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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 or gender, 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 diversity both among managers and also among our female employees themselves. In addition to expanding our employee leave program for childcare and nursing care, helping ensure that employees in various situations can continue with their careers, we have also introduced policies to maintain and boost individual employee motivation.

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 and maintain and boost employee motivation. One such initiative, the Diversity Forum, has been held since 2008 with the aim of introducing diverse role models from Otsuka Group companies located both in Japan and other countries. Currently, more than 100 employees from around the world take part in these forums.

Encouraging the active participation of female employees

WING seminar

To encourage the active participation of female Medical Representatives (MR) and sales representatives, Otsuka Women's Workshops give employees an opportunity to share information on childrearing. 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 activities centering on the theme, “Our changes can change the 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.

Creating an environment in which work and parenting can be kept in balance

“Ikuboss” seminar

Increasing numbers of male employees want to both work and play their part in child-rearing. This is just one trend that requires managers to expand their perspectives in an age of increasing employee diversity. In addition to hosting seminars for male employees (or spouses), 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 need 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.

BeanStalk Kids Center Tokushima

To further support employees with children in balancing their work and childcare, Otsuka opened on-site day care facilities, “BeanStalk Kids Centers,” in Tokushima and Osaka in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

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, Otsuka Pharmaceutical established Heartful Kawauchi Co., Ltd., a special subsidiary, in Tokushima in October 2011. 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 agriculture (growing tomatoes).

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

Otsuka Pharmaceutical diversity initiatives & accomplishments

Career advancement initiatives

Diversity promotion projects Otsuka launched its Diversity Promotion Project in 2007, to promote diversity in many areas, not only gender. Forums and seminars promoting diversity are held regularly as a part of the project.
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 maternity/child-care leave, with a maximum of 18 months).
Shortened/ flexible
working hours
Shortened working hours are available to employees with children who have not yet entered elementary school. Flextime work hours are available from confirmation of pregnancy until a child enters 8th grade.
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).
Company day care centers The first Otsuka company day care center was opened in Tokushima City in April 2011. Expanded from its initial capacity of 100 children, the center now accommodates 150 children, and further expansion is planned. The second company day care center was opened in Osaka in April 2014.
Telecommuting (I-Work) This program was initiated as a career advancement initiative based on changing conceptions of work, increasing productivity and improving work-life balance.
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.
Additional initiatives Additional initiatives include paid vacation leave accrual systems, a system for returning to work as a fulltime employee following a period of absence, married couple housing allowances and other programs.
“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.

Measures to improve employee motivation

Diversity Forum In 1990, “Women's Forum” was initiated 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 2015, the number of working mother MRs had increased to 43.
Voluntary leadership study group, WING Launched in 2009, this study group addresses internal issues. Participants break into teams to discuss and develop solutions, which are then proposed to management. Employees are encouraged to participate regardless of age or job title.
“Ikumen,” “Ikuboss,” child raising seminars

“Ikumen”is a term used in Japanese to describe a father who helps with child-rearing and housework. 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

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.