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Changing mindsets

Changing group–wide employee mindsets

We are working to change employee mindsets and behavior where necessary as an essential part of our efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion.

Our Group CEO and other members of senior management regularly emphasize the importance of our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion as part of their presentations at the General Managers' Meetings, internal video messages to all employees, and messages sent directly from senior management to all employees.

In October 2017 we cohosted a seminar with Catalyst Japan, the Japanese arm of the global NPO that aims to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. The seminar, entitled Business Drivers for an Inclusive Corporate Culture, was targeted at general managers and female employees of any rank. Mizuho Bank's President & CEO, Koji Fujiwara, gave a talk on the importance of promoting women's advancement and other actions to ensure the active participation of our diverse workforce.


Speech by Koji Fujiwara, President & Group CEO of Mizuho Bank

Promotion via the group magazine

A regular special section in the internal group corporate communications magazine, titled M–Style, promotes awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion through profiles of role models and features on the latest diversity and inclusion initiatives at Mizuho.

From January 2017, Mizuho has also begun publishing a group–wide magazine in Japan that introduces employees who are active at Mizuho in a variety of ways. This magazine aims to raise awareness of Mizuho's fundamental reforms in HR management among all employees and to help them reach their full potential.


The M–Style section of the Mizuho internal group corporate communications magazine


Change!, the internal magazine (currently Japan only) to help all employees reach their full potential

Company awards program

A Diversity & Inclusion category has been added to Mizuho's internal group–wide awards program, which recognizes outstanding performance and contribution to the organization by individuals, offices, or branches that enhanced the professional growth or advancement of our diverse workforce.

Awards given in this category specifically recognize work related to diversity and inclusion, such as initiatives that support the needs of employees with time constraints due to caring for a child or aging family member. These good examples are then publicized, for example via the internal group corporate communications magazine, as encouragement to others in the group to make changes to their thinking and actions, with an awareness of how they affect the inclusiveness of the work environment.

Changing mindsets at management level

In order to achieve our goals for greater diversity and inclusion at Mizuho, and to create an environment that enables the growth and active participation of every member of our diverse workforce, it is essential that management–level employees fully understand the issues involved and adjust their frontline management practices accordingly. We are working to change mindsets at the management level through training sessions and seminars on the promotion of greater diversity and inclusion. These programs enhance participants' understanding of the importance of creating a work environment where employees from diverse backgrounds are fully engaged and how such environments lead to innovation and business success. Participants learn about the ways in which their management practices ensure that our diversity becomes one of our organization's greatest strengths,

Management level personnel evaluations

At Mizuho, managers' efforts to promote diversity and inclusion are one aspect taken into consideration as part of the personnel evaluations process, which encourages concrete actions in this regard at every level of the organization. For managers at the supervisor level and above (including executive officers and general managers), this is part of the "360 degree evaluation" where they are evaluated by colleagues and direct reports. For general managers of frontline offices in Japan, it is also part of their annual personnel evaluation.

Training for management–level employees

All management–level employees receive training targeted at their job level several times each year, regarding the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the development and utilization of diverse talent, and the promotion of a good work–life balance. This training emphasizes the effects of unconscious bias and the importance of practicing inclusive leadership, endeavoring to develop employees of all backgrounds in an equitable manner by recognizing the preconceptions and predispositions that one may have which could adversely affect objectivity.

This training is provided as part of the People Management Skills Training and as part of the standard training provided to general managers and joint general managers of branches, and in head office departments to general managers and other managers in their reporting line.

As part of our initiatives to support female employees in their career development, we provide communication skills training for managers. This training aims to increase managers' ability to effectively communicate, to support female employees' development and career advancement by providing flexibility for employees balancing their work and family commitments, and to motivate employees not to limit themselves.

Diversity seminars for management

Diversity seminars for management-level employees are held once a year, with external speakers invited to provide lectures on topics relating to team management and diversity and inclusion.


Management staff attending a diversity seminar

The "Ikuboss Alliance"

In December 2014, Mizuho was one of the first companies to join the "Ikuboss Alliance" organized by the NPO Fathering Japan. An "Ikuboss" is defined as a manager at any level who produces good results for their company by supporting their team in achieving a good work–life balance, while also setting a good example by enjoying a good balance between their own work and personal life. The Ikuboss Alliance is a network of Japanese companies that recognize the need for such managers and are working to transform mindsets among their management–level staff with the aim of cultivating a new kind of management style.

The aims of the Ikuboss Alliance match an essential theme for the management of Mizuho's diverse workforce: supporting female employees' career development and the achievement of a good balance between work and family commitments. One way in which Mizuho is participating in the Ikuboss Alliance is organizing networking meetings with companies in other industries.



