Publicity September 2012

Diversity Survey Results 2012

Christine Wright

Poll reveals management-female employee perception disparity

For its recent diversity survey, Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan KK polled 1,000 hiring and line managers, as well as female candidates, all of whom, in November and December 2011, had been placed in a new role, or who had been looking for a new position.

Conducted between 23 April and 7 May 2012, the survey reveals that 65% of the female respondents felt that, when it comes to the meaning of diversity, their management do not understand, or they are not sure whether they understand. This is despite the fact that 70% of hiring managers had claimed they have a diversity programme in place.

In addition, 63% of the female respondents said they believe their management is not taking steps to nurture a diverse workforce, while 69% of the hiring managers said they assess both male and female candidates in their recruitment process.

In addition, 67% of these managers acknowledged that women represent less than 20% of their management, while 66% admitted they do not have processes in place that encourage women to rise to management positions.

Concerning external support mechanisms, 72% of the female respondents felt the Japanese government’s legislation on discrimination does not encourage women to consider balancing a career and family.

Addressing the ageing and declining population in Japan, Hays actively encourages employers to take advantage of the local talent pool and, in particular, to utilise the skills of those who are currently underrepresented in the workforce.

Hays’ placements demonstrate its leadership in promoting diversity. For the period 1 July–31 December 2011, 78% of the firm’s candidates were aged between 30 and 50, and 40% were female.

The results of our survey clearly show the disjoint between what support employers think they need to offer female employees, and what those employees actually want.

Nevertheless, Hays’ recent placements in Japan display both a social shift towards a growing acceptance of mid-career job change in Japan, and a trend to more fully incorporate women in the workforce.

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare recently announced that it will visit tens of thousands of firms across Japan by fiscal 2015, to ask them to employ more women and promote them to managerial posts.

We actively encourage this progress, and stress that embracing diversity offers a significant opportunity for Japan, in addressing its competition and macro challenges.

Hays suggests the following solutions to effectively promote diversity in the workplace.

Develop a thorough and well-communicated diversity strategy: If firms are serious about bridging the diversity divide and recruiting the best people, regardless of gender or age, a diversity strategy needs to be created and communicated.

Communicate to all members of staff the career paths that are available: Discuss these, as well as goals and development opportunities with each employee.

Provide female role models and help develop women in leadership positions: All managers should be trained in the value of a diverse workforce, and strategies to develop female staff to perform management roles should be provided. Female representation in the business should be measured, to ensure that the number of women in senior management reflects the total number of women employed. Young women often admire experienced female role models.

Create a culture that promotes diversity and gender equality: Provide an environment in which men and women feel they are being treated equally.

Adopt policies that support working parents: When possible, work–life balance initiatives should be reviewed to accommodate flexible or reduced working hours and childcare provisions, as well as provide internal support and flexibility when children are sick. Firms with such policies will be rewarded with dedicated employees who appreciate the support.

If you would like to receive the full Diversity Survey Results 2012 press release or discuss your next career move, please contact Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan:

Telephone: 03-3560-1188