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Nissan spotlight women to drive home diversity message of Renault partnership

070716_nissan1.jpgATSUGI, Japan – Although “diversity” is such a novel and foreign word in Japan it’s a tongue-twister, Nissan is determined to promote women and make “die-bah-she-tea,” as it’s called here, a pillar of its image. The diversity drive comes at a time when Nissan Motor Co. is seeing slipping sales and its first annual profit slide in seven years – and struggling to draw the global limelight from booming Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Wooing women isn’t likely to win too many accolades in a nation where laws against discrimination in employment lack enforcement power or merely carry small fines as penalties, and largely depend on public opinion to sway management into political correctness. But Nissan’s on-site day care, family leave of up to two years and flexible work schedules are helping attract more women and keeping them. Nissan has also been spreading the word about diversity at universities and seminars to recruit women. And it’s one clear way Nissan, 44 percent owned by Renault SA of France, can hope to send a unique message as a cross-cultural automaker – and hope to beat Toyota and Honda. Diversity programs are fairly established at American automakers, with women making up 27 percent of management at General Motors Corp. At Toyota, women comprise 1 percent of management, and 0.4 percent at Honda. At Nissan, women in management have climbed to 4 percent from 1.6 percent in 2004 under the diversity drive, and the company is targeting 5 percent by March 2008. Image source: Katsumi Kasahara ASSOCIATED PRESS / > Continue

News selected by Covalence | Country: Global | Company: Nissan, Toyota, Renault, Honda | Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS

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