February 21, 2024

SHIMADZU DE&I Week 2023 on the Theme of Appreciation and Gratitude


Since 2020, Shimadzu Corporation has been holding a "Thinking about Diversity Day" every year, with the aim of considering diversity as a personal concern. In 2023, the fourth year of the program, SHIMADZU DE&I Week 2023 was held from December 4 to 8, during which the entire Shimadzu Group in Japan and overseas had the opportunity to reflect on "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" (DE&I).

This time, lectures and events were held to promote a culture of appreciation, with the theme of appreciation and gratitude.


Special Lecture: Achieving “Self-Motivated Teams”


Toshio Murase, an Associate Professor at the School of Commerce, Waseda University.

A special lecture was held, entitled “Achieving “Self-Motivated Teams” Seeking to Reach High Goals, and Prepared with Psychological Safety.” The lecturer was Toshio Murase, an Associate Professor at the School of Commerce, Waseda University.


View of the special lecture hall

His presentation focused on what happens when a "self-motivated team" is created to address a goal, and what we can do to make it happen, as well as psychological safety, including the impact of appreciation. The event was attended by more than 120 people in person and online, and attendees shared the following impressions.

  • In my understanding, appreciation is concern for another, and communication in a positive way.
  • I was particularly pleased that he talked about how the impact on corporate culture increases as the managerial position rises, and that this should be a concern from a psychological safety perspective.
  • Of course, it is important to communicate the changes you want to see and to convey this properly rather than implicitly waiting for things to happen.

Expressing Appreciation and Gratitude through Senryu Poetry & Art and “Active Appreciation”

Two projects helped put the expression of appreciation and gratitude (active appreciation), the theme of Shimadzu DE&I Week 2023, into practice.

The first, “Offering the Gift of Appreciative Messages!”, focused on expressing gratitude to colleagues at work. In this project, people were asked to send messages of appreciation to their bosses, co-workers, and juniors.

People Receiving Messages of Appreciation

People Receiving Messages of Appreciation

Employees who received such messages from their colleagues were surprised but pleased, noting that they found these messages encouraging and truly uplifting.

In addition, as in previous years, submissions of senryu poetry and art were solicited, but this time on the theme of "Appreciation and Gratitude. The collected works were displayed internally for the week and ranked by employee votes. Reflecting on, submitting, and voting on these works provided an opportunity to consider diversity as a matter of personal concern and something close while linking it to active appreciation.

Senryu Poetry Voted No. 1 by the Employees

Senryu Poetry Voted No. 1 by the Employees

  • *Meaning of the Senryu Poetry: Wonderful. You who say so are also wonderful.

Discussion: The Truth about Men Taking Childcare Leave, as Heard from Male Employees and Management

At Shimadzu, measures are being taken to support men taking childcare leave.

For this discussion, the panel consisted of two male employees who had taken childcare leave and managers with male subordinates who had taken this leave. Opinions were exchanged on how to create a work environment in which all employees who wish to take childcare leave can comfortably balance work and family life.

Panel for the Discussion

Panel for the Discussion

Employees who participated in this discussion noted that it allowed them to hear and become aware of the perspectives of both the men taking the leave and their managers, and that it was an opportunity to examine both in-house and external systems for male employees taking childcare leave.

Global Feast: An International Menu Featuring Local Cultures

Meals and desserts from the birthplaces of non-Japanese employees working in the Shimadzu Group were provided as the cafeteria menu for the week, giving employees a chance to consider and get to know their diverse colleagues. People commented that everything from the main dishes to the desserts was delicious, that they had never seen some of the dishes before, and that they enjoyed choosing what to eat. Sample recipes were posted in-house so that employees could try dishes from different regions at home.


An International Menu Featuring Local Cultures
An International Menu Featuring Local Cultures
An International Menu Featuring Local Cultures
An International Menu Featuring Local Cultures

Comment from the Person in Charge of the Event

With the focus on diversity as a matter of personal concern, planning for this annual event once again involved extensive team discussions over several months. Participants noted that the event gave them a chance to think about a variety of things, and to realize that diversity is an issue close at hand. Now in its fourth year, it seems that these efforts are starting to take hold.

In the future, I would like to see initiatives that are even more relevant to as many employees as possible in the Shimadzu Group, including those overseas, and that lead to active participation.


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