Catalyst Distinction

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First Catalyst Distinction Winners Announced, Honoring Activities that Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Japan 

With more than 50 years of global work and its recognition programs, ranging from the Catalyst Award, Catalyst Canada Honours, and Practices, Catalyst has identified essential criteria that predict diversity and inclusion progress, such as the importance of changes at the organizational level, employee engagement, and positive impacts achieved by initiatives. Evaluations for the Catalyst Distinction were made based on this expertise and knowledge to spotlight successful initiatives to overcome specific challenges in Japan.

The Catalyst Distinction spotlights successful D&I activities with proven solutions that have had a positive impact on women’s advancement as well as talent and workplace challenges. It responds to the rising need for changes with regard to D&I in the workplace in Japan and around the globe by recognizing role model activities that set examples for other companies to adopt in their efforts to overcome specific challenges and accelerate the progress of women’s advancement.

This year’s Catalyst Distinction-winning initiatives include:  

  • Deutsche Bank Group Japan
    Deutsche Bank’s initiative is a holistic diversity effort across its Japan offices. To address gender-specific barriers, the program includes a strong recruitment focus to hire more women as well as internal and external learning opportunities for women at the organization. In addition, senior leaders and male champions are involved and speak publicly about the importance of diversity and inclusion. 
  • LIXIL Group Corporation
    LIXIL’s initiative comprises multiple “action-focused” programs to engage expecting and working mothers, as well as women and men champions. The programs are helping to create more inclusive work environments through high-potential development and work-life effectiveness components.  
  • McDonald’s Company (Japan) Ltd.  
    McDonald’s initiative drives cultural change and inclusion through senior leadership communications, talent development, and work-style innovation. The initiative features strong engagement from the CEO, senior leadership, JWLN (Japan Women's Leadership Network), and human resources, which helps create a more positive working environment for both women and men. 
  • Seiyu GK 
    Seiyu’s initiative seeks to address the unique challenges for women in Japan and in retail including managing work-life effectiveness and unconscious bias. The“Women-in-Retail (WIR)” program, which has been tailored to address Japan-specific issues, provides development opportunities and empowers female store managers and others by encouraging discussions on work-life balance and sponsorship with supervisors and senior management in the store operation division. 
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) 
    SMBC’s initiative focuses on increasing women’s representation at the managerial-and-above level. The program features strong CEO and leadership participation and provides business unit leaders with the tools they need to shape the right diversity strategy for their business units as well as to engage externally with other organizations and clients. 

“We are thrilled to recognize successful initiatives promoting women’s advancement and creating more inclusive work environments while addressing Japan-specific workplace barriers," said Tsukiko Tsukahara, Vice President, Catalyst Japan. “With this distinction, we hope to provide feasible solutions that other organizations can learn and apply to help overcome Japan’s current and unique challenges, such as role allocation between men and women and long working hours.”

"The goal of Catalyst Japan is to leverage extensive research and in-depth business practices to drive diversity and inclusion. In our interactions with many organizations in Japan, we are very encouraged by the efforts and commitment to use better tools and advanced thinking to improve women's participation and advancement. The 2017 Catalyst Japan's Distinction winners are great examples of what can be accomplished in Japan and we warmly congratulate them," said Gerald Lema, Chair, Catalyst Japan Board of Advisors and member, Catalyst Board of Directors.The recipients will be recognized at the second Catalyst Solutions Summit in Japan planned for June 1, 2017, at the Hilton in Shinjuku. 

For media inquiries:
Catalyst Japan Public Relations
(PRAP Japan, Inc.)
+81 3 4580 9107
[email protected]

Tia T. Gordon
+1 646 640 1375
[email protected]