare center was opened in Osaka in April 2014.

Attempts for Career Continuity

Health seminars for working women Workshops are organized to encourage working women to discuss health and hormone-related issues, focusing on creating an environment conducive to rewarding and productive long-term employment.
Balancing work and nursing care seminars These seminars are held to provide information that helps employees continue working when faced with nursing care challenges as they navigate many systems both inside and outside the company.
Information about nursing care services is available on the company's website.
“Kurumin” certification

In 2008, Otsuka Pharmaceutical received the “Kurumin” (Next Generation) certification from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in recognition of efforts to create an employment environment that promotes a balance of work and childrearing in accordance with the “Law Promoting the Raising of the Next Generation.”

Diversity Management Selection 100 Award

In 2014, Otsuka Pharmaceutical was recognized with a “Diversity Management Selection 100” award from the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for successfully creating a more female-friendly workplace.

Selected as “Nadeshiko Brand” in the first year of the Reiwa era

In 2020, Otsuka Holdings was selected by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a “Nadeshiko Brand,” a company acclaimed for its outstanding efforts in encouraging women's success.
The previous year, it was selected as a “Semi-Nadeshiko Brand.”

Awarded Grand Prize in Tokyo Metropolitan Government Women's Participation Promotion Awards Also, in 2020, Otsuka Holdings was awarded the Grand Prize in Tokyo Metropolitan Government Women's Participation Promotion Awards, recognizing the company for its continuous commitment to promoting diversity and the realization of a workplace that is comfortable for both genders.

Measures to improve employee motivation

Diversity Forum In 1990, “Women's Forum” was set up for senior managers to promote an understanding of factors that can hinder women in the workplace and resolve these issues to enable women to succeed at work. In 2008, this annual event was expanded and became the “Diversity Forum.”
Otsuka Women's Workshop In 2007, there were only three MRs who were working mothers. The Otsuka Women's Workshop provides a forum for sharing information about childcare between female MRs who are married, pregnant, or have given birth. By 2019, the number of working mother MRs had increased to 67.
Voluntary leadership study group, WING Launched in 2009, this study group addresses internal issues. Participants work in teams to discuss and develop solutions, which are then proposed to management. Employees are encouraged to participate regardless of gender or job title.
“Ikuboss,” child-raising seminars

These seminars are aimed primarily at male employees with the goal of promoting a healthy work-life balance. Since October 2015, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has also been a member of the “Ikuboss Company Alliance*” encouraging the creation of childcare-friendly working environments.

  • Corporate alliance fostered by NPO Fathering Japan
Promoting paternity leave A video was released about men taking paternity leave, and further awareness is raised through the cross-organizational voluntary study group WING.
This is in addition to the promotion of paternity leave through the “ikuboss,” “ikumen,” and “ikujii” seminars.
The rate of fathers taking paternity leave rose from 3.7% in 2016 to 45.6% in 2019.
(Average length of paternity leave is 12.5 days)
LGBT study groups Established in 2018 by employees working in an in-house inquiry office, this study group recommends measures the company should implement to create a comfortable work environment for LGBT employees.

Other activities

Foreign national employee network A cross-organizational networking opportunity for non-Japanese employees in Japan.
Employment opportunities for people with disabilities Aiming to foster a rewarding working environment for people with physical or mental disabilities, Heartful Kawauchi Co., Ltd. was established as a special subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical in 2011. Employees are engaged in office support, agriculture, and other roles that enable them to interact with the community.
Volunteer leave A system was set up so that employees who wish to volunteer in areas hit by disaster can more easily apply for leave to do so.