Canon India, the world leader in imaging technologies considers its employees its biggest asset. Having completed two glorious decades in the country last year, Canon takes pride in celebrating 20 years of employment of some of its employees, followed by other long service awards, including 15, 10 and 5 years. These long tenures of service of Canon employees has been possible with the constant encouragement and motivation the employees receive at their work place. Along with several other employee friendly initiatives, Canon India makes dedicated efforts to ensure gender equality within the organization and considers its women employees, ‘symbols of empowerment’. This women’s day, Canon India, acknowledged the strong and spirited women, with a digital campaign, titled ‘#MoreStrengthToHer’.
The campaign is an endeavor by the organization’s senior leaders to salute the spirit of women and encourage fair and equal practices, across the world. These leaders, comprised of 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 Center. The leaders 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 special women empowerment committee called WE@Canon, which is constantly focused towards empowering the women employees across Canon India. Celebrating the day as a milestone in its endeavour to build a happy, safe and a growth oriented organisation, the organisation wrapped the campaign with an album sharing smiling faces of some women employees at the organization, under one of its key campaigns called ‘Big Smile’.
The celebrations entailed a motivational session by a leading business etiquette consultant. It was an enriching experience, comprising of personal branding; social media strategies; communication and networking strategies. Adding to the insights, a distinguishing feature of this women’s day celebration was, the session was open for both male and female employees.
Speaking about the significance of its women workforce, on this International Women’s Day, 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 endeavors has been ‘WE@Canon’, 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 organization, 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 organization. We celebrate talent and hard work irrespective of gender.”
Woman leader at the organization and a role model to many in the organization, Ms. 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 organization. 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 WE@Canon (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 sensitization 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 endeavors.”
Canon India is proud to be the workplace of several inspirational women employees; first female field engineer paving the path for others to follow, a young mother who has completed her law degree attending classes after office, a young girl from a very conservative family, taking the metro to the office and working as an engineer repairing cameras, another young mother leaving her twin babies to participate in an annual overseas learning programme. Validating its stance are Canon’s regular initiatives of employee engagement, for instance ‘Ladies Power Lunch’. Under this program, Mr. Kobayashi interacts with the women employees and listens to their interesting professional and personal experiences. The organization is strongly committed to create a secure and comfortable environment for its employees, which include an active POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment ) committee, regular awareness & training on the subject of sexual harassment through eLearning courses, gender sensitization workshops along with an open door policy where employees can freely discuss any apprehension and a whistle-blow anonymous portal.
Along with its employees, Canon also extends constant focus on the empowerment of girls in its four adopted villages. Education sessions on integral issues like personal hygiene, significance of sanitation, self-defense and safety, are regularly organized.
Adding cheers to the celebrations and committed to spread the culture of imaging, Canon India organized Women’s Photography Workshops, across its offices along with education institutes. These interactive learning sessions were designed to help the women employees understand the products better and ace the skills with basic tips on photography.