On New Year’s Day, SHISEIDO, the biggest cosmetic company in Japan (5th biggest in the world), revised its work regulations and now recognizes same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage. The employees with same-sex partners are now able to receive separation allowances and condolence money. Both the full-time employees and the contract employees can take childcare and caregiver leaves. It is the first trial of its kind for cosmetic companies to recognize same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage.
A set of documents, including utility receipts, copies of resident record, and same-sex partnership certificates, is required to be submitted.
SHISEIDO aims at recruiting promising employees by making their workplaces LGBT- friendly and publicly showing their positive attitude toward sexual diversity. In addition to that, SHISEIDO came to the conclusion that it is crucial to take measures for LGBT employees to be acknowledged as one of global companies in the world.
SHISEIDO started to hold seminars for the employees to achieve better understanding of LGBT people. The company also has employment support for LGBT job seekers and women. SHISEIDO is planning to take more measures to embrace diversity in the company.
SHISEIDO has strictly banned discrimination based on sexual orientation for more than 5 years. In 2012, the employees from SHISEIDO voluntarily attended Tokyo International Lesbian&Gay Film Festival and tried to change the mindset for LGBT people in the company. According to Asahi Shimbun, a public relation officer from SHISEIDO said, “1 in 20 people are said to be LGBT people in Japan and their market is huge. They are important customers.”
Last year, SHISEIDO had a big booth and many staff attended Tokyo Rainbow Parade. They were teaching both men and women how to put on good makeup and skincare methods to avoid getting tanned. The way they treated their customers and the parade participants was so professional and stunning that they attracted public attention.
Actually, SHISEIDO is not the first cosmetic company that announced its official support for LGBT people in Japan. M・A・C started a charity campaign called “Viva Glam” in the 1990s. The campaign was aimed at raising awareness of HIV and people living with HIV and M・A・C donated all the money they earned from this charity to gay night events in the first 2000s. (Around that time, a drag queen was working at the M・A・C store in Isetan and it became a topic of conversation.)
We are expecting there to be more big companies starting to show their support for LGBT people and LGBT community in 2017. Our first happy news came from SHISEIDO this year.