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Toward Further Enrichment of Diversity 2.0 Release of the recommendations compiled by the Study Group for Ideal Approaches to Diversity Management as a Competitive Strategy

In April 2018, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) resumed a series of meetings of “the Study Group for Ideal Approaches to Diversity Management (Diversity 2.0) as a Competitive Strategy” (chair: Mr. Tetsuo Kitagawa, Professor, Graduate School of International Management, Aoyama Gakuin University). Since then, the study group has held three meetings to discuss measures for securing diversity in boards of directors and promoting dialogue between companies and labor / capital markets, and compiled the discussion results into a collection of recommendations. Along with this effort, METI revised “the Diversity 2.0 Action Guidelines”, a compilation of actions that companies should take, which was formulated and released in March 2017.

1. Background

In order to discuss diversity management as a competitive strategy, METI convened the Study Group (chair: Mr. Kitagawa) from August 2016 to March 2017. Based on the discussion results, in March 2017, METI formulated and released “the Diversity 2.0 Action Guidelines”, a compilation explaining ideal approaches for companies to engage in toward diversity management as a competitive strategy.

In response to the growing importance of diversity management in recent situations of corporate governance and labor / capital markets, METI resumed a series of meetings of the Study Group in April 2018. Since then, the group held three meetings to discuss related issues, compiled the discussion results into a collection of recommendations titled “Toward Further Enrichment of Diversity 2.0” and, in response to the recommendations, METI revised “the Diversity 2.0 Action Guidelines”.

2. Outline of the recommendations titled “Toward Further Enrichment of Diversity 2.0”

Since “the Diversity 2.0 Action Guidelines” was formulated, the importance of diversity management in companies has been expanding as seen by:

  • Revision of the Corporate Governance Code to cover the importance of securing diversity, including the perspectives of gender and internationality, by boards of directors; and
  • Acceleration of ESG investment and funding in capital markets and growing expectations by companies for diversity management in labor markets.
  • Other measures

In response to this, the study group compiled a collection of recommendations titled “Toward Further Enrichment of Diversity 2.0” to explain actions that the public and private sectors should take in the future to: [i] secure diversity in boards of directors and [ii] promote dialogues between companies and labor / capital markets.

Moreover, the study group also prepared an appendix to the recommendations titled “Matters on which Companies should Consider Concerning Information Disclosure” to explain types of matters that companies should consider concerning information disclosure to labor / capital markets.

In response to the recommendations, METI revised the existing “the Diversity 2.0 Action Guidelines” by adding actions that companies should take and specific case examples of leading companies.

3. Future directions

METI will strive to further enrich diversity management in companies through disseminating the revised guidelines and reflecting the recommendations in the criteria for selecting outstanding companies under “the Nadeshiko Brands program”.

Appendix

Release date

June 8, 2018

Division in Charge

Economic and Social Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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