LIXIL makes pioneering water and housing products that solve everyday, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.
Progress in FYE2023
At LIXIL, we believe diversity is the very thing that enhances our uniqueness and competitive edge. Diversity is what drives innovation and sustainable growth as we strive to develop innovative products and services that meet diverse needs and realize LIXIL’s Purpose to “make better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.” Creating a comfortable working environment and culture for all members helps us become an organization of people who feel empowered to tackle difficult challenges with an entrepreneurial spirit and see their achievements justly rewarded.
In FYE2018, we published our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Declaration and determined our priority areas for D&I to promote initiatives. In April 2021, we updated our D&I Strategy. We have stated that our goal is to embed a culture of inclusion across LIXIL and achieve key gender equity goals by FYE2030.
In FYE2022, we determined action plans for talent development and acquisition and for fostering an inclusive culture, and implemented relevant initiatives. In FYE2023, we continued from the previous year in identifying and training high-potential female talent, and laid the groundwork for D&I promotion led within each department by conducting activities for all employees that foster understanding of D&I’s importance and the role and responsibilities of leaders in creating an inclusive organization.
We are also seeking to strengthen D&I more broadly. As part of that drive, we are focusing on creating workplaces that make it easier for employees with disabilities to play an active role.
In March 2020, we established a global department responsible for developing company-wide measures for promoting D&I. In FYE2021, we set up the D&I Committee consisting of our CEO as chairperson and other executive officers and leaders, and updated our D&I Strategy and promotion measures. The D&I Committee implements various measures based on the D&I Strategy, and the results of the committee discussions and deliberations are reported quarterly by the Impact Strategy Committee (the former Corporate Responsibility Committee) to the Board of Executive Officers.
This board discusses and approves targets and implementation plans, and reports the progress twice annually to the Board of Directors for review and oversight. We are using this system to accelerate D&I initiatives across the whole of LIXIL.
We added inclusion as one of the KPIs in our LIXIL Voice employee opinion surveys, and are implementing measures based on the results in order to embed the inclusive culture that we declared as a goal of our D&I Strategy.
In FYE2022, we launched Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) on a global scale, and conducted workshops and e-learning on a global scale to promote understanding of D&I elements such as unconscious bias and psychological safety.
In FYE2023, we launched a dashboard for leaders with visualizations of KPIs such as inclusion score and percentage of female managers, to enable each department to monitor the impact of their D&I initiatives themselves. We also published the Leaders Guide to advancing D&I at LIXIL that shares more practical case studies. It is based on interviews with a number of leaders within LIXIL as well as external inclusive leadership models and research studies, and aims for more effective D&I promotion. We are holding a series of workshops on utilizing the guidebook, which will be joined by all approximately 5,000 LIXIL leaders and managers around the globe. We also regularly post videos, articles, and other media to encourage the sharing of best practices.
Leaders Guide to advancing D&I
To support the #EmbraceEquity theme of International Women’s Day 2023, LIXIL launched an internal campaign featuring panel discussions on women’s leadership, women-centered design and manufacturing, and male allies, as well as speeches from leaders around the world. We also held an event hosted by our ERG named Better Together, which works on gender equity, and employees showed proactive support for D&I and gender equity by sharing related photos and messages on internal social media.
An #EmbraceEquity panel discussion
We are transitioning to a new human resources system that adopts a job-based grade system in Japan, aiming to create equity and meritocracy, so that all of our employees can perform at their best and LIXIL can help them grow.
The new job-based grade system was adopted for manager level positions in April 2022. Having switched to a grade system based on job duties and responsibilities, the system applies a mechanism to reflect individual contributions and performance to compensation decisions. In addition, we have abolished the work location-specific employment system (regional wages), which had typically been utilized by more female employees than male employees, in April 2022. This reduces wage differences caused by likelihood of future work location transfer. With these changes, we aim for a merit-based compensation system that corresponds to individual job duties and responsibilities.
For general employees, we revised certain allowances in April 2023 to eliminate personal factors and realize compensation based on job content and performance contributions. Moreover, we plan to switch our grade system from an ability-based one to a job-based one as well as abolish the work location-specific employment system in April 2024, aiming for a merit-based human resources system regardless of gender or age.
