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In truly inclusive organizations, diverse groups of individuals contribute fully, grow meaningfully, and feel a strong sense of belongingness to the organization. Companies that emphasize organizational inclusion in their strategic initiatives can unlock innovation and improve business outcomes. On June 28 Catalyst held its first business conference in Japan, Beyond Women’s Advancement: Diversity and Inclusion as a Business Strategy—Solutions Summit Featuring the Catalyst Award.

Incorporated in 2014, Catalyst Japan provides Japanese companies with diversity and inclusion expertise and solutions acquired through more than 50 years working with leading organizations around the world. That expertise also serves as the backbone to Catalyst’s robust recognition programs, including the prestigious Catalyst Award. Since 1987, the Catalyst Award has recognized breakthrough corporate initiatives that have accelerated inclusion in the workplace and the world and produced measurable results.

Conference highlights include:

  • Erin Nolan, Representative Director of Gap Japan K.K., discusses effective inclusion strategy, detailing the 2016 Catalyst Award-winning initiative from Gap Inc., Women and Opportunity.

  • Tamaki Sato, Editor of Working Woman's section, Nikkei, and Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst, converse on issues faced by companies in Japan today and key learnings from breakthrough case studies.

  • Tsukiko Tsukahara, Catalyst Japan Vice President, shares innovative case studies from Japan.

Partner                                                                               Gold Sponsor

Nikkei Logo Takeda Logo


Silver Sponsors

Johnson & Johnson logo McDonald's Logo BCG Logo BBH Logo


On June 28, 2016, Catalyst Japan gathered companies from across the country for our first business conference in Japan titled Beyond Women’s Advancement: Diversity and Inclusion as a Business Strategy – Solutions Summit Featuring the Catalyst Award.  The sold-out event, which had over150 people from 30 companies, proved to be an engaging and educational afternoon filled with practical solutions and actions that both attendees and their organizations could use. 

We kicked off the day with remarks from our generous sponsors, McDonald’s Company (Japan), Ltd.; The Boston Consulting Group; Brown Brothers Harriman Investment Services (Japan); and Johnson and Johnson K.K. They discussed the importance of Catalyst’s work in Japan and the need for companies such as themselves to support and commit to diversity and inclusion efforts.

During the luncheon conversation, Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst, and Tamaki Sato, Editor of Working Woman’s section, The Nikkei, discussed challenges and opportunities for companies in Japan as they pursue diverse and inclusive workplaces. They touched on the current status in Japan and learnings from global best practices that attendees can use to create their own solutions. They also reviewed how companies are doing after enacting the new law on Promoting Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace. Ms. Gillis emphasized the importance of commitment from business leaders for combatting unconscious bias and building a flexible working environment.

Later, Laura Sabattini, PhD, Vice President, Research, and Chair, Catalyst Award Evaluation Committee, led an engaