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Viewing Diversity Through Different Lenses |

Elizabeth Handover, JHRS Women in HR Advocate Leader エリザベス・ハンドーヴァー, JHRSWomen in HR」提唱リーダー

Highlights from The 6th GOLD Symposium, September 19, 2014, TOKYO AMERICAN CLUB | 第6回GOLDシンポジウムのハイライト, 2014年9月19日, 東京アメリカンクラブ

Originally written in English

     Diversity is no longer a mere buzzword in the business sector today. It is a concept and a practice that has become a vital element in developing highly engaged teams and therefore critical in building high-performing organizations moving in a globalized, constantly changing environment.

     However, the path to a culture of diversity and inclusion is complicated and challenging. A higher level of study and strategic action is required in order to truly integrate it into a company’s value set and make it seamlessly synched with business goals and objectives. Diversity is dynamic and complex and thus can be better understood by looking at it not as a single, dominant perspective, but rather as a set of different lenses for viewing the world.

     It is with this awareness that the 6th GOLD Symposium was held, gathering thought leaders, renowned speakers and more than 200 participants from the corporate, business, academic and non-profit sectors addressing the value of international collaboration in today’s organizations.

     Under the theme of” The Power of Inclusion – Viewing Diversity through Different Lenses,” the symposium provided a venue for the exchange of information and ideas about leadership in the 21st century, best practices for championing an inclusive culture and making meaningful global connections.

     In her opening speech, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy talked about two points that resonated throughout the event: the impact of intercultural unity on a global context, and the importance of encouraging more women in the boardroom.

      “We are living in a difficult time… and it is important that people of different beliefs and experience can work together to solve the problems and build a prosperous future,” Ms. Kennedy said, adding that diversifying the workforce is now an economic imperative.

Women, marzipan ceilings and the movies

     The power of increased numbers of women in decisive positions was another hot topic at the symposium. Ambassador Kennedy cited research on how organizations that have more women in the boardroom enjoyed higher bottom lines, while Royanne Doi, Corporate Chief Ethics Officer of Prudential Financial Inc., who also served as panel facilitator during the event, stressed the role of executive women who have “broken the marzipan ceilings” in addressing the meaning of inclusive leadership and shaping a culture of trust and inclusion.

     In the Dialogue with Women Executives, one of the insights that stood out, is that in this time of rapid change, those brave enough to take risks are the most rewarded. Izumi Kobayashi, director and member of the board of ANA Holdings Inc., Suntory Holdings Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. urged parents in Japan to encourage their children to take bold steps out of their comfort zones, and travel abroad. Mitsuru Claire Chino, executive officer and general counsel of ITOCHU Corporation, echoed the importance of being open to risks, stressing that we all have a responsibility to challenge ideas and rules.

     The fearless, risk-taking film industry provided a solid backdrop for discussions on having more women as role models for the next generation. Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, addressed the issue of inclusion in films, saying there is a need for more strong female characters and more stories upholding women in leadership roles on and offscreen, especially in programs for children. Another star from the film industry, Yoko Narahashi, president of the United Performers’ Studio, director, producer and lyricist, and “the most prominent Japanese figure in Hollywood” shared through her own life experiences why diversity, inclusion and embracing one’s uniqueness is critical in a global setting and in her personal success.

A new male perspective considered

     Speaking of the new generation, business leaders see a “radically different future” for corporations today. Anthony P. Carter, chief diversity officer of Johnson&Johnson said this forecast highlights the key elements of global citizenship: values, personal integrity, business principles, concerns for the environment and focus on the well-being of humankind.

     Co-speaker Kay Iwata, founder and president of K. Iwata Associates, Inc., referred to the concept of the Fourth Wave (from the book authored by Herman Maynard and Susan Mehrtens) which recommends businesses in the 21st century to “have a value system that works to fairness and parity to combat atrocities.”

     Championing global citizenship was also focused on by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former UnderSecretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, who said that today’s leaders “need to keep that in mind when we talk about corporate topics such as D&I and leadership.”

     The need for a new kind of leadership was likewise a leading topic in the Conversations With Men panel discussion. Yasufumi Hirai, president and general manager of Cisco Systems, G.K. talked about mentoring through learning in action while Gerald Lema, chairman and president of Baxter International Inc. Japan shared his vision of sustainable diversity that promotes a new way of thinking, such as shifting from ikumen to ikubosses (male and female managers), to enhance inclusion in the workplace.

     *Our thanks go to Hiroko Tatebe for tirelessly organizing the GOLD Symposium series.











     大胆不敵でリスクを厭わない映画業界は、次世代の手本となるよう、より多くの女性を登場させる議論において確固たる背景を提示した。Geena Davis Institute on Gender in MediaCEOであるMadeline Di Nonno氏は映画の問題を取り上げ、特に子どもに対するプログラムにおいて、強い女性のキャラクターと、女性にリーダーシップの役割を与えるストーリーが、スクリーン内でも外でも今以上に必要であると述べた。映画業界からのもう1人のスターは、United Performers’ Studio代表であり、演出家、プロデューサー、作詞家、そして「ハリウッドで最もよく知られている日本人」でもある奈良橋陽子氏だ。同氏は自らの経験を通して、グローバルな環境と個人的な成功において、ダイバーシティ、インクルージョン、そして個人の独自性を受け入れることがなぜ重要なのかを説いた。



     共同スピーカーであるK. Iwata アソシエイツの創業者兼社長の岩田ケイ氏に同調して、カーター氏はHerman Maynard氏、Susan Mehrtens氏の共著作『The Fourth Wave: Business in the 21st Century』より第4の波の概念を引用した。それは21世紀において非道なやり方に対抗するために、企業が公平かつ対等の価値体系を機能させることを推奨するものである。






Elizabeth Handover is president of Intrapersona K.K. and a Lumina Learning partner for Asia. She is co-chair of the ACCJ Women in Business Committee, co-founder of the Women's Leadership Development Centre and special adviser to the Global WIN Conference.


エリザベス・ハンドーヴァー イントラペルソ ナKKの社長であり、ルミナラーニングのアジア 地域パートナー。彼女はACCJウィメン・イン・ ビジネス・コミティーの共同代表であり、ウィメ ンズ・リーダーシップ・ディベロップメント・セ ンターの共同創始者、またグローバルWINコ ンファレンスの特別顧問でもある。


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