Integrated Report 2020

CHO Message

Accelerating innovation through diversity & inclusion

Karola Japke

Teijin Group Corporate Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer

  • 1992Joined Hoechst AG
  • 2001Joined Teijin Monofilament Germany GmbH
  • 2009Global HR Manager, Teijin Creative Staff Ltd.
  • 2012HR Manager, Teijin Aramid B.V.
  • 2014Corporate Officer, Deputy CHO (Global HR), Teijin Group
  • 2019Corporate Officer, CHO, Teijin Group

New Medium-Term Management Plan

Fiscal 2019 was the year in which Teijin worked very hard to create a new medium-term management plan that realizes our ambition to become a company that supports the society of the future.

Based on our belief that D&I will accelerate innovation, we positioned D&I as one element of our management base. As you can see below, we set ourselves ambitious global D&I targets regarding the number of female and non-Japanese leaders. And for the first time, we broke these targets down into regional ones. With the regional targets, we express our firm conviction that our global targets can only be achieved when all regions and Group companies are aligned together and accountable for the achievement of these targets.

In addition, the D&I strategy is now backed by a completely new and agile Corporate HR organization. Beginning with the new fiscal year, we transformed our traditional Corporate HR Department into a lean, agile, and high-impact organization in which small flexible teams focus on strategic HR issues like workstyle reform and enterprise (global) talent management.

First Achievements

I am happy to say that we have been able to almost double the number of non-Japanese corporate officers and increase the number of female executives by 30% since my promotion to CHO in April, 2019. To accelerate our D&I activities further, we established a global D&I Department that leads global initiatives and coordinates regional D&I projects. This new department reports directly to the CHO and is strongly supported by Teijin’s CEO, Board of Directors, and top management.

Challenges under the Plan

Under mature D&I management, the “I” (Inclusion) in D&I becomes the main focus of our activities because only with inclusion can we activate our diverse workforce and let our personnel thrive.

For us, inclusion means to build a culture where all employees feel that they can bring their whole selves to work and create a strong sense of belonging. Inclusion is a long-term process and we are still at the very beginning of this process. As such, we are now preparing several initiatives that will affect all areas of HR, from recruitment to retirement, and I am confident that we will be able to create an environment where all employees feel safe psychologically and have the opportunity to use their full potential.

The Impact of COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has been twofold. On one hand, it has slowed down the execution of our strategy, and unfortunately has forced us to postpone some projects until 2021. On the other hand, however, it has provided us with a lot of opportunities. For example, given the urgency of the situation new ways of working were implemented in a short period of time. We were also able to experience new ways of communicating and managing personnel. Importantly too, many of these changes will be permanent.

Last but not least, it gave us the chance to revisit our strategy and tailor it to the “new normal,” making it even more inclusive.


At the moment, we are working on the revision of our leadership programs with the goal of adjusting them to the new requirements and creating a system that allows us to identify, select, and develop diverse employees with high potential so that they can continue to grow throughout their career, and to train future leaders under the guidance of our inclusive leadership programs.

In the second half of fiscal 2020, we will start preparing our global engagement survey that will be conducted in the first half of fiscal 2021. In addition, we will continue with the workstyle reform project and our efforts to provide family-friendly solutions.