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Positive Action Training

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Promoting Diversity through Nationwide Training to Further the Careers of Female Employees

Making use of a broad array of human resources – especially women – and promoting diversity to deal with the declining working population from the low birthrate and the aging, globalization, and increasingly varied consumer needs is indispensable for invigorating Japan's economy and society, and now a key management issue for companies of all types. Advancing the careers of women can be seen as one of the first steps to take in promoting diversity.

Now, more than a quarter century after implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, women in Japan have come to play a greater role in society. In individual companies, however, it is still not unusual for sales forces to be nearly bereft of women and for women to comprise a minority of management. Gender disparity in terms of jobs performed, in other words, has not been remedied.

"Positive Action" is being looked to as a way to improve this situation and translate the capabilities of female employees into growth potential for companies. "Positive Action" refers to actions that individual companies initiate to allow women to exercise their full potential and, thereby, eliminate gender–based employment disparities.

Advantages of Diversity for Company Operations

Research conducted for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and administered by MHIR has determined that efforts to advance the careers of women have been effective mainly in five areas – product innovation, process innovation, improving assessments by third parties, internal workplace impacts, and improving third–party CSR assessments. All of these areas play important roles in solving management problems.

MHIR, working under commissions by the Ministries of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Health, Labour and Welfare, as well as other parties, has conducted various studies on the advancement of women's careers and diversity, and the experience and results gained have been used to conduct "Positive Action Training" for two years from 2010 to 2011.

Using Training to Promote the Practice of Positive Action in Companies

This training was conducted by MHIR under a commission by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau, and was carried out mainly for company employees handling HR matters.

Its purpose was to propagate "Positive Action" initiatives throughout society. MHIR, therefore, conducted training courses not only in metropolitan areas but in various locations throughout the country.

To publicize its existence to as many companies as possible, MHIR made use of the group's network and had MHBK personnel encourage corporate customers to participate. In the end, participants numbered about 1,800 for the 76 training sessions held in fiscal 2010, and about 1,100 for the 35 training sessions held in fiscal 2011.

Training sessions talked about the need for "Positive Action" and gave examples of initiatives undertaken by companies already implementing it. They also included numerous practical programs, like one for preparing a specific action plan, to equip participants with the awareness to see problems and tools to take the lead in dealing with them. Feedback from participants was positive with many saying in a survey that the training had helped them to clearly see problems at their companies and understand specifically how to address them.

Mizuho, by continuing with such initiatives in the future, will contribute to the realization of a society in which women and others who have not been able to realize their full potential can do so, and in which the capabilities of diverse human resources translate into growth for companies.

Training topic Training content
I. Promoting career advancement of women to enhance diversity
  • What is "diversity"?
  • Status of working women
  • What is "positive action"?
II. Condition of women's career advancement at the company
  • Description of current conditions at the company, including actions, issues, and problem causes
  • In groups, sharing of information on current conditions at the company
III. Promoting positive action
  • Impacts of positive action
  • How to promote positive action (Steps, equality law, etc.)
IV. Case studies (DVD)
  • Presentation of video interviews at companies leading the way on positive action, and interpretation by the course instructor
V. Developing a positive action framework for the company
  • Development of positive action plans
  • Announcement of positive action plans within the group
General discussion
  • Importance of promoting positive action
  • Summation of specific initiatives
  • Discussion of concerns and obstacles regarding future activities
Private discussions (voluntary)

Related Information

Branches (Japan)

Branches (International)

Integrated Report

CSR Management

Fostering Industries with the Aim of Generating Business Opportunities

Corporate Information

Group Companies

Mizuho's Brand Strategy

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