The following is a summary of the breakout session "Diversity & Inclusion in the Global Marketplace" at the 2014 U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference on October 10, 2014.
- Ms. Janelle Sasaki, Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ernst & Young Advisory Co., Ltd. Japan (moderator)
- Ms. Phyllis J. Campbell, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Pacific Northwest
- Ms. Makiko Fukui, President, Harmony Residence, Inc.
- Mr. Yuta Hasumi, Manager for Diversity & Inclusion, AIG Japan
- Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks, Professor, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, Loyola Marymount University
The panel on Diversity & Inclusion was expertly moderated by Ms. Janelle Sasaki, Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ernst & Young Advisory Co., Ltd. Japan. Ms. Sasaki moved to Japan three years ago, fulfilling one of her life long dreams.
“Diversity is my passion,” she stated. “I care deeply about helping others to create change.”
Ms. Sasaki began the session by providing a framework for the audience and panelists to share a common language and understanding of “diversity” and “inclusion.” Diversity is understood in terms of gender, generations, and global diversity. Inclusion is how we come together. “It’s when people are respected, valued, welcomed, listened to, supported and accepted,” she said.
The audience had an opportunity to hear the panelists’ experiences and insights:
Ms. Phyllis Campbell, currently a corporate director on two boards, described her challenges being a female in Corporate America. She works on ensuring that large corporations not only hire diverse employees but also contract diverse vendors. At JP Morgan Chase - a TOMODACHI Strategic Partner that was also a sponsor of the 2014 USJC Annual Conference - she leads the company to invest in nonprofit organizations in order to increase social impact leaders in Japan. She recommends an aggressive policy for women to take on board positions, encouraged by government and companies alike.
Ms. Makiko Fukui described how she overcame the challenge of raising two daughters while launching and running a business. She identified media as a tool to raise Japanese people’s awareness of global issues and drive progress.
Mr. Yuta Hasumi, still in his 20s, shared a young professional’s perspective and appreciation for female mentors and role models. He described young people’s responsibility to lean in and ask for help. “We’re afraid to take risks, and hold back,” he said. “Ask for feedback - identify your strengthens, potentials and failures.”
Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks shared his experience being raised in Japan by his Japanese mother, who shaped his identity as a Japanese individual. This past summer, he led one of the TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars’ groups to Japan, where students are not only exposed to the people of Japan, “but also demonstrate to Japan the diversity of the U.S.” He firmly believes in developing a platform of respect, which is necessary to foster deep understanding and healthy relationships.
TOMODACHI alumna Sachiho Tani asked the panelists how one balances global and traditional/social norms. The advice she received was: “Don’t be afraid of stepping outside the box to become a leader. Lean in: you have the TOMODACHI training. Step in and do something different. You might get beaten down, but keep moving and trying.”
“Diversity is here,” explained Dr. Rooks. “It’s not a 'potential.' I’ve lived that life - it’s possible.”
Click here to learn more about the 2014 Annual Conference.