Calsonic Kansei Europe (CKEX)
Corporate Office Section Leader
Bridging the diverse cultures of Europe
Calsonic Kansei Europe (CKEX), located in the west of Wales, oversees the Group’s business in the European region. It comprises 11 operations spanning the breadth of the continent, from the UK in the west, through Spain, France, Germany, and Romania to Russia in the east. Karen works in the Corporate Office of CKEX. She says: “I have to consider diverse cultural and regional requirements, so my job can be incredibly challenging.” Karen’s primary role is to provide support to various departments and operations, so trans-national and trans-regional understanding is indispensable.
“The Corporate Office is a small department, but we are all cheerful and cooperative. We try to communicate in an extremely open manner. Global companies have standardized processes that ought to be communicated and implemented by bases across the world. I believe we can learn from one another through positive communication, and thereby establish best practices that can be used globally.”
A statement for the world to see
Karen finds drafting contracts to be unexpectedly interesting: “In order for the contracts to accurately reflect the agreements made between Calsonic Kansei and its suppliers and customers, I have to work closely with other departments and understand how they operate and what their requirements for the contract are. Through discussions with these departments, I can deepen my own knowledge of Calsonic Kansei’s business processes and products, and of the requirements of our employees. There are times when we encounter difficulties in our contract negotiations and discussions, and these can drag on for a long time. However, when the contracts are finally agreed, I find that the hard work we have put in has been rewarding and worthwhile.”
In recent years, CKEX has been actively engaging in social contribution and corporate governance activities. As the world becomes more globalized, some of the most pressing societal concerns include forced labor and human trafficking—so-called “modern slavery”—and CKEX has implemented initiatives to fight them. “I led a project to ensure we complied with UK laws on modern slavery, during which I worked closely with colleagues in Japan. I have a strong interest in resolving various societal problems, so I was extremely pleased when a statement was released concerning this issue.” Support for such initiatives is a critical part of Calsonic Kansei efforts to fulfill its global responsibilities.
Work that is a source of both satisfaction and pride
“My friend recently bought a new car, and when she gave me a ride in it I realized I was surrounded by Calsonic Kansei products. The new car was a source of pleasure for my friend, and I felt great pride in being even a small part of that. At the same time, I was reminded that we don’t just make automotive products. With our products, we provide both satisfaction to our customers around the world and pride to our employees.”
“I hope I can continue to work passionately in this job for the next ten or twenty years,” says Karen, who clearly has a love of learning. “I want to deepen my understanding of the cultures of other countries and regions, and develop into a more well-rounded person.” On a desk in Karen’s office, a Japanese daruma doll, which is said to bring good luck, watches over her.