Respecting diversity and inclusion

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Our approach to diversity and inclusion

Respect for diversity and inclusion (D&I) is an important element of the Bridgestone Group’s Global Human Rights Policy and it comes to life in multiple ways across the Bridgestone Group.

The Bridgestone Group's Stance on "Respect for Diversity"

The Bridgestone Group provides a work environment in which individuals who have diverse values and personalities can work comfortably and demonstrate their abilities. To make this possible:

  • We recognize and respect diversity of culture and customs in each country of the world.
  • We sympathize with ideas from diverse viewpoints of diverse people and create new value.
  • We establish a system in which employees can perform their duties with peace of mind and demonstrate their abilities to the fullest across the various stages of their lives.

And finally, we focus all of these efforts on “improving employee satisfaction,” “activating and improving the Company,” and “increasing stakeholders’ profits.”

Diversity seminar

The Bridgestone Group has set up tailored diversity-related programs that uphold the rules, traditions and regulations of individual countries and regions in which it operates.

In Japan, Bridgestone has established Bridgestone Empowerment Co., Ltd. as a subsidiary to promote the employment of people with disabilities.

The Company has implemented diversity-related actions (lunch get-togethers for parents, seminars about childcare, nursing care, LGBTQ*1, etc.) targeting Bridgestone Corporation and 20 group companies in Japan.

Nashville pride

In the U.S., Bridgestone Americas (BSAM) continues to advance these important topics led by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee established in 2018, and has sponsored the PRIDE Festival in Nashville that supports the LGBTQ rights movement for more than 10 years.

BSAM has also implemented a variety of initiatives designed to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. These include affirmative action programs to promote the employment opportunities of minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans and other protected veterans, a DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) Office that supports six Employee Resource Groups, implicit bias training, and support of employee focus groups.

  1. According to the GLAAD Media Guide, LGBTQ is a widely used acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer

Diverse workstyles

To realize its Mid-Long Term Business Strategy, the Bridgestone Group will transform to a truly global Human Resources system with consistent, global standards. This approach will include a job-type assignment system and job-matching system. The Group also will further advance its global leadership development program.

The Group intends to embrace diverse work styles to accommodate each employee's needs. By doing so, it will more fully engage employees, resulting in even greater productivity and added value from each employee. The Group strives to create a comfortable and vibrant work environment that takes into account the needs of different individuals at different moments of their career, so that home or family situations do not prevent its employees from being successful in the company.

The Group respects and encourages flexible work styles by offering benefits such as childcare facilities in some locations, paid maternity leave, and family care and/or volunteer leave above the legally required minimum in many locations including Japan, Americas, Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa.

In Japan, Bridgestone holds guidance meetings led by employees who have already returned to work after childcare leave or a leave of absence. The Company also conducts interviews prior to and after taking childcare leave, which are attended by employees and their superiors to promote networking that balances work and childcare duties and have a system that provides human resources department support to the employees. It also seeks to support employees juggling work and family care commitments by offering lectures by outside specialists, building awareness by publishing guidebooks, and enabling employees to opt out of overtime.

Bridgestone intends to further expand these programs designed to help build an inclusive workplace where employees can feel comfortable and fulfill their potential.

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

In 2020, the Bridgestone Group and its strategic business units quickly deployed policies and practices to protect the safety and security of employees around the world as the business environment shifted rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Group introduced a work-from-home arrangement for employees in all regions whose roles can be performed remotely. As a result, all employees other than those conducting essential activities in manufacturing, retail, distribution, and elsewhere have been working remotely full-time. The Group has also announced a new flexible model for the future in which the same employees will work on a blended basis (office/home) in line with their schedule.

Empowering female employees

Governed by the Bridgestone Group Stance on Respect for Diversity, the Group implements measures to encourage the active participation and advancement of women in the workplace at each strategic business unit. Across the Group, the percentage of women in the workforce is approximately 11.5% as of December 31, 2020.

In Japan, Bridgestone is involved in a wide variety of initiatives to help female employees succeed. The Company provides career development training for female employees, helps female employees develop networks, and offers career-support training for managers with a special focus on gender diversity awareness. In order to increase the number of potential female managers over the medium-term, the Company introduced a program to encourage female employees to aspire to management positions, and, in 2018, formed a comprehensive agreement with Ochanomizu University in Tokyo to help develop female leaders. Also, the Company has launched a mentoring program to support women to succeed in their future career.

Bridgestone has set a target of increasing the number of female managers in Japan 7.5% out of all managers and above by the end of 2025.

Bridgestone Americas (BSAM) has successfully worked to increase the number of women in leadership and senior management, supporting WOMEN Unlimited programs to develop leaders at each managerial level, and female mentorship programs organized through the Bridgestone Women’s Initiative Network (BWIN) Employee Resource Group. In addition, BSAM has a hiring process that ensures diverse candidate profiles and slates for all leadership and senior management roles, bringing the best talent into its recruiting process and has partnered with professional organizations that seek to enhance female participation in the fields of technology and engineering, including Women in Technology of Tennessee and the Society of Women Engineers.

Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa (BSEMIA) systematically supports the advancement of women in traditionally underrepresented areas. Various programs have been introduced to help create an inclusive work environment, including flexible working hours to facilitate childcare, career support during parental leave, and targeted opportunities for women. BSEMIA has also increased the amount of female operators in some of its factories by reviewing the local hiring and onboarding processes.

Promoting disability inclusion through The Valuable 500

The Valuable 500

The Bridgestone Group has joined The Valuable 500, a global initiative launched at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos in January 2019. The Valuable 500 aims to help business leaders transform their businesses and unlock the social and economic value of people living with disabilities around the world. It gained the endorsement of the CEOs of 500 companies worldwide. The concept of The Valuable 500, which respects diversity and promotes inclusion, has much in common with the Group’s corporate philosophy and is in line with the intended direction of its Global Human Rights Policy.

Sharing the belief of The Valuable 500 with other world leaders, Bridgestone will strengthen its diversity initiatives, including building a diverse workplace that empowers employees with disabilities. The Group will work to create a more inclusive society that promotes good physical and mental health through co-creation with communities and strategic partners, and promote awareness and access for people with disabilities through its support of the Paralympic Games.

Advancing racial diversity

There are several programs in place to advance racial and ethnic diversity in various locations, and particularly in the United States, where the Group has implemented a requirement of diverse candidate slated for key management and professional roles, has partnerships with organizations promoting racial diversity, and supports Black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino Employee Resource Groups.

External recognition

Awarded gold in PRIDE Index for three consecutive years

Awarded gold in PRIDE Index for three consecutive years

Bridgestone earned a gold award of the highest rank in Japan’s annual PRIDE Index of LGBT-friendly workplaces for the third consecutive year in November 2020.

Certified Family Responsible Company

efr

Bridgestone Spain was recognized as a certified Family Responsible Company (efr certification) by the Fundación MásFamilia, an independent organization.

Relevant Information

Sustainability