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Naoko Hirahata - DG TAKANO
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Naoko Hirahata

Precision Assembly and Process Control Technician

Naoko is the leader of our precision assembly team and a process control technician at our Osaka production plant. However, that wasn’t the position for which she applied originally. When Naoko joined DG TAKANO four years ago, she was only looking for a part-time position in order to support her family’s income.

Naoko had taken a career break in order to have her first child, and had then found it difficult to go back to her fulltime work while taking care of her daughter. Looking for an employer that would be comfortable with a working mother, something not too common in Japan, and would allow her to pick her hours, she found DG TAKANO.

Ever diligent, Naoko had quickly completed her precision assembly training, realising that the hand-to-eye coordination and attention to detail she had cultivated in her previous career were easily transferred into her new line of work. A few years later, when a technician vacancy had become available, she had felt confident enough to step up and begin training for the job. ‘I’m still learning even now,’ she confesses, ‘but being able to fix defects or make adjustments to a batch of products by myself, instead always having to ask others, feels really satisfying.’

By that time, Naoko had become one of the veterans in our precision assembly team, and she had increasingly taken a leadership role. With her entering technician training, that role would be made official. ‘I just felt like I was the missing link,’ she says demurely, ‘I had been doing precision assembly for two and a half years, so I knew well the existing bottlenecks… and since I was learning and doing both machining and QA, I could remove the speed bumps and make things better for everyone.’

Being a team leader after a career change is no easy feat, but then again, neither is being a mother. For Naoko, challenges are nothing to fret about—‘What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?’ she says.

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