Building Bridges, Sparking Change: The Eucalyptus Group's Journey

IWD Fumiko Akyama

International Women’s Day, a day to think about what you can do as an individual, to embrace diversity, to make the world a better place where every individual has equal rights, can talk freely and share their views and perspectives. A day to bring awareness to the workplace and discuss among your colleagues how important diversity and inclusion is to the company and to society as a whole. 

While Japan’s ranking of 125th out of 146 countries on the latest World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index reflects the need for progress, there is an increasing sense of awareness around this problem in the country, including at KIOXIA.  Recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion for innovation and corporate growth, KIOXIA Group actively empowers employees, regardless of gender, to contribute their unique talents and perspectives, reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the company’s success and society.

While KIOXIA has been stepping up their efforts and seeking ways to enhance diversity, a newly formed internal group at KIOXIA Corporation called the Eucalyptus Group was established.  This internal group which supports the career development of its female employees and also help raise further awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion to every individual in the company. The group name comes from the flowering Eucalyptus plant, which symbolizes “Leadership”. This adaptable flower, renowned for its pioneering spirit in adapting to new environments, thrives equally well in unfamiliar settings. Its very name, symbolizing "memory", aligns perfectly with KIOXIA, a company dedicated to producing memory devices and driven by the mission to "uplift the world with memory”.

The Eucalyptus Group is a diverse team of 10 members, both women and men, representing various departments and backgrounds within KIOXIA Corporation, with many internal followers, and is continuing to expand.  This inspiring initiative began when a female engineer located in Yokkaichi, faced a disappointing experience when recruiting new graduates from her university. Despite several women passing the interview process, some of them decided to pursue opportunities at different companies. Recognizing a potential gap in attracting female talent, she shared her experience internally, highlighting the lack of the Eruboshi (“L Star”) certification, as a possible factor.  This certificate, awarded by the Japanese Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, signifies a company’s commitment to promoting women’s participation and advancement in the workplace, aligning with the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement.  The certification is given to companies that meet specific standards based on five key areas, which include hiring practices, sustained employment, working style (including working hours), percentage of management positions held by women, and diverse career paths.  The group discovered that many companies, including companies in the same industry, have already acquired Eruboshi certification.

Driven by the executives’ call for innovation, creative solutions and new business proposals, the group entered an internal competition seeking bold ideas to propel KIOXIA's transformation, presenting the issues it was facing and highlighted the significance of achieving the Eruboshi certification.  The group won first place in the competition, which signifies alignment with executive leadership on championing diversity and inclusion, particularly by increasing the representation of capable women in the workplace and in leadership positions.        

Aligned with KIOXIA Corporation’s goal to double the number of female managers by FY2025 and increase female graduate hires (45% or more for administrative work, 15% or more for technical work), the Eucalyptus Group actively supports these goals through impactful initiatives.  By pursuing the Eruboshi certificates, KIOXIA helps raise further awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion, reaching every individual in the company. The KIOXIA Group seeks ways to enable all employees to fully demonstrate their strengths and play an active role at work, regardless of their gender. The Eucalyptus Group is here to support these activities and work together by gathering feedback from the workforce, proposing innovative initiatives, and collaborating to advance our diversity management strategy. Together, we are committed to building a stronger company and a more inclusive society.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of KIOXIA America, Inc.

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