Recommendations for re-skilling and creating “job mobility” to redress inequality (Monex, Inc.)
At the Hiroshima Business Forum for Global Peace held in September 2021, businesspeople held discussions on the topic “How we can revitalize the world and build an even better global community in 2021—Conquering the pandemic and overcoming discrimination, disparities and national favoritism.” From among the speakers, we spoke with OTSUKI Nana, Expert Director and Chief Analyst of Monex, Inc.
In Japan’s increasingly severe economic circumstances, inequality is further enhanced, and the new environment presented by the COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate this. In this context, one thing that companies can do to redress inequality is to train and hire employees. In recent years, as companies seek to grow through digitization and similar strategies, a key requirement is “re-skilling,” in which companies assist employees in acquiring skills and knowledge in new areas of business. We at Monex also actively considering ways to improve the quality of employee training, including re-skilling.
In addition, we believe that the creation of “job mobility” in a positive sense (rather than in the negative sense of layoffs), whereby personnel are sent out as social assets rather than kept in-house, can create diversity within companies and encourage various kinds of innovation. As such, it is an issue that society as a whole should address going forward.
In this aspect, the use of “gig work,” in which more specialized work is outsourced to specialists on a short-time, one-off basis, is gradually increasing at various companies, encouraging job mobility. We have also accepted gig workers in some of our departments, but they are still few in number, and this is an issue that will be addressed on a company-wide basis in the future.
Committing to initiatives that support dialogue between society and business
What companies must do to put the “true meritocracy” presented in the 2021 Hiroshima Appeal into practice is to engage in dialogue with society. Specifically, this means responding to the demands for sustainability that society places on companies and engaging in dialogue with shareholders, consumers, and other stakeholders. We believe that it is constructive and stimulating for a company to have many individuals who have invested their own money in the company offer suggestions and opinions, and we are engaged in a variety of initiatives to support dialogue.
Launched in 2019, the Monex Activist Forum is an initiative aimed at stimulating communication between individual investors and companies. This is an initiative to help individual investors energize the Japanese market as activists (activist investors) that address companies proactively and provides a variety of content through its website, new platforms, and events.
The Monex Activist Fund, which is comprised only of Japanese companies, aims to maximize the potential of companies that wish to make reforms and encourage their growth, thereby raising the level of the Japanese economy and, in turn, building a better future for the country. In this fund, Monex will lead the dialogue between individual investors and companies (management and board members).
Promoting sustainable growth of society through a variety of ESG activities
In order to realize a truly peaceful and sustainable society, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) activities are inseparable from our business, and as such, we have been engaged in them for some time. In recent years, we have established the Sustainable Finance Department with the aim of helping to resolve environmental and other problems, which form a key element of ESG issues.
Among these ESG activities, we have identified diversity and inclusion as a project that will have a particularly large impact on our stakeholders. By building a true financial infrastructure that respects the diversity of all people and enables all people to live secure and happy lives, and by providing the best financial services that individuals need, we will develop initiatives that will lead to the sustainable growth of society.
Contributing to peace through creative financial services
Monex University, established in 2005, is another initiative aimed at making each individual’s future richer and happier through future asset building. We believe that improving the financial literacy of individuals is a core element not only of asset management but also of life planning itself, and we are engaged in ongoing activities that focus on interactive communication, such as holding a variety of lectures and events.
Through these various initiatives, we will continue to mobilize our resources to confront problems and make significant contributions to “solutions for the earth” through advanced sustainable finance, thereby fulfilling our responsibilities as a listed company.
In the World Happiness Report 2021, published by the United Nations, Japan ranks 56th, indicating the disparity in the level of happiness between Japan and the rest of the world. As a testament to peace, we will continue to pursue happiness for everyone in the realm of financial services, drawing on new ideas and perspectives that transcend conventional frameworks.
Expert Director, Chief Analyst, Monex University
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