Message from the Director in Charge of Human Resources

Basic Human Resources Policies

As well as Shimadzu’s corporate philosophy “Contributing to Society through Science and Technology,” solving challenges in society has remained a core theme of Shimadzu businesses ever since the company was founded. However, given the difficulty of predicting the future of society and business today due to “VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), for Shimadzu to continue solving challenges in society it will be essential to constantly generate new value and innovation. The driving force powering that process is people. Therefore, one of our important roles is to create an environment where each employee feels free to work enthusiastically and fully utilize their individual strengths, and where the individual strengths can be amplified in combination with others. Accordingly, we intend to achieve personal and organizational growth through diversity and inclusion (D&I).

Implementing D&I Measures

Shimadzu boasts a long history of promoting D&I, starting with prenatal and postnatal maternity leave policies introduced in 1948 and continuing to this day with new policies being added for improving existing systems and reforming attitudes about them, mostly for empowering women in the workplace, such as the WiSH diversity project launched in 2015. Nevertheless, despite women accounting for 20 % of all employees, only 4.2 % of managers are women, so organizational level-specific training, mentoring, and other measures for empowering women were established in FY 2021 with help from outside directors. To foster women leaders and address gender issues, we will continue expanding such programs in the future as well.

In addition to supporting women, we will also promote D&I in terms of both organizational diversity and individual diversity, from the perspective of diversity in group affiliation and diversity in values and knowledge.

We are promoting D&I based on three approaches. The first is to implement mentality reforms and cultivate a corporate culture that is open to trying new things, based on new ideas obtained by hiring a variety of human resources and listening to different points of view, and then learning from failure. The second is to establish systems and working practice reforms that enable the abilities of diverse personnel to be fully utilized under a variety of conditions and that generate motivation by assessing their work fairly. The third is to develop personnel and organizations by recruiting diverse human resources, supporting their growth as well as practicing management methods that translate individual strengths into organizational strengths. By integrating those three approaches, we will work to offer individualized career support, develop emergent organizations that make the most of individual strengths, cultivate a centripetal force that attracts people to the company, and achieve decision-making from more diverse perspectives. In April 2022, we established a new organization for promoting D&I within the Human Resources Development Department. By deploying measures to firmly establish and promote D&I, such as human resources development, human resources systems, and hiring practices, we intend to more deeply instill D&I and also DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

Reforming Employee Mentality and Cultivating Corporate Culture

Beginning in FY 2020, Shimadzu has been conducting unconscious bias workshops and holding Shimadzu Diversity days in an effort to reform employee biases. Shimadzu Corporation has also been conducting opinion surveys about D&I in order to assess the current status and consider D&I measures. One issue that was identified by the surveys is the need to “strengthen career support for achieving growth.” Therefore, we will help employees independently plan their careers by continuously improving measures for supporting careers and developing skills. Furthermore, to promote D&I throughout the entire Shimadzu Group, a global D&I survey was also conducted. We will try to implement integrated measures throughout the Group based on the D&I implementation status and issues at each Group company. Through such activities, our aim is to incorporate D&I into the behaviors of employees and the corporate culture so that employees and organizations engage in D&I practices as their own responsibility.

Reforming Systems and Working Practices

To fully utilize the diversity in human resources, working practices must be diversified as well. Therefore, we are creating opportunities for human resources to move more freely to other jobs or challenges and we are promoting such fluidity and taking on challenges in actual practice by increasing the visibility of human resources. For example, an internal recruiting system was introduced in FY 2022 to offer opportunities to participate in projects or challenge oneself in a new job. In addition, in anticipation of an era when the normal human life span exceeds 100 years, we are reconsidering current management mandatory retirement and post-retirement hiring policies in order to expand opportunities for utilizing older or veteran human resources more effectively. Meanwhile, in addition to achieving working practice diversity, it is also important to clarify corresponding roles and expected results for achieving appropriate assessment and compensation systems. Therefore, job descriptions are being created for executive management positions to clarify job prerequisites and performance expectations with the aim of introducing a new human resources system in the next medium-term management plan that starts in FY 2023. Furthermore, that human resources system will also be deployed for executive management personnel in locations outside Japan as a step toward introducing a global human resources system intended to better utilize human resources outside Japan. However, the process will start with first reforming human resources systems in Japan and concurrently promoting the fluidity of human resources between Group companies, such as by accepting personnel from Group companies outside Japan.

