Japan’s newest buzzword for corporate strategy is “diversity management”—leveraging untapped human resources such as women and foreign nationals, to drive innovation and business success.
Globalization accelerates change
As businesses become more globalized, company dynamics are shifting. Businesses must correctly address the diverse needs of customers, develop inventive strategies to enter new markets, and address new potential risks. As Japan manages the realities of an aging society and a shortage of young workers, companies need to broaden their search for talent to ensure future success.
Outdated working styles
There is a limit to how far Japan’s old system of rigid, conventional working style—which relies on long hours of overtime—can take a mature society. Old styles of management don’t allow many employees to achieve their full potential, and there is a growing public awareness in Japan of the need for change.
Diversity achieves outstanding results
Diversity management helps companies establish a competitive advantage. Companies with diversity management strategies, including those which employ high ratios of women and expatriate workers, have been found to achieve outstanding results. Now businesses must go further to reform stagnant corporate hierarchies and introduce diversity of personal experience and skillsets as well as diversity in terms of gender and nationality.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is raising public awareness of leading enterprises that link diversity management programs to their business achievements. In FY2016, METI established a new study group (Toward a New Paradigm: Diversity 2.0)1 to help companies promote diversity management to create corporate value.
(Commendation ceremony of the New Diversity Management Selection 100)