As part of our drive to correct gender inequality, in FYE2022, we incorporated a D&I perspective into our People and Organizational Development (POD) processes designed to help formulate successor development plans for key positions, and identified key female talent across the company. As of the end of March 2023, women constituted 27% of the selected successor candidates.
We are also working to develop high-potential employees, regardless of gender, through our selective next-generation talent development programs in Japan.
In FYE2023, we held training for new female managers in Japan for the first time, welcoming 21 participants. The training focused on knowing one’s own strengths, defining a personal leadership vision, and building a network with other women. For the direct managers of the female managers who participated, we also held online training on actions that support the growth of female leaders. In the future, we are planning to hold training more than once per year and will consider expanding offerings as needed.
Training for new female managers
As a result of these efforts, the percentage of female managers in Japan has increased from 0.9% in March 2012 to 7.1% in March 2023.
We also set suitable targets for the percentage of female managers in each business unit and department as well as targets for the percentage of women by job level, race, etc. and are making global efforts to achieve them.
For part-time female employees in the EMENA region, in FYE2023 we trial launched a tandem leadership program where management duties normally conducted alone were done in pairs. It is a program that enables talented, motivated employees to develop their career based on their own aspirations, regardless of their type of employment.
As of March 2023, the percentage of female managers worldwide was 17.5%, and we will continue working hard toward reaching our goal of 30% by 2030.
When the Japanese government introduced the Act on the Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace in April 2016, LIXIL Corporation formulated its own General Employer Action Plan to establish ways of accelerating the active participation of women and build workstyles and environments that are more conducive to that aim. In 2017, we received the highest “Eruboshi” certification, which is granted by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to recognize companies that promote the active participation of women.
In April 2023, we updated our General Employer Action Plan to ensure that female employees can fully demonstrate their best performance as part of our aim to further empower our female employees.
LIXIL seeks to create environments in which employees with disabilities can better perform and enjoy their work by tailoring jobs to suit each individual’s skills in a wide range of areas including R&D, production, sales administration, and planning management. As of June 1, 2022, LIXIL had 454.5 employees with disabilities in Japan, constituting 2.48% *of the total workforce.
In 2014, we launched our LIXIL NIJI office that focuses on employment of people with disabilities. In addition to supporting employees with different disabilities to perform their work assignments, conducting career aptitude evaluations, and offering job development opportunities, LIXIL NIJI has been undertaking many initiatives to explore the type of environments that would enable employees with and without disabilities to work together most effectively. We strive to create comfortable working environments based on barrier-free concepts by, for instance, introducing software that increases the font size for people with impaired eyesight and adjustable-height desks for wheelchair users.
In Japan, LIXIL is also strengthening company-wide efforts, including introducing sign language interpretation in training sessions and putting subtitles on videos for employees with hearing disabilities.
We have been making various efforts and considerations to improve job assignments and working environments to suit the characteristics of individual employees. For instance, for people who are prone to anxiety, we ask their colleagues to clearly define their duties and promote active communication.
A sign language workshop
For employees who get distracted by other people, we either leave an empty desk in front of them or allow them to work in a free space. Employees with disabilities also contribute to fostering a culture of inclusion by sharing related information on internal social media and holding sign language workshops. We believe these initiatives will promote working environments where everyone can be part of the team regardless of disability.
* Calculated based on the Employment Rate System for Persons with Disabilities by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Since April 2017, LIXIL has been working to create a friendly working environment for sexual and gender minority employees.
In March 2019, we made some improvements to our human resource system and working environments for bases in Japan. For instance, we have started treating same-sex partners as dependents and applying the relevant congratulation or condolence leave and financial payments, arranging times and locations for undergoing health checks, and recognizing employees’ preferences for either male or female uniforms.
We are also promoting internal activities to expand understanding and support. From FYE2018, we have held a series of online lectures relating to sexual and gender diversity and have been encouraging employees to watch them. We seek to increase the number of allies who understand and support sexual and gender minorities through venues such as study sessions and workshops, and distribute Ally badges and stickers to employees who support this initiative.
Thanks to these efforts, LIXIL has been awarded the highest-level Gold award by the Pride Index, which examines the LGBTQ+ initiatives of companies and organizations, for the sixth consecutive year.
At LIXIL in Japan, the executive management team actively supervises the creation of a rewarding working environment in which each and every employee can perform vigorously to their full potential.
