March 21, 2013
Nissan awarded 2013 J-Win Diversity Awards first prize
March 15 – Yokohama – Nissan was awarded the first prize at the 2013 J-Win Diversity Awards, presented by the Japan Women’s Innovative Network (NPO J-Win), a nonprofit organization. Nissan won the Special Prize in 2008 and the Second Prize in 2012, making this the third time the company has received an award from NPO J-Win.
The J-Win Diversity Awards promote diversity and inclusion* as a management strategy for corporations. The awards celebrate companies that set diversity and inclusion – “advancement of women” – as a priority issue, take a proactive approach to continuously promote female leaders, integrate diverse capabilities and ideas, and establish an innovative corporate culture to create new values.
Yukako Uchinaga, chair of J-Win, explained that Nissan was awarded first prize not only for its top-down structure promoting diversity, but also for its bottom-up movement too.
“Shiga-san’s leadership was great, and we appreciate his leadership and the other management’s leadership to promote diversity in Nissan. We are so pleased to realize this kind of achievement,” said Uchinaga. “This year, we realized that the top-down directions, and also the bottom-up movement is very strongly tied together. And it is now going to the very strong PDCA cycle. I think – not only myself, but all assessment members – are very, very pleased of this kind of great combination. ‘Top-down and bottom-up’, that’s the reason why we are now asking you to get this J-Win award.”
Uchinaga insisted that diversity is how Japanese companies are going to stay innovative and creative going forward.
“I think right now, Japanese companies are facing a very big challenge from a business and innovation point of view, she said. “And it used to be that Japanese companies were very successful by utilizing monoculture’s advantages. But now, the business model is changing so quickly. So eventually, in order to create new ideas and innovative thinking, I think monoculture is going to be a little bit of a problem. If Japanese companies are now shifting from monoculture to much more diversified, I think that will be a very strong competitive advantage worldwide. So it’s not just only for women. I think this is a very big advantage for the company itself.”
Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga explained what the award meant to Nissan.
“Nissan established ‘Diversity Development Office’ (DDO) in 2004,” said Shiga. “Since then, Nissan has had a clear objective to increase female managers in organizations. This gender diversity is our first step to establish a diversified organization, and to create more innovative ideas or innovations.”
“We are very proud to receive this diversity award because it was evaluated that Nissan has a culture that promotes diversity. This is evaluated as a corporate culture. Japan is very poor especially for gender diversity or the gap between males and females. Nissan will become a more advanced company to promote gender diversity in Japan, thanks to this honorable award we received.”