The needs of customers are becoming increasingly diverse. To meet these needs Nissan employees from different backgrounds must work together. Employees are the driving force for the sustainable growth of Nissan, and this diverse body of employees is a valuable resource for the company. We place great importance on establishing a workplace where employees can demonstrate their potentials to the fullest, and which is truly inclusive. That is why one of Nissan’s corporate strategies is to respect and promote diversity and inclusion.
Respect for Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
We have established the Nissan Global Code of Conduct, which describes how employees should act and applies to all Nissan Group companies worldwide. At Nissan, all employees respect one another’s human rights, and discrimination or bullying on the grounds of race, nationality, gender, religion, disability, age, place of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation or other reasons is forbidden. There are rules in place to prevent any passive acceptance of an environment in which such discrimination occurs. At the same time, we respect the diversity of our employees, work to maximize the performance of each individual and actively strive to create an environment in which teams can come together and work toward ambitious goals.
Diversity and Inclusion as Strategy
The global expansion of Nissan’s corporate activities has meant growing diversification of not only Nissan’s customers but also its employees. Work and lifestyle choices are changing, driven by demographic changes such as an aging population and urbanization. We believe that for employees to work in a worry-free, self-initiated manner, they need to be able to pursue their careers regardless of gender, nationality or other factors and at the same time choose from among various workstyles to suit their particular stage of life. Skill development programs are another essential part of making the workplace attractive to employees. We believe that diversity and inclusion are a source of competitiveness for the company. By having employees from a range of backgrounds work together while respecting one another’s different values, new concepts and ways of thinking are born and even greater value and creative solutions are produced, leading to even better business results. In order to meet the diverse needs of customers around the world and to provide the revolutionary products and services that come about when each employee is highly motivated, we have made diversity and inclusion part of our corporate strategy and is promoting them in all workplaces.
Diversity and Inclusion Management
In order to promote diversity and inclusion across Nissan’s global operations, policies are set by a committee of executives representing company divisions. We then put in place local initiatives based on the specialist knowledge needed for their implementation. We aim to be a truly inclusive company with a diverse workforce, in which individual employees can demonstrate their potential to the fullest. We promote diversity and inclusion based on four approaches: “Developing leaders with skills to manage diverse organizations,” “Enabling diverse human resources,” “Embedding culture of respect for diversity and inclusion” and “Promoting inclusive workstyles.”
Diversity and Inclusion: Decision-Making and Action-Driving Bodies
We have set up the Global Diversity Steering Committee (Global DSC), which consists of executives from its different divisions and makes decisions on global diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives. The implementation of these in various geographical areas is spearheaded by Regional Diversity Steering Committees (Regional DSCs). In Japan, we have set up the Diversity Development Office, which helps put diversity and inclusion policies into practice. In North America, the Americas Diversity Office has been established. In other regions, the implementation of diversity policies is handled by local human resource departments and other bodies.
Diversity and Inclusion Promotion: Issues and Approaches
Developing leaders with skills to manage diverse organizations
Management skills development
Enabling diverse human resources
Human resources development, career support
Enhanced recruitment actions*
Targets: 16% female managers globally, and 13% in Japan by 2023
Embedding culture of respect for diversity and inclusion
Promotional activities for all employees to understand values of diversity and inclusion
Promoting inclusive workstyles
Work-life balance support
Development of infrastructures that realize flexible workstyles
Guidelines at Nissan Japan for female new staff recruitment are 50% for office positions, 20% for engineering positions and 20% for technical roles.
Diversity and Inclusion Achievements
Enabling Diverse Human Resources
Female Talent Development: Initiatives and Achievements
Enablement of women, particularly in management positions, is essential to providing diverse value to customers. In order to increase female representation through all management levels, Nissan provides trainings to ensure that top candidates will be ready to take on greater responsibility. Support is provided for women’s career development in every region where we operate. As a result of these initiatives, the percentage of women among Nissan managers globally has increased from 7% in 2008 to 13.6% in April 2019. Additionally, increasing numbers of female employees have ambitions to work overseas, and women are active at every one of Nissan’s global sites. In Japan, we provide personalized support for female employees through individual counseling sessions with career advisors. Female employees receive tailored support via career development seminars and meetings with career advisors. They are also actively encouraged to network with other professional women outside of the company and with women who have risen into management roles in Nissan. We have also put in place a mentoring program as part of our personal support initiatives. Younger employees receive support for their personal growth through two-way dialogue with highly knowledgeable and experienced senior employees, as well as help in dealing with the issues they encounter during their career development and in solving worries and issues in the workplace.
Thanks to these various initiatives, women now comprise 10.4% of managers in Japan (as of April 2019). This compares favorably to the average of 4.0% for Japanese manufacturers with 1,000 or more employees (according to the 2018 Basic Survey on Wage Structure from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare). Female managers also work in all Nissan divisions, including development and manufacturing, and are involved in all operational processes. Furthermore, as of April 2019, a total of 7.6% of general manager or higher positions are filled by women—3.8 times larger than the 2008 level of 2.0%. Also, in June 2018 the international race driver Keiko Ihara became Nissan’s first female outside director.
