Honda maintains an environment in which members of a diverse workforce can make the most of their abilities while recognizing and respecting individual differences without regard to a variety of attributes in accordance with the basic principle of Respect for the Individual, part of the Honda Philosophy. Honda defines the promotion of diversity in this way, and we began a series of ongoing, companywide initiatives in 2007.
Expanding opportunity for participation by women
Honda has been pursuing awareness-raising activities since a 2008 decision to focus on expanding opportunities for participation by women as a way to strengthen initiatives to take advantage of diversity, including by providing information in company magazines and holding lectures and training sessions.
Offering a Career Support Program as a major awareness-raising activity
Honda launched a Career Support Program that enhances two-way communication with supervisors for young and mid-level female associates in October 2009. We also held career development training for both female associates and their supervisors in order to encourage opportunities for discussing career plans and goals from a career development perspective. In 2010, we augmented this and other training with career consultation meetings to accommodate individual conversations about female associates' career development as part of a larger effort to provide opportunities for increasing awareness of career development and to help associates realize their career plans.
Employment of people with disabilities
Honda provides jobs to people with disabilities at its facilities in Japan in an effort to expand their employment opportunities. We also offer employment at affiliates Honda Sun, Honda Sun R&D, and Kibounosato Honda. We strive to create an environment that allows associates with and without disabilities to work alongside one another and to make adaptations to ensure that workplaces and opportunities are fully accessible.
Employment of individuals with disabilities at Honda factories in Japan in FY2012 stands at some 2.27%, or 1,052 individuals, well above the legally mandated level of 1.8%.
Holding a Workshop of disabled people employment promotion
Honda Sun Co., Ltd., regularly holds Workshops on Promoting Employment of Disabled Individuals. A total of 42 associates from different worksites participated in three sessions over two days in 2011 as part of this program, which began in June 2009 with the goal of facilitating new awareness of how participants can work together with disabled individuals and how they should think and act going forward. In addition to classroom sessions addressing the characteristics of a variety of disabilities and Honda's basic approach to employment, participants deepened their understanding of the issues surrounding employment of disabled individuals and gained extensive knowledge about such employment by visiting facilities such as plants and other workplaces and experiencing what it's like to use a wheelchair and perform the same work as disabled associates.
In view of dwindling birth rates, the need to reinforce the social insurance system in Japan, and the importance of passing on the technical expertise crucial to the functioning of the workplace, Honda introduced a series of policies in April 2003 to create opportunities for those associates who reach the retirement age of 60. Our proactive approach preceded the introduction of laws governing the employment of retired individuals.
Acting to provide greater peace of mind and assurance in the years after age 60 and to create an environment in which associates can make the most of skills gained over a lifetime, Honda instituted changes in April 2010 to create a new re-employment program designed in principle to offer re-employment in operations that take advantage of each individual's specialized knowledge to all interested associates until the age of 65. About half of all associates faced with mandatory retirement at age 60 have expressed an interest in re-employment, raising expectations that their extensive experience and specialized knowledge will play an important role in a variety of workplaces throughout the company.