Gender equality in Japan drives Shiseido’s latest agreement

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

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Gender equality in Japan drives Shiseido’s latest agreement
Cosmetics and personal care powerhouse, Shiseido, signs an agreement with UN Women, the UN organisation committed to achieving gender equality and empowerment,  to promote gender equality in Japan.

Attitudes in Japan

In the Global Gender Gap Index 2016 by World Economic Forum, which measures gender equality in countries around the world, Japan was ranked 111.  

Shiseido’s agreement with UN Women represents the first company in Japan to embark on a partnership with the gender equality arm of the UN organisation and commits to proactively tackling the prevalent gender gap in the leading APAC region.  

As part of its dedication to these causes, the Japanese multinational personal care company will actively create gender education programmes for the younger demographic, promoted through the UN Women’s #HeForShe initiative, a solidarity campaign set up in 2014 that focuses on the importance of moving towards a gender-equal society.  

HeForShe campaign advocacy

As part of the agreement, Shiseido is now a “HeForShe Advocate” and will promote the #HeForShe initiative. It will launch a page on its website to promote the movement to its employees and organise events in partnership with UN Women.

It will also engage in building opportunities to modify attitudes towards gender roles that “hinder women’s advancement through the #HeForShe initiative, and promote respect for diversity to build a corporate environment that fosters innovation”,​ Shiseido announced in a recent press release.

The HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality pushes for a shared vision of a gender equal world, where specific, local and relevant solutions are implemented to support humanity.

Gender equality education

Shiseido strives towards becoming “a global winner with our heritage”​, as it pledges its focus on diversity.

“As women account for 90% of Shiseido’s consumers and 80% of employees, women’s advancement is an area crucial to diversity and requiring utmost efforts, and the company has been taking active steps to address it”​, Shiseido went on to say in its release.

Moving forward, Shiseido plans to set up an educational programme on gender equality aimed at the younger generation and will launch the programme in high schools and partner universities to maximise awareness on gender equality.

Accomplishments to date

With a history of campaigns that aim to support employees and harness family life through improved policies, Shiseido actively takes further steps towards advancing the rights of women. This supports UN Women’s central aim, which focuses on empowering women and reaching gender equality throughout the world.

In 2010, Shiseido signed the Women's Empowerment Principles, a set of international guidelines that encourage enterprises to place gender equality and women's empowerment at the forefront of their business objectives.

The company received global praise following its efforts and was recognised through the 1st WEPs Leadership Award in 2013. Since 2014, it has also been named the “100 Best Companies Where Women Play Active Part” ranked by “Nikkei Woman” and “Nikkei Womenomics Project”.

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