We are committed to creating the necessary systems and cultivating the right atmosphere to support a good work-life balance, enabling employees to maintain a high level of performance throughout different life stages. We have been creating frameworks to further expand mechanisms for supporting flexible workstyles, childbirth, and childcare. In FYE2023, we introduced initiatives to extend systems for supporting shorter working hours and encouraging male employees to take childcare leave.
In addition to expanding our remote-working system for working from home or satellite offices, in FYE2021 we also introduced a Superflex system that no longer requires core-time working hours and offers greater flexibility of working hours and locations.
To help encourage male employees to take parental leave, in FYE2023 we designated the 19th of every month as a promotional day to share information that increases awareness and understanding of male parental leave. We are aiming to achieve a 100% acquisition rate for paternity and male parental leave by 2025.*
In FYE2021, we created a new 10-day paid leave for employees with preschool-age children (Childcare Leave system) and for employees who have to care for family members (Family Care Leave system).
Example content from our parental leave bulletin
We also set up the Self-Care Leave system as an expansion of menstruation leave in FYE2021, and have further extended the system beyond fertility treatments and illness during pregnancy or menstruation to now also cover hospital visits for treatments related to menopausal symptoms and disorders.
Under our Career Return system, we rehire employees who left the company for reasons such as childbirth, childcare, nursing care, or relocation due to a partner’s job transfer.
* The target only covers directly hired employees and encompasses our internal Spouse Birth or Childcare Leave (Papa’s Childcare Leave) system.
In FYE2023, our system for shortened working hours for childcare purposes was extended until the child is in the sixth grade of elementary school. For Spouse Birth or Childcare Leave (Papa’s Childcare Leave), which male employees can take when their spouse gives birth, we have extended the availability period from six to twelve months and the length of that leave from five to ten days. In addition, we offer a system that provides financial support to employees wanting to return to work early after maternity or childcare leave, and a system that subsidizes extended daycare fees or the use of a broader range of childcare facilities.
Based on our D&I Strategy, LIXIL is seeking to create an inclusive working environment and talent acquisition and development plans that consider diversity of all types.
As part of this strategy, we established a goal to achieve gender parity in new graduate recruitment in Japan starting from FYE2022.
When we nurture and promote the next generation of leaders, we ensure diversity in terms of gender, nationality, race, and career through a list of potential successors for 250 major group positions.
For the Americas region, we have set a goal to achieve an internal staff composition by race that mirrors the overall mix in the US by 2030.
LIXIL factories in Japan accept foreign-national apprentices. To enable these apprentices to work enthusiastically in Japan, we believe it is important to build better communication, so we hold events to help promote understanding of Japanese culture and Japanese language study sessions.
We have also launched a global group that focuses on multiculturalism as one of our ERGs, and are implementing initiatives to promote greater understanding of racial diversity.
LIXIL has established frameworks to support employee-driven activities. The employee networks in Japan and Americas region encourage employees to get together voluntarily to share and solve their problems and to improve individual skills.
For example, the working parents network, which focuses on how to balance work and childcare responsibilities, holds monthly online lunch meetings where participants get to share any concerns or issues and formulate a course of action to solve those problems. Another example is our Mimishiru team run primarily by employees with hearing disabilities who hold sign language classes for people without hearing disabilities.
To help create organizational change through these activities, in FYE2022 we set up five global ERGs focusing specifically on Better Together, Multicultural, Ability, Working Parents & Caregivers, and LGBTQ+. For each group, we appointed an executive officer as a sponsor who provides support.
Launching Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
In FYE2023, we held activities such as panel discussions about careers for female leaders, and events about male employees’ experiences taking parental leave and employees with disabilities, and also streamed them online.
Male parental leave panel discussion poster
To improve working environments for employees with hearing disabilities, our Mimishiru team led demonstrative testing of a real-time speech-to-text system at our Chita Plant. This system makes it possible for colleagues with hard of hearing to understand what’s being said during morning meetings and interviews without any time delay. It will also help non-Japanese employees in understanding Japanese.
The feedback we have received through these ERG activities are also being reflected in product and service development. At the LIXIL Online Showroom, we have begun providing a speech-to-text service using an app powered by AI voice recognition, and are further expanding services that provide peace of mind to those who have difficulty hearing.