Ratio of Women in Management Positions
Rather than simply increasing the number of female managers, we create an environment in which women can participate in all business processes, from new model development to sales, including those working at affiliate and sales companies. In the car development stage, models like the Nissan Serena minivan released in Japan in August 2016 reflect women’s requirements. For example, designers and engineers adopted recommendations for a capless fuel tank, allowing drivers to refuel the vehicle without dirtying their hands, and dual back doors that require minimal force to open and allow cargo to be loaded even in confined spaces. We are also promoting human resource and career development initiatives for women at our manufacturing sites. In October 2017 the Nissan Group’s first female plant manager took up her role at the Oppama Plant in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and other female plant managers have been appointed since then. Nissan sales staff must respond to the needs and questions of men and women customers alike. There are many staff employed at our sales companies, but particularly noteworthy is the participation and advancement of our female car-life advisors (CAs). As of February 2019, 1,196 female CAs were active across Japan, accounting for 10.7% of the national total, a 0.6% increase compared to 10.1% in February 2018. Additionally, to enhance the satisfaction of female customers with after-sales service experiences, female technical advisors (TAs) have been appointed to bridge the gap between customers and dealer technicians.
A vital part of Nissan’s success rests on ensuring that people are welcome no matter where they come from, what language they speak, how old they are or what their background or training is. Nissan’s top decision makers include individuals of many different nationalities. To more efficiently promote Nissan’s partnership with Daimler AG and AVTOVAZ, efforts are being made to expand the share of managerial staff in Europe who speak German or Russian.
Establishing a Culture of Respect for Diversity and Inclusion
In order to leverage diversity as a true strength, create greater value, and meet the diverse needs of customers, we believe it is important to establish a culture of diversity and inclusion, where employees with all sorts of differences, not just of gender and nationality but also sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age and career history, acknowledge and accept each other without discrimination or prejudice. To further foster a culture of diversity and inclusion, in fiscal 2018 in Japan, we introduced an “Unconscious Bias e-learning” for all indirect employees, in which employees can learn the influence of the unconscious biases that everyone has as well as techniques to mitigate their effects. We plan to gradually expand this initiative across our global sites. To enable members of the LGBT community and other employees with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities to perform their jobs without experiencing discrimination in the workplace, we have been working to support and promote understanding through such initiatives as annual LGBT seminars held since 2014. We have participated in Tokyo Rainbow Pride, the largest LGBT event in Japan, for three consecutive years since 2017. In fiscal 2016, a self-initiated employee network was launched by members of the LGBT community and allies (those supportive of LGBT) within the company. In recognition of these initiatives, the private organization, work with Pride, awarded Nissan its most prestigious Gold “PRIDE Index” to recognize corporate initiatives to support LGBT employees, a first for a Japanese automobile company. In 2018, we won Gold for the second year in a row. We also provide a space where older employees and those with disabilities can fully participate. Necessary training programs are provided for those who have built up their career at other companies so that they can quickly perform to the best of their ability at Nissan. In addition, we hold local diversity-themed events and run diversity training programs for employees all over the world. Employees can also learn about Nissan’s vision and initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion via diversity articles on the company intranet and e-learning programs.
Promoting Inclusive Workstyles
We strive to create a work environment where every member of a diverse workforce can demonstrate his or her potential to the fullest. For example, a system in which employees can freely choose to spend up to 40 hours a month working from home was introduced so that staff can work flexibly according to their individual needs. Also, in order to make it easier for staff in different regions to work together, in 2017 we established basic rules for the timing of meetings between sites in different regions. Although in the past global meetings have taken place during the middle of the night in some regions, guidelines have now been set in which all participants can join meetings between the local hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. By combining this with home-working, we can provide an attractive work environment in all regions.
Initiatives for Employees Balancing Work with Childcare or Nursing Care
Creating an Environment Conducive to Work-Life Balance
Japan’s low birthrate and aging population mean that it is important to provide a work environment that supports employees raising children or giving nursing care to the elderly. We are building an environment to help employees who balance work with childcare through both facilities, such as in-house childcare centers, and initiatives, such as seminars and organizational support. In fiscal 2017 Nissan’s first plant childcare center—March Land Oppama—was opened at the Oppama Plant. The childcare’s opening times are set to fit the plant’s shift schedule, thereby helping female employees to continue their work at the plant. A group called “Escargot” has also been set up by working mothers themselves as a forum to exchange information. The number of employees balancing work with the nursing care to the elderly is expected to increase, and in Japan we have held seminars since fiscal 2015 where employees can learn the basics of nursing care and explore how company policies and local services can help them maintain the work-care balance. In fiscal 2017 we launched an external support service to support employees who face difficulties in nursing care.
Creating an Environment Conducive to Work-Life Balance
In-house Childcare Centers for Nissan Employees
Capacity determined based on facility area.
