To Promote Diversity
The Brother Group has been supporting diverse ways of working to enable employees to choose their own lifestyle, given laws in each country and region, labor environments and personal situations. We have been committed to promoting diversity by reinforcing in-house systems and reforming employees' consciousness, with the goal in mind that the right personnel, who are excellent in ability, personality, talent and behavior, will be placed in the right positions across national boundaries and lead the Group.
In recognition of its efforts, Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) has been certified by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Aichi prefectural and the Nagoya city governments as an enterprise responding to diverse ways of working by promoting the success of women and providing support for child-rearing and so forth.
Activities to Support the Success of Women
Implementing measures to promote the advancement of women as one of the challenges in diversity management
BIL has been proactively supporting women's careers by formulating the "Commitment to Promotion of the Success of Women" and the "Action Plan to Support the Success of Women," adopting telecommuting, and providing lectures by experts. BIL has also been posting the career profiles of its female managers on the intranet and been holding internal small-group discussion meetings called the "Career Community" to respond to a request from employees to share the careers of those who serve as in-house role models. The Career Community has covered various themes, including the balance between work and child-rearing for men, and served as a place for participants to exchange their opinions and develop a network of internal contacts. Furthermore, in response to the opinion that employees need to have experience working abroad in order to shape their careers, BIL in FY2017 expanded its conventional trainee program designed for young employees to have a chance to work abroad, to include a newly-established overseas dispatch program for administrative employees in their third or fourth year of employment. With these initiatives that offer OJT and opportunities to gain extensive experience in overseas group facilities, BIL has been helping its employees become more active in the future. BIL will remain committed to creating a pleasant working environment for all employees, regardless of gender, to realize the diversification of working practices in terms of diversity management and work-life balance.
Voice of an employee who joined the overseas dispatch program for administrative employees:
Understanding of the frontline is essential for meeting the needs of customers
Sales & Marketing Department, Personal & Home Business Division, Brother Industries, Ltd.
From April 2018, I spent my fourth year at Brother undergoing training at our sales company in Germany. While there, I mainly learned about market surveys and sales promotion tools, which are parts of planning operations, through practical experience. During that year, I always tried to create opportunities to hear directly from people on the frontline by visiting our dealers and events in person.
I now realize the necessity of drilling down into requests that we get from these frontline locations in order to understand the essential needs of customers. I learned firsthand the importance of understanding the actual locations and actual issues. Since I have been back in Japan, I have tried to use this experience when planning new products by focusing on whether they meet the needs of customers.
Supporting Work-Life Balance
Enhancing systems and creating an atmosphere that encourages the utilization of them
BIL has established various systems to support the work-life balance of its employees, including flextime, childcare or family-care leave, short-time working, and nursing care leave systems, so that they can continue working vigorously with no anxiety.
Since FY2011, BIL has held seminars to consider how to strike a balance between work and family care in preparation for the arrival of an age with serious family-care problems in the near future. Managers, in particular, are required to participate in these seminars to gain information that helps them prepare for the risks associated with their subordinates' family-care. In FY2015, BIL started adopting telecommuting for employees engaging in childcare or family care, thereby allowing them to more flexibly choose the way they work.
Meanwhile, based on opinions from employees, BIL has been focusing on making those systems much easier to use and creating an atmosphere that promotes the understanding of them within the company.
In FY2016, BIL held a cancer seminar for women in order to help female employees have accurate cancer knowledge and continue to work vigorously for long years, and also launched the "Career Community," composed of theme-based round-table talks by BIL's senior employees. These were held during work hours to allow employees to attend easily.
Number of employees who used BIL's systems*1
|Childcare leave*2||60 (17)||61 (19)||73 (35)||74 (41)|
|Family-care leave*2||5 (3)||3 (1)||5 (1)||3 (2)|
|Short-time working for childcare||153 (5)||166 (6)||177 (9)||176 (7)|
|Short-time working for family-care||2 (1)||2 (1)||3 (0)||6 (1)|
|Nursing care leave||31 (8)||31 (9)||33 (7)||28 (7)|
|Homeworking||41 (8)||57 (6)||78 (7)||226 (111)*3|
- The numbers in the parentheses indicate those of male employees
- The number of those who started using the system in each fiscal year
- Excluding individuals that implement COVID-19 measures
Voice of an employee who utilized the childcare leave system:
Understanding and expectations for men to take childcare leave
Human Resources Department, Brother Industries, Ltd.
When my third child was born, I took three months' childcare leave. Personally, I was a bit uncertain and reticent about utilizing the childcare leave system at the beginning. However, the reaction from my superiors and colleagues was more positive than I expected, and they also actively supported me by adjusting my work schedule while I was away. I am also thankful for the same warm reception I received when I came back to work. During my leave, I was able to spend much more time than normal with my children, which was a really valuable experience for thinking about balancing childcare and work commitments going forward.
Thanks to this experience, I will be able to support other members of my team so that they can have peace of mind if they also take childcare leave in the future.
Reduction of long working hours
Under its policy of reducing long working hours, BIL has put systems in place and promoted operational efficiency.
Revision of systems
Morning-type flextime system
The core time of BIL's flextime system was initially from 10:30 to 15:00. However, in July 2016, it was changed to between 9:30 and 14:00, starting one hour earlier to make the system more morning-type.
Overtime application system
In July 2016, BIL introduced an overtime application system, which requires overtime work after 20:00 to be approved in advance, and basically prohibited overtime work after 22:00. In this way, the company has been striving to reduce long working hours.
Gradual lowering of the upper limit of non-statutory working hours in non-product sections
Based on an agreement with the Brother Industries Labor Union, BIL gradually reduced the non-statutory working hours by FY2020.
|Monthly target||80 hours||75 hours||70 hours||65 hours|
|Annual target||550 hours||520 hours||480 hours||450 hours|
BIL has been promoting operational efficiency improvements by launching operational efficiency projects, reviewing its operational processes, and utilizing digital tools.
Drastic review of operational processes
BIL has been promoting operational efficiency improvements by sharing concrete measures or departmental efforts taken to resolve challenges in internal meeting management, meeting material preparation, and e-mail correspondence with employees on the intranet.
Utilization of efficient digital tools
BIL has been promoting the automation and efficiency of routine work by means of IT, such as RPA and AI, across the company.
At the same time, it has also been fostering developers for these digital tools.