Creating an Inclusive Work Environment

Photo: Employees engaged in discussions in a tent set up in the company, and chatting in a brightly-lit office Photo: Employees engaged in discussions in a tent set up in the company, and chatting in a brightly-lit office

*Definition of terms used on this page:
- Fiscal year: from April 1 to March 31 of the following year (e.g. Fiscal 2021: April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021)

Group DEI Forum

The Panasonic Group had been holding an internal annual event D&I Forum as an occasion to promote diversity. Since 2021 when we established the Panasonic Group DEI Policy, The Group DEI Forum has been held every year under the slogan, “Dialogue. Discovery. Appreciating Differences.”
In 2023, we deepened our understanding on the importance of respecting individual differences and specific actions through case studies of our workplaces, and shared awareness for the future image we aim for as the Panasonic Group, while also taking a cross-cultural understanding perspective across countries and regions.

Photo: Group DEI Forum 2021. Moderator and speakers Yuki Kusumi and Shigeki Mishima. On the large screen in the background are several faces of employees participating online. The words "DEI FORUM" appear at the bottom of the photo.

Unconscious Bias Training

Unconscious bias refers to prejudices and stereotypes people have based on past experiences and perceptions that they are not consciously aware of having. We conduct training to learn about and become aware of the existence of these assumptions that everyone makes about others. Through changing one-sided views and perspectives and considering other possibilities, we review communication in the workplace to create a workplace culture where everyone can work comfortably and where every individual's diversity can be fully utilized.
As of April 2023, approximately 110 employees have been trained as internal unconscious bias ambassadors, and training will be continually provided to approximately 60,000 employees in Japan from the fiscal year ending in 2023 onward. In addition, we are also providing training in North America, Europe, Brazil, India, Singapore, and Vietnam, tailored to the circumstances of each region and country.

Image: Internal unconscious bias ambassador training course certificate
Certified internal unconscious bias ambassadors receive a certificate of recognition.

A Better Dialogue

A Better Dialogue

The A Better Dialogue project supports every employee’s personal growth and challenges by enhancing the quality and quantity of dialogue with their respective managers. In addition to one-on-one meetings that bring out the aspirations of each and every employee, this project is comprised of three other components: development of individual career and capabilities, goal setting and management, and a competency review.

Image: A Better Dialogue logo

Workplace revitalization through DEI

Some people want to get involved with DEI, but do not know where to start. For such people, as part of efforts to revitalize the workplace, we have developed karuta cards that allow them to think about DEI and take action through dialogue with their superiors and colleagues. This program is designed to help each individual make DEI their own personal goal by taking action to realize their ideal workplace.

Photo: Dialogue through DEI karuta cards

Various community activities

Within the Panasonic Group, employees with diverse backgrounds, such as those joining the company mid-career, women, LGBTQ persons, and people with disabilities, have voluntarily established their own internal communities and engage in a variety of activities, such as holding dialogues and online events.
These efforts lead to the creation of a work environment in which each individual supports one another, knowledge and initiatives are disseminated widely within the Group, and everyone is able to demonstrate their individuality. The Group also recognizes the importance of these activities and encourages them, for example, by awarding the Group-wide CEO Award in fiscal 2023.

Image: Logos for community activities promoted within the company

Dissemination of information within the Group

The latest information on DEI, including examples of internal initiatives, case studies of other companies, and explanations of internal systems that can be utilized, is posted on the intranet site.

Image: Screen capture from “Let’s think about DEI together!” on the intranet

Employee Opinion Survey (EOS)

The Panasonic Group conducts an annual Employee Opinion Survey (EOS) of all global employees (approximately 150,000 respondents in fiscal 2023). The results are fed back to workplaces each year and utilized for human resource and organizational development.
Of the survey items, the most important indicators are the favorable response rates for employee engagement (self-motivated endeavor) and employee enablement (the right person for the right job, comfortable working environment).

Figure: Line graph showing the percentage of positive responses for employee engagement and employee enablement. The positive response rate for employee engagement was 63% in FY 2018, 64% in FY 2019, 63% in FY 2020, and 66% in FY 2021 and FY 2022, and 67% in FY 2023. The positive response rate for employee enablement was 57% in FY 2018, 58% in FY 2019, 59% in FY 2020, 63% in FY 2021, 64% in FY 2022, and 65% in FY 2023. *The positive response rate figures are the average of the responses of all employees who participated in the Employee Opinion Survey during the relevant fiscal year.

Global initiatives

Panasonic North America (PNA)

PNA views DEI as one of its most pressing business challenges and has developed a strategic DEI framework to promote recruitment, retention, and internal promotion of a diverse workforce. Specifically, we continue to support Business Impact Groups (BIGs), including RISE (formerly Women's Connect), Veterans Group, PRISM (LGBTQ support), Level Up (Millennials), and the BLAAC Employee Network (BEN) for Black, Latino, African American, African and Caribbean employees. We also further enhance our unconscious bias training to deepen our understanding of DEI. In addition, PNA’s human resource leaders are working to operationalize a talent assessment process that includes how well performance on diversity and inclusion is evaluated. We have also introduced an employee awareness survey on DEI to gather opinions and basic data.

Image: Logos of DEI-related communities in North America

Panasonic Europe

Panasonic Europe has been promoting various initiatives in Europe to unleash more of our talent by providing a truly inclusive environment – where all people can develop to the maximum of their potential, irrespective of gender or other personal characteristics. As part of this, we launched a new human resources development program in 2019 called Women in Leadership (WIL). The goal was to provide a platform for our female talent to be more visible, a locus for the discussion of women-specific leadership challenges and a healthy brainstorming environment. 73% of employees who completed the program have obtained more important roles or have been identified for roles in which they have the potential to thrive.
In 2021 a new group, Women Connect Europe, consisting of diverse volunteers, was organized to enhance gender equality and attract many talented human resources of all genders. The Women Connect network now has 268 members in 30 countries across 31 Panasonic Europe brands. It’s great to see in this year’s EOS that the historic gender discrepancy in engagement has reduced as these initiatives take hold.

Additionally, we are conducting a new education program called the Unhelpful Bias Workshop. Part 1 focuses on all levels of employee to raise awareness and develop attitudes, values, strategies and skills that encourage a diverse and inclusive culture for all employees from all levels. Part 2 focuses on the Senior Managers to help them develop a meaningful strategy for their business. By taking this approach, training can help to shape the inclusive culture that our people desire. We have also created a pan-European human resources team, to support DEI across Europe, called DIAG.

Figure: Logo of Women Connect Europe, a DEI-related community in Europe. “Women Connect - Inspire. Empower. Grow.” Women Connect is a business impact group that strives to support the organisation in its drive for gender diversity. It connects people across Panasonic in Europe to inspire change and innovation. TED Talks & Key Note speakers, Cross-Functional Exchange, Events & Newsletters, Lunch & learn, Leadership skills development, and Exposure to senior leaders.

Panasonic do Brazil (PANABRAS)

At PANABRAS, we believe that by respecting individual differences and fostering positive relationships, we can create a more tolerant, respectful and sustainable work environment and world. Based on this belief, we have launched a DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) project aimed at creating a more equal and inclusive work environment.

Image: DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) project logo

Under this project, we are working to disseminate correct knowledge about the basic concept of unconscious bias and its influence through our leadership development programs. In addition, we are holding ongoing workshops and training sessions for employees in the human resources and other departments to enhance their sense of belonging.

We are also working to improve accessibility and workplace environments to create a more comfortable workplace for employees with disabilities. Examples of steps we have taken include making improvements to buildings, creating accessibility maps, ensuring inclusive recruitment and selection, and promoting education and training.

We continue to raise awareness and listen to our team members in all of our business units to get a bigger picture of the current situation surrounding diversity, based on which we set key metrics and challenges. We will work hand-in-hand with the organization's leaders, customers, suppliers, employees and their families to ensure that everyone places greater value on diversity in their daily lives.