Founding ceremony for the Ikuboss Alliance

Ikuboss initiatives at Mizuho

Ikuboss initiatives at Mizuho include small–group discussion sessions and meetings for members of various industries, to encourage networking and information–sharing between management–level employees. Attendees also pledge their commitment to the "Ikuboss Declaration". The special M–Style section of the Mizuho internal group corporate communications magazine also featured a series profiling Ikuboss role models.


Attendees at a small–group discussion session affirm their commitment to the Ikuboss Declaration.


Ikuboss profile series in the M–Style section of the internal group corporate communications magazine

Employee connectivity

Mizuho is promoting the concept of connectivity on a global basis, emphasizing the importance of mutual trust, consideration, and respect between the company and our employees, and between employees themselves, regardless of differences in nationality, gender, culture, values, and so on.

Connections between employees of different backgrounds act as a solid support for the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and enhance employee motivation. These connections therefore also support the company's stable and sustainable growth, and allow employees to enjoy a fulfilling career. We aim to construct a corporate culture of mutual respect on a global basis, where employees will be able to take on challenges without seeing failure as a risk to be avoided, but as an opportunity for positive growth.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee resource groups (ERGs) provide participants with opportunities to connect around a common goal, networking with colleagues who they may not have otherwise had the chance to meet through their work. ERGs also provide opportunities for self–development, and as participants achieve professional growth while working towards their goals, this contributes to Mizuho's growth as well. Mizuho provides active support for ERGs, viewing them as an important tool for expanding connectivity throughout the organization and for enabling employees to spearhead their own initiatives regarding the topics that are most important to them.

Additionally, when employees connect around a common goal, it creates a greater sense of unity and a sense of belonging, cultivating an environment where individuality is valued. ERGs encourage personal and professional growth as participants with shared interests or experiences proactively learn from one another, hold open discussions, and draw on their unique capabilities or strengths to collaborate with other members from different areas of the organization. As ERG participants with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise come together to address issues from a range of perspectives, new ideas are born and new discoveries are made, which can be proactively incorporated into our business. This leads to the creation of new corporate value and creates an environment that encourages continual innovation. It also makes it clear that each individual can have an impact and effect change within the organization, which cultivates a corporate culture where people are proactive and are willing to take on new challenges without being discouraged by the fear of failure.

Below are a few examples of the ERGs at Mizuho:

M–WIN: Mizuho Women's Initiatives Network

In March 2017, the Mizuho Women's Initiatives Network (M–WIN) was launched as an employee resource group to connect Mizuho's 37,000 female employees around the world, regardless of entity or region. M–WIN provides Mizuho's female employees with opportunities to engage with one another and shape their careers. Mizuho's global offices are divided into five regions, and each region regularly exchanges information on its initiatives to promote women's empowerment in the workplace. M–WIN sponsors activities to empower all employees, regardless of gender, by identifying issues in women's empowerment on a global level and working toward solutions to those issues.

M–WIN Activities in Japan

In Japan, the Women's Network was established in FY2015 as an employee resource group where women from different generations and job classes across the group could come together and discuss their own careers, leadership development, and Mizuho's efforts to empower women. This network was a predecessor of M–WIN Japan, which was launched in March 2018. M–WIN Japan has around 130 members from across the Mizuho group.

M–WIN Japan holds a variety of events and activities, such as networking sessions and seminars to promote its mission of supporting women's advancement in the workplace and in society.


March 2018 M–WIN Japan kick–off event

M–LAN: Mizuho LGBT+ & Ally Network

M–LAN provides opportunities to study the diverse issues and values of the LGBT+ community and communicate them through a range of activities in order to help develop a diverse and inclusive workplace where employees can be themselves and engage in their work with enthusiasm. The network provides support for planning Mizuho's activities as a joint sponsor of Tokyo Rainbow Pride and other key events, including through volunteering.


Participation in Tokyo Rainbow Pride (May 2018)

MGCC: Mizuho Global Communication & Connectivity Club

MGCC brings together people of different nationalities and backgrounds, creating a space for cross–cultural communication. Members can build a professional network that supports their career development as well as take part in activities that promote Mizuho's globalization. MGCC holds regular events aimed at foreign language learning and developing cultural understanding.


Weekly Morning Chat Café


CocreA is a play on the words "collaboration, creation, relation, and evolution" and aims to create new value through connecting people and encouraging discussion and learning. We study the relationship between cutting–edge technology and business and create connections between the different companies in the Mizuho group with the goal of contributing to Mizuho's future by discovering new sources of value and enhancing members' tech skills.


A technology expert visits as a guest lecturer at a CocreA event