Employment and Active Advancement of People with Disabilities at Shimizu
We are undertaking many different initiatives at Shimizu to employ and promote the advancement of people with disabilities to implement the philosophy of diversity in management. We do so because we believe that this will enhance corporate value and expand the scope of corporate activities.
Main Plans to Promote the Advancement of People with Disabilities
The main Plans implemented thus far are shown below.
Fiscal Year 2022
Held Challenge Forum 2022
This content is in Japanese only
Fiscal Year 2021
Held Challenge Forum 2021
This content is in Japanese only
Fiscal Year 2020
Held Challenge Networking Session 2020
Shimizu has held the Challenge Forum since 2018 to promote the advancement of people with disabilities and educate and raise awareness among all employees.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, this year we did not gather a large number of people together. We held the Challenge Networking Session 2020 instead to provide people with disabilities who work at our head office to interact with one another and chat informally with top management. Sufficient steps were taken to prevent infection during the session by thoroughly disinfecting surfaces, wearing face shields, and installing acrylic panels to prevent droplet transmission. We also used the UDTalk voice conversion app for hearing impaired people that make it possible to engage conversation with all participants.
The Chairman Miyamoto and President Inoue also participated in the informal chat session on the topics of “the new normal” and “facilities needing improvement in company buildings.” An active opinion exchange from many different perspectives took place on the challenges of working at home and improvements to toilets in company buildings, among other topics.
Comments received from participants included comments such as “I was able to build an internal network with others,” and “I experienced the importance of using IT to expand communication.”
Fiscal Year 2019
Held Challenge Forum 2019
The second Challenge Forum was held at Shimizu’s head office on October 4, 2019. Approximately 230 people participated, including employees with disabilities.
In her keynote address entitled “My Challenge: Creating a Society in Which Everyone Participate in the Sport They Like” during the first half of the forum, Kazuko Ito, the director of STAND, a non-profit organization, talked about advancements in diversity and an inclusive society in which everyone can live together from the viewpoint of sports.
Information provided during the second half included the status of employing people with disabilities at Shimizu and Chairman Miyamoto’s introduction of the activities of the Accessibility Consortium of Enterprises (ACE), where he is leading activities as the director. Ms. Ito, who gave the keynote address earlier, continued to serve as a facilitator in the panel discussion that followed, which featured four employees with disabilities. Under the theme of “The Challengers’ Theory of Evolution for Diversity,” the panelists urged participants to switch their thinking from “people have disabilities” to “society has disabilities,” and stated that this could lead to the evolution of diversity.
The informal reception after the forum was attended by employees with disabilities and top management. They exchanged opinions on what kinds of ideas we can think up to create an environment that makes pleasant to work and participants chatted with one another. Opinions voiced by forum participants included, “The forum caused me to think about what I personally can do and should do to help eliminate barriers in the community,” and “It would be wonderful if we created a society in which everyone is naturally aware of and act to ensure barrier-free support.”
Improvements to the Automated Doors at the Entrance to the Clinic
The door to the clinic where occupational physician permanently stationed on the 5th floor of the head office has been improved to make it barrier- free.
We did this in response to the request from participants in the Challenge Forum held in 2018, and installed automated doors that both open to make it easy for people using wheelchairs to enter the clinic smoothly.
Fiscal Year 2018
We held the Challenge Forum on October 5, 2018, for the first time. The purpose of the forum was to promote the advancement of employees with disabilities and to educate and raise the awareness of all employees. Around 190 people attended in total from around Japan, 65 of whom were employees with disabilities. The rest included their superiors, colleagues, officers, and others.
The name of the Challenge Forum derives from the English word “challenged,” which expresses both the mission and problems encountered in being challenged by a disability. It also describes people who have been given the opportunity and capacity to take on challenges. By including the employees who work with the people who have disabilities in this forum, we incorporated the sense of a mutual challenge.
The theme of the first half of the forum was Innovation Begins from Being Challenged. Shinsuke Shimura, the representative of Dialog in the Dark Japan, explained the importance of focusing on what a person can do by changing just one word to transform the phrase “because he is challenged” to “precisely because he is challenged.” Two facilitators from Dialog in the Dark and Dialog in Silence and Kiyoe Shimura, the executive director of Dialog Japan Society, then led a discussion session on participating in society in your own way.
A panel discussion was held during the second half of the forum. The panel featured four employees with disabilities. After they introduced themselves, they each talked about what kinds of thoughts they had while working and confronting their own disabilities, and what the community and the company need to do to create a space where people with and without disabilities can better understand what is fascinating about one another.
An informal reception for employees with disabilities and top management was held after the forum, which provided the opportunity to communicate what they felt on a daily basis and deepen the dialog between participants.
Fiscal Year 2017
Comprehensive disaster drill for employees with disabilities
We conducted a drill aimed at securing the same basic level of safety for all employees during a fire, earthquake or other disaster, regardless of their disability status. Approximately 50 employees of the main office participated, including employees with disabilities and their supporters.
Participants commented that the drills gave them a fresh awareness of the need to think about the means of evacuation and support required depending on the type of disability and the importance of support.
Internships to students with disabilities
We liked the Access Blue 2017 internship program that IBM Japan offered to students with disabilities, so we offered internships at Shimizu as well from August 28 through September 1. Interns toured the Institute of Technology and the Monozukuri Training Center and interacted with Shimizu employees.
Fiscal Year 2016
Renovated parts of a retreat-style training facility to make it barrier-free
We renovated some of the guestrooms at the Alfort Atami retreat-style training facility to make them barrier-free. In addition to installing wheelchair-accessible shower stalls, toilets, and sinks, we installed sloped ramp in the dining hall, added braille blocks, and installed hand rails on the stairs.
Received the Grand Prix Award in the individual division of the 4th Annual Accessibility Consortium of Enterprises (ACE) Awards
An employee of Shimizu received the Grand Prix Award in the individual category in the 4th Annual ACE Awards. The ACE Awards are hosted by the Accessibility Consortium of Enterprises. This is an initiative to select employees who have used a disability to create new value from among member companies and honor them as role models.
The awards convey the high degree of appreciation for the contribution to the company that such recipients make with their advanced technical skills. One recipient who had a disability that involved the fingers on both hands improved his skills on the sketcher and with computer graphics and was the first Japanese person to receive the top award in the 30th Annual AIP, a global construction illustration competition.
Fiscal Year 2015
Received the Innovator Award in the 3rd Annual ACE Awards
A Shimizu employee received the Innovator Award in the 3rd Annual ACE Awards. He received high acclaim for overcoming a hearing disability, acquiring qualifications as a first-class registered architect and as an emergency building assessor after earthquakes, and for his wide-ranging work in construction design on interior, signage design, and creation of architectural mock-ups.
Fiscal Year 2013
Received letter of appreciation from the Setagaya-ku Council on Advancement of People with Disabilities
Shimizu’s work on initiatives in employing people with disabilities was recognized in November 2013. We received a letter of appreciation from the Setagaya-ku Council on Advancement of People with Disabilities.
Fiscal Year 2012
Made the new company head office barrier-free
We are working to make the new head office that Shimizu moved to in August 2012 a barrier-free facility by building an entrance gate and elevators that are wheelchair-accessible, installing multipurpose toilets (equipped with flashing lights for people who are hearing-impaired), and installing hand rails in common areas.