Support Systems for Childbirth and Childcare (Japan)
Workstyle Reform “Happy 8”
We are implementing a series of workstyle reforms that provide a crucial foundation for supporting diversity and inclusion, allowing employees with a range of values and life needs to perform at their best. We have been striving to make workstyles more flexible. In the 1990s we began encouraging employees to take their allotted paid leaves and implemented a “super-flextime” system with no core time when employees must be at their workplace. In 2015 we introduced the Happy 8 program, a work reform emphasizing the ideal of an eight-hour work day. By communicating this ideal to employees, Happy 8 aims to increase individual and organizational productivity while also improving work life, private life, and health. As part of welcoming more flexible workstyle in February 2017 we also began promoting our Happy Friday program, encouraging employees to leave the office at 3 p.m. on the last Friday of each month. Additionally, to give each employee the opportunity to reflect on their own workstyle from a new perspective, each fiscal year since 2014 we have held a Workstyle Symposium featuring invited guest speakers from outside the company. Under the slogan “Eight productive hours! Richer lives, better health, Happy 8,” we will continue striving for more flexible and attractive workstyles.
Achievements at Overseas Sites
Initiatives to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Americas
At Nissan Americas, diversity and inclusion is embedded in our culture. It is the key to a strong and vibrant organization. By actively using our diversity in thought and experience, we better develop ideas and people, and ensure our company’s continued growth. We do this by creating opportunities that empower people to grow and achieve more. Ultimately, we focus on helping people succeed and making a positive impact on the communities in which we work and live. We strive to reflect the consumers we serve in our workforce, and that world is increasingly diverse and evolving. Diversity means growth and development opportunities for all employees, respect for all individuals and the inclusion of new ideas, viewpoints and experiences. By encouraging respect for all individuals and sharing our unique perspectives, Nissan Americas will be stronger and sustained long into the future.
Our commitment to recruiting and cultivating diverse talent is critical to maintaining our success. Nissan Americas offers a wide range of employee benefits to support the physical and financial well-being of employees and their families. One of the programs supporting employee development is mentoring. Mentoring, whether informal or formal, is an essential tool to attract and retain key talent, especially underrepresented employee populations such as women and ethnic minorities. At Nissan Americas, mentoring opportunities are available in a variety of formats, including informal, formal, small group, individualized and topical.
Business Synergy Teams
Nissan Americas is also proud to offer employees the opportunity to join and/or lead Business Synergy Teams (BSTs). In tandem with executive sponsorship, employees develop BSTs to connect diverse groups of employees with shared characteristics or interests into high-functioning groups. These BSTs focus on supporting the members’ achievement of professional goals, networking, enhancing business activities and decisions, and serving the communities that we live in. Since the first BST launched in 2007, Nissan employees have embraced these groups and formed BSTs at every major U.S. location. These BST groups are:
Gay Straight Alliance at Nissan (GSAN)
Generations Business Synergy Team
Interfaith Nissan (IN)
Multicultural Business Synergy Team
Nissan Alliance of Parents (NAP)
Veterans Business Synergy Team
Wellness@Work Business Synergy Team (W@W)
Women's Business Synergy Team
The BST members, leaders and Executive Sponsors are critical to Nissan Americas’ success in driving diversity and inclusion throughout the organization and into the communities where we live and work. Nissan North America (NNA) partners with many charitable and social causes that enhance the well-being of the communities where we live and work. We invite our employees to serve as volunteers, mentors or advisors, offering their time, talents and expertise to help nonprofit organizations carry out their missions. We have a shared commitment to build a better, more sustainable world for all of us.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Acknowledgment of Nissan Americas’ commitment and accomplishments in supporting diversity has come from a broad spectrum of organizations and publications. We appreciate that the marketplace has recognized our efforts consistently throughout the years.
Enhancing Workplace Diversity and Inclusion in Europe
In Europe, as part of our efforts to promote gender diversity, we hold career fairs and provide support for female employees as they continue their careers. To encourage increased hiring of women with engineering or other technical degrees, in 2014 the Nissan Skills Foundation was established at our plant in Sunderland, England, and in 2015 career development events were held for around 7,200 female students between 14 and 19. Additionally, in September 2015 Nissan Europe (NAE) worked with an external group to start a daycare service within 10 kilometers of the company’s French headquarters and employees’ homes. We also implemented a program named “Training to Achieve Multicultural Benefits,” which raised awareness of cultural differences and provided support to all employees working in multicultural environments.
External Recognition for Diversity and Inclusion at Nissan*
Both Nissan’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and its attitude of placing emphasis on employee diversity, have received considerable external recognition. In 2015, we became the first company in Kanagawa Prefecture to earn Platinum Kurumin certification, which is granted to Kurumin-accredited companies (certified as supporting childcare) that provide an even higher standard of childcare support. Then in 2017 we received the highest third-level Eruboshi accreditation as a company that successfully promotes female participation in the workplace. Additionally, we were the first Japanese carmaker to receive a PRIDE Index top Gold award, a scheme which recognizes efforts to support LGBT employees; in 2018, we received the same award for the second year in a row. These awards are a clear sign that Nissan’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is producing results and that our efforts to make diversity a key element of its competitive strategy are steadily bearing fruit.
Click here for data on the main examples of external recognition of our diversity and inclusion initiatives to date.