According to a report carried out by PwC, 85% of business leaders have said that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) is a stated value or priority at their organization. Unfortunately, as discovered by the same study, only a few DE&I programs reach full maturity.
Although inclusion and diversity seem to feature in most organization’s goals and strategies, the majority struggle to make real progress. All too often, DE&I goals such as promoting and improving gender equality at the workplace are regarded as a tick-box exercise or worse – words are never put into action. Protected by bold promises, most companies are not doing enough and that couldn’t be truer for the tech sector and its persistent lack of gender diversity.
Even in the digital era, women continue to be greatly underrepresented in the tech sector. To illustrate how grave the situation is in numbers – 32% of women in technical and engineering roles are often the only women in the room at work, as found by McKinsey. Unsurprisingly, these numbers are even lower for women of color. In terms of pay, leadership roles and promotion, women still trail their male counterparts, demonstrating the need for tech companies to build more pathways for women to enter the industry and address the systematic problems that hinder gender equality at the workplace.
At Kyocera, we understand that the race to a sustainable future and a fairer society is built on responsible business activity. If we want to succeed and continue to grow in the future, we need a diverse workforce in a workplace that fosters the skills of each employee.
Human-centered values have always been at the heart of Kyocera’s workplace. When Dr. Kazuo Inamori founded Kyocera in 1959, he built the company on the most fundamental morals and ethics of humanity: ‘doing the right thing as a human being’. This is the heart of the Kyocera philosophy, determining all business decisions made at the organization which ensure that the that the voice of every employee is heard.
Naturally, our way of thinking helps to create a work environment full of mutual respect and one that promotes diversity and inclusion. We are proud of holding these progressive values long before workplace diversity and inclusion entered the agenda of most businesses. They make up the very foundations of our organization, positioning us champions of authentic representation in our work and the world. Our philosophy always guides us to what is right and fair.
Our philosophy always guides us toward what is right and fair."
In addition to embodying the core philosophy that Dr. Kazuo Inamori established for the whole Kyocera Corporation, we strive to attract female talent and promote the progression of women throughout our organization. 27% of all employees at Kyocera Document Solutions America are women and 22% of female employees are in leadership roles. While these numbers are still low, we are aiming higher every year and have many initiatives in place to make our diversity goals a reality.
Proactive Kyocera employees have established the Social Responsibility Committee, whose objective is to boost diversity and inclusion by sharing recommendations to the management team. By listening to the experience of employees coming from different walks of life, nationalities and genders, our organization can better recognize and promote the empowerment of diverse stories and create an environment where all employees feel safe and supported. This outstanding employee-driven initiative not only helps to make improvements at Kyocera, but also makes a positive impact in society.
For the second year running, we are proud to be certified as a Great Place to Work, with 79% of our employees voting for us. Words such as ‘freedom’, ‘fair’, ‘family’, ‘care’, ‘balance’ and ‘team’ have been used by our employees in the 2022 survey with 84% highlighting that people at Kyocera are given a lot of responsibility. With the survey taken by employees of all genders, it is also encouraging to see that 89% of our workers are made to feel welcome when they join. To Kyocera, employee satisfaction means that all members of our Kyocera family feel supported and are given the opportunities to grow with us, regardless of gender.
In total 25% of all managers and 17% of leaders at Vice President or higher levels are female. We've made progress in gender at Kyocera with 30% of our senior steering committee executives being female. Although female leaders are still a minority at Kyocera, they have made ground-breaking achievements within the organization and the industry. Most recently, our Chief Financial Officer, Leonie Forristal, was featured in The Cannata Report 2022 Women Influencers issue for making an outstanding impact at Kyocera. But this is not the first time that one of our female leaders made it to the cover of the magazine – back in 2020, Natalie Cumberbatch, Kyocera’s Vice President of Human Resources also received the recognition. Both women industry leaders are revolutionizing the office technology space and driving change at Kyocera, serving as powerful role models to all aspiring females in technology, inside and outside of the industry.
Organizations must strive to create a work environment where women in tech can unlock their full potential and take part in making important business decisions. This is not only integral to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace but also sustainable business growth. As Kyocera has demonstrated, diversity and inclusion efforts are best illustrated with examples and real action. Many organizations already talk the talk – but now it’s time to walk the walk. Women don’t just belong in the tech sector; their contributions are crucial for the future of innovation.