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The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun

Company-wide participation in the Women Will Leadership Program

The Challenge

In a company where the proportion of male employees is approximately at 80%, the Human Resources department and the Management department felt that it was necessary to raise awareness of, and implement actions that advocate for DEI, especially amongst the younger staff. In the previous year, three female employees participated in the Women Will Leadership Program, which was targeted at the News industry. They realized the importance of building a women's network within the company, and the need to learn more about DEI. This also encouraged all other employees to participate in the program.

I have been working at a newspaper company for over 30 years. For a long time, I was the only woman in my workplace and I have always worked to change the male-dominated workplace environment. Gradually, the number of female employees have increased, particularly in the age range of 20s and 30s, where women now account for half of the employees. However, the number of women in decision-making positions is still limited. The newspaper, which disseminates information, must also realize the importance of DEI in order to meet the needs of its readers. It is also difficult to respond to the current diverse society without consciously eliminating unconscious gender bias. In this sense, I believe that it is very important to be aware of our inner prejudices and discriminatory thoughts through external training, such as the Women Will Leadership Program. The world-standard thinking and perspective have been a great learning experience. In the future, I would like to implement my learnings on DEI to my daily work. Besides official training programs, I think it would be good to have a place to talk casually during our personal time such as lunchtime and coffee breaks. We have many branch offices in our covering area, and with female reporters who are fewer in number, they often have no one around them to consult with on their career plan because they have few female role models. I would like to consider the possibility of information exchange online, besides meeting in-person.
Hiroko Inoue
Head of Media, Board of Director
32 employees have participated in the program
86% of the program participants gained a deeper understanding of DEI and its importance within the workplace

The Results

The mindset of the employees has changed since we participated in the Women Will Leadership Program where we learned more about DEI. Previously, workplace communication problems were seen as others’ problems, but now we feel the need to solve them together. We used to be unable to talk to colleagues about certain problems, but now we understand the importance of communication, and feel the need to solve these problems together. Some participants in the program have also started to organize networking events to communicate better with their colleagues.

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