March 13, 2018
This Women’s Day, Canon India, which has been operating in the country for two decades now, acknowledged “strong and spirited women” with a digital campaign entitled ‘#MoreStrengthToHer’.
The campaign is described by the OEM as an endeavour by the organisation’s senior leaders to salute the spirit of women and encourage fair and equal practices across the world. These leaders include Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President & CEO, along with Vice Presidents, including Ms. Shikha Rai, Vice President, HR, Mr. Gary Lee, Vice President & CFO, Mr. K. Bhaskhar, Vice President, Business Imaging Solutions and Mr. Eddie Udagawa, Vice President, Consumer Imaging and Information Centre.
They shared their “learnings and wisdom derived from their experiences, to not only encourage and uplift the spirit of their own employees but for women at large.”
The leaders are also a part of a female empowerment committee called [email protected], which is focused towards empowering female employees across Canon India.
Celebrating the day as a milestone in its endeavour to build a “happy, safe and growth oriented organisation”, the OEM wrapped up the campaign with an album sharing smiling faces of some women employees at the organisation, under one of its key campaigns called ‘Big Smile’.
The celebrations entailed a motivational session by a leading business etiquette consultant. It was described as “an enriching experience, comprising personal branding; social media strategies; communication and networking strategies. The session was open for both male and female employees.
Speaking about the significance of its female workforce, Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President & CEO, Canon India, said, “Employees are the key pillars of our success story over the last twenty years in the country. To motivate and strengthen our workforce, we have always been keen to support initiatives that foster talent, irrespective of the gender. One of our key endeavours has been ‘[email protected]’, which accelerates our belief to constantly support the growth and happiness of our women employees. This International Women’s day, I would like to acknowledge the presence of women in our lives and workplace. With a vision to constantly encourage equality and bring about a significant transformation in the gender ratio within the organisation, we aim to evolve each day to make Canon an inspirational and a secure workplace for women. One of our emerging leaders, Ms. Sandhya Chauhan, has recently been awarded the ‘future woman leader of the year’, such accomplishments by our employees is a matter of pride and encouragement for our entire organisation. We celebrate talent and hard work irrespective of gender.”
Shikha Rai, Vice President, HR, Canon India, said, “At Canon India, fair, transparent, equitable practices with no prejudices and biases support our vision of being a respectable organisation. International women’s day is a reminder to all men and women about their responsibility towards the society. It is a reminder to question stereotypes, to provide equal opportunities, to be the change agents. It is for each one of us to take that one bold step and champion a cause that brings us closer to equality. Two years back our organization formed [email protected] (Women Empowerment at Canon) with the senior women employees in the advisory board. It has been able to create some positive impact in the journey of our colleagues. Gender sensitisation workshops, post maternity transition support by way of flexibility in office timing and part time options, day care support to young parents, reviewing of process of recruitments and appraisals are some of our key endeavours.”
Canon India revealed that it is proud to be the workplace of several inspirational women employees; these include the first female field engineer, “paving the path for others to follow”; a young mother who has completed her law degree by attending classes after work; a young girl from a very conservative family, who takes the metro to the office and works as an engineer repairing cameras; and another young mother leaving her twin babies at home to participate in an annual overseas learning programme.
Canon explains that it is also devoted to “regular initiatives of employee engagement, for instance ‘Ladies Power Lunch’.”
Under this program, Mr. Kobayashi interacts with his female employees and listens to their professional and personal experiences. The organisation states that it is strongly committed to creating a “secure and comfortable environment” for its employees, which include an active POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) committee, regular awareness and training on the subject of sexual harassment through eLearning courses, gender sensitisation workshops, and an “open door” policy where employees can freely discuss any apprehension as well as a whistle-blow anonymous portal.
Along with its employees, Canon also extends its focus to the empowerment of girls in its four adopted villages. Education sessions on integral issues like personal hygiene, significance of sanitation, self-defence and safety, are regularly organised.
Canono India also organised Women’s Photography Workshops across its offices and education institutes. These interactive learning sessions were designed to help female employees understand the products better and “ace the skills with basic tips on photography.”
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