Kao Corporation has been selected for inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), marking the fifth consecutive year it has been included since 2019. The GEI identifies companies that have demonstrated outstanding performance in the area of gender reporting and measures to advance gender equality.
In recent years, it has become increasingly common for investors and business enterprises to utilize environmental, social and governance (ESG) related data as an important reference when evaluating companies and making assessments of risk, performance, etc. The Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index is a modified market capitalization-weighted index designed to track the performance of public companies committed to transparency in gender-data reporting. The GEI measures gender equality across five dimensions: female leadership and talent pipeline; equal pay and gender pay parity; inclusive culture; anti-sexual harassment policies; and pro-women brand. This year, out of the five dimensions composing the GEI framework, Kao was rated especially highly with regards to its anti-sexual harassment policies.
Working towards one of the objectives of the Kao Group Mid-term Plan "K25" to "maximize the power and potential of employees", Kao is driving efforts in the development of people and in improving the working environment. One such measure is promoting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), where everyone working at Kao is offered the necessary support to pursue a career and fair access to opportunities. Starting January 2023, Kao established a new mandatory paid child-care leave system to create a work environment and a corporate culture where employees can feel comfortable balancing work and childcare. Kao is also working to expand the flexibility of working hours for employees raising children. Going forward, Kao will continue promoting conditions under which all employees can work with greater motivation toward building their careers.
Regarding Kao's inclusion in the 2023 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Hideki Mamiya, Senior Executive Officer in charge of Kao's Human Capital Strategy, noted that "at Kao, we recognize and appreciate the diverse personalities and values of each and every employee, and as an organization, strive to allow their individual passions and talents to thrive, in order to contribute to society in new ways. We are honored that our policies on sexual harassment and diversity have been recognized, and we will continue actively promoting DE&I and strive for transparency in our activities."
In April 2019, the Kao Group established the Kirei Lifestyle Plan, an ESG strategy. Since its start in 2021, the Kao Group Mid-term Plan 2025 (K25) has proclaimed "protecting future lives" and promoting "sustainability as the only path" as its vision. One of the plan's leadership actions is to contribute to "inclusive and diverse workplaces." The Kao Group will continue promoting DE&I and integrating its ESG strategy into its management practices. It will develop its business, provide better products and services for consumers and society, and work toward its purpose, which is "to realize a Kirei world in which all life lives in harmony."
Working towards one of the objectives of the Kao Group Mid-term Plan "K25" to "maximize the power and potential of employees", Kao is driving efforts in the development of people and in improving the working environment. One such measure is promoting DE&I, where everyone working at Kao is offered the necessary support to pursue a career and access to fair opportunities. At the same time, the company tries to foster an inclusive organizational culture in which all employees understand the significance of DE&I and can engage in healthy discussions in an unbiased environment.
In particular, Kao believes that women's empowerment is essential for the company to grow, given that diversity is one of the most crucial aspects of human capital. Based on this idea, Kao has put forth three priority actions to help incorporate diverse perspectives into its decision-making processes.
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Over the past 130 years, Kao has worked to improve people's lives and help them realize more sustainable lifestyles—a Kirei Lifestyle. The Japanese word 'kirei' describes something that is clean, well-ordered and beautiful, all at the same time. The Kao Group established its ESG strategy, the Kirei Lifestyle Plan in April 2019, which is designed to deliver the vision of a gentler and more sustainable way of living. By 2030, Kao aims to empower at least 1 billion people, to enjoy more beautiful lives and have 100% of its products leave a full lifecycle environmental footprint that science says our natural world can safely absorb. For more information please, click the Kao Group sustainability website.
Kao creates high-value-added products and services that provide care and enrichment for the life of all people and the planet. 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 business, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,420 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,500 people worldwide and has 135 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.