Fostering Personnel/Organizations

Due to the rapid changes occurring in today’s world, it is important to develop leaders who can drive the continuous growth of Shimadzu. Currently, we are working on measures to establish a succession plan for officers and managers, increase the visibility of executive management candidates, and implement a systematic training program. A new program will also be introduced this fiscal year to strengthen management capabilities. In addition, to improve the skills of each employee and develop their careers, a curriculum and learning environment for acquiring necessary skills and knowledge are being provided and employee abilities are being developed through career training targeted for respective age levels to better utilize the career assets of employees.

By partnering with universities or other organizations outside of Shimadzu, we are encouraging employees to acquire new expertise and cultivate transferable skills in an effort to develop technical human resources with a broader perspective.

 In the future, we intend to promote the recruitment and development of specialist human resources, such as by establishing systems specifically for specialized jobs. By providing a variety of experiences and learning opportunities, we will develop employees with a broad perspective who can think and act on their own. We will also implement employee and organizational development measures for achieving both personal and organizational growth.

Improving the Well-Being of Employees and Organizations

To ensure employees are free to work enthusiastically to maximize their potential, it is essential to keep them healthy. Based on our management principle “Realizing Our Wishes for the Well-being of Mankind and the Earth,” we are engaged in mainly three initiatives for improving the well-being of employees. The first involves providing benefits from Shimadzu healthcare technology back to employees. Currently, a PET mammography system is used to check for breast cancer in employees and some employees involved in PCR testing products are being given PCR COVID-19 tests. Also, beginning in FY 2022, Shimadzu has been helping employees receive mild cognitive impairment (MCI) examinations using a Shimadzu instrument. The second initiative involves daily health management. Five key themes were specified (exercise, diet, sleep, mind, and not smoking) and measures are being implemented to improve the visibility of health trends. A health app is used to offer events for promoting exercise and a follow-up system is being established for monitoring daily health via a web-based health check system and having occupational health nurses follow up on any employees that are feeling unwell. The third initiative involves mental health. Health-check and stress-check data is displayed visually and used to deploy measures for each step of self-care, subordinate-care, counseling, and supporting employees in taking and returning from leave days. To promote mental health, the first priority is to prevent issues and provide appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Since last year, we have been strengthening the company’s ability to address mental health issues within the company by implementing mental health training and encouraging employees to receive mental health management tests. It is important to create health management systems that make employees feel health management is important and motivates them to take action on their own. We will strive to establish health management measures that ensure workplace safety, increase the health literacy of each employee, inspire employees to independently engage in maintaining and improving their health, and improve the well-being of the overall organization.

Investments in Human Capital Linked to Management Strategies

In order to sustain Shimadzu’s growth and increase corporate value as human resources become increasingly fluid, it is essential to clarify what human resources are required to accomplish respective management strategies and make sure they are made available. Therefore, in addition to strengthening partnerships with relevant departments, we will also increase the visibility of human resources, increase the ability of our organization to attract human resources as a workplace where they can grow and feel job satisfaction, and strengthen our human capital investments aimed at establishing an environment where necessary human resources can be acquired, developed, and allocated.

Biography of Yoshino Kajitani,
Managing Executive Officer,
in Charge of Human Resources, Diversity Management and
Health and Productivity Management

Apr. 1984   Joined Shimadzu Corporation
Oct. 2007   General Manager of Export Management Department,Shimadzu International, Inc.
Oct. 2013   General Manager of Export Management Department,Shimadzu International, Inc. 
Senior Manager,Business Systems Management Department and Business Process 
Re-engineering Unit
Jan. 2014   President, Shimadzu International,Inc.
Jun. 2017   Corporate Officer, General Manager of Public Relations Department
Apr. 2019   Corporate Officer, General Manager of Corporate Communication Department
Apr. 2021  

Managing Executive Officer in Charge of Human Resources, Diversity Management and
Health and Productivity Management(current)