Daiichi Sankyo: How a Japanese Company Supports the Empowerment of Female Employees


The Government of Japan stated  in 2013 that the empowerment of women has the greatest potential for growing the Japanese economy, and pledged to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women as a national mandate. This act aimed to promote the participation and advancement of women in the workplace. Based on the "Women’s Empowerment Law”, government agencies, local government and private sector corporations with more than 300 employees would be imposed  the following guidelines established by the national government:

  • Collect and analyze the data on issues of gender and employment.
  • Devise and disclose action plans to improve gender equality with concrete objectives and measures based on these analysis.
  • Announce the data regarding women’s participation and advancement.

Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company founded in 2005 through the merger of Daiichi Pharmaceutical and Sankyo. With more than 100 years of scientific expertise, Daiichi Sankyo delivers innovative products and services to help patients with a robust pipeline of promising new medicines. Based on the “Women’s Empowerment Law”, the company has developed a plan of initiatives as follows:

Initiative 1: Re-examine programs tied to continuing employment, that encourage flexible work styles, and develop ways to optimize them.

Initiative 2: Implement HR management practices tied to supporting work-life balance.

Initiative 3: Identify female candidates for leadership and managerial positions and actively develop them.

Initiative 4: Develop programs that increase the motivation of female employees to advance their careers.

Initiative 5: Create a program and environment that raises the awareness and the skills of managers developing their female employees

Initiative 6: Develop programs that create a workplace culture that raises awareness of women’s careers

In order to promote diversity and inclusion, as well as support the career development of women in the workplace, Daiichi Sankyo took its first steps in 2010 by promoting the implementation of a wide range of measures aimed at empowering female employees within group companies in Japan. These measures included developing capability building programs and implementing work-life balance support programs.

The company’s  next step was to begin implementing measures that promote D&I in Japan that are aimed at enabling all employees to realize their full potential and bolstering organizational strength, thereby maximizing the value created by the Company. These measures are based on three approaches: (1) eliminating bias, (2) promoting inclusion so that all employees can express their individuality and fully exercise their talents, and (3) encouraging the exchange of diverse opinions, creating healthy debate to bring about more and better value.

In order to entrench Diversity and Inclusion within the corporate culture, as well as continue in furthering the empowerment of women in the workplace, Daiichi Sankyo has begun implementing the actions below:

  • Identified a pool of female candidates for managerial positions and are working to actively develop them.
  • With a selection of the candidates identified, we will put together Individual Development Plans and programs that develop and monitor their growth.
  • For participants of our earlier programs, we are consistently looking for ways to promote and advance their careers and further their development.
  • Re-examining management systems that encourage flexible work styles, and are developing ways to optimize them and implement HR management practices that better support work-life balance.
Photographer & Videographer Credit: Daiichi Sankyo
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  • sasa diana
    It's so interesting
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  • veronica portugal
    Great initative. I am wondering if small companies and startups can implement a program like that
  • Giuliane Bertaglia
    It's a good model of Public Policy, aiming to become a paradigm break and empower women in a long-term perspective. Thank you for sharing it, Meral Guzel!
  • Moudy Mugadzaweta
    A great example really on how women can be empowered within the work place. I'm sure many organizations can emulate such initiatives. I like...:)
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