Kao Corporation has received the Prime Minister's Award for Leading Companies Where Women Shine, an award organized by the Cabinet Office of Japan, in recognition of its outstanding achievements.
Through this award, the Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office publicly recognizes companies that disclose information about their policies, initiatives, and results of promoting women to managerial and executive positions, and from this information demonstrate outstanding achievements. The award aims to promote the creation of workplace environments that facilitate women's success and advancement, and contribute to realizing a society where women shine.
At the awards ceremony, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center), Seiko Hashimoto, Minister of State for Gender Equality (right), and Kao President and CEO Michitaka Sawada (left)
Based on the recognition that the dynamism generated by diversity supports business development, Kao promotes Diversity & Inclusion to realize an organization in which each individual's diverse skills, experiences, personality, and values are accepted and their motivation and skills are mobilized to the fullest extent possible.
In terms of promoting women's success and advancement in the workplace, Kao established a program to support an environment and corporate ethos in the early 1990s and was a leader in creating workplace conditions that better allowed women to continue working at a time when many Japanese women quit working after the life events of marriage and childbirth. Kao has also implemented performance evaluations and promotions according to abilities and results irrespective of gender, and this has facilitated expansion of women employees' roles, including a higher number of women in managerial positions as well as appointments to executive leadership roles.
In addition, Kao analyzes division-specific issues in the promotion of diversity, and drafts and implements plans to address them. In order to contribute to diversity and inclusion in society as a whole, it also sends members to participate in discussions at research councils sponsored by government agencies and business groups. Kao introduces its programs and measures to groups including local government bodies and business groups. These initiatives at Kao have been highly evaluated, leading to this Prime Minister's Award.
The Kao Group established its ESG Strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, in April 2019. One of its priority actions is achieving "inclusive and diverse workplaces." Kao will continue striving to draw out the unlimited potential of every one of its employees and mobilize this dynamism for the maximum benefit of its organization. In addition, Kao is committed to implementing its unique ESG activities on a global level for the wholehearted satisfaction and enrichment of the lives of people worldwide and to contribute to a sustainable society.
Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.