JAPAN
TEAMS & DIVERSITY
 
 
 
 
 
 

DIMENSIONS OF WORKFORCE DIVERSITY

AGE
Once an individual reaches 15, they can begin to work. The average age of the workforce is between 35 and 45. Majority of the Japanese population falls between the ages of 15 and 64. Japanese usually start working after they have finished some type of higher education.
GENDER
 Japan is a male dominated country. Women are beginning to enter the workforce, but the majority is still male.
LANGUAGE
 Japanese is the main language in Japan. Some individuals know English and some know other Asian/Pacific languages. But Japanese is the language used by almost 99% of the population.
RACE
 Diversity in race is not apparent in Japan. Some large companies will have individuals from other countries come in and work with the Japanese employees. This is usually done with a manager present to handle the cultural differences.
RELIGION
 Shinto and Buddhism are the two religions practiced in Japan. Japan does not have a problem with religious conflicts unless a company has someone from another country. Again, in this situation, a manager would come in to help with any conflicts that could arise.
TEAMWORK
 The Japanese are very supportive of teamwork. Many companies open offices so that teams can work more easily. 

 

CASE STUDY

Toyota Motor Company in the United States supports a diverse workforce. Toyota is a Japanese company with 54 manufacturing companies in 27 countries/locations. Toyota also markets their products in over 160 countries.
The United States Toyota website has an entire section discussing how the company supports diversity. The company not only supports diversity with their employment, but also with their suppliers, dealers, and with the company philanthropy involvement. The website also shows the many news releases that show everyday support of diversity within the Toyota company.
The following are some excerpts from their website to support diversity:
 

Diversity at Toyota: Employment

Diversity creates opportunities for new partnerships and gives Toyota access to the best and the brightest. Toyota in the United States is comprised of several affiliate companies that not only sell Toyotas, but also manufacture our vehicles using many U.S. parts. Our workforce represents the many faces of America.

We recognize the need to continue expanding the diversification of our management ranks. To locate minority candidates for employment, we use several search firms and we also make diversity a significant part of our college recruiting strategies.
 

Diversity at Toyota: Suppliers

The diversification of our supplier networks is a major priority. In manufacturing, we committed to place at least 5% of the value of our purchasing contracts with minority owned suppliers by 2002 and in fact we already met this goal in 2001. By the end of 2002, our manufacturing purchases from minority-owned businesses will exceed 6% of our annual purchases from U. S. suppliers. This translates into approximately $600 million worth of spending with Minority Business Enterprises. We also have challenged our first tier manufacturing suppliers to meet the 5% objective with what they buy from their suppliers.
 

Diversity at Toyota: Dealers

We are committed to increasing the number of minority and women-owned dealerships. Our primary tool for enhancing dealer diversity is the Dealer Development Program. It enables qualified operators lacking financial resources to become successful Toyota and Lexus dealers. We identify possible dealer candidates by partnering with organizations such as the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Our financial assistance plan provides investment capital and operational support.

While the total number of Toyota and Lexus dealerships has remained relatively stable, since 1998 we have increased the number of ethnic minority Toyota and Lexus dealers by 38%. During the same time, we more than doubled the number of Toyota and Lexus African American dealers. Recognizing the need to understand the perspectives of our minority-owned dealers, diversity representatives sit on both of our National Dealer Councils.
 

Diversity at Toyota: Philanthropy

Since Toyota's primary philanthropic focus is education, some of the organizations we support include the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the American Indian College Fund and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2000, we doubled our commitment to the United Negro College Fund to a total of 40 annual scholarships. We also donated $1 million to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, an interactive learning center that commemorates the networks to freedom for enslaved African Americans during the period of the antebellum South.

One of our largest philanthropic partnerships, the Los Angeles Urban League Automotive Training Center, represents more than a $7 million investment. The Center recruits, trains and places Los Angeles inner-city residents in the auto repair industry. Toyota will spend $4 million to build an Automotive Training Center in the eastern U.S.

We also partner with The Doe Fund, a New York City organization that is committed to helping end homelessness through work-based programs.
 
 

SOURCES
http://www.toyota.com
http://www.executiveplanet.com
http://www.odci.gov
Deresky, Helen. International Management. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 2000.
Miyakoda, Aya. Interview. February 2002.
Miyakoda, Tooru. Interview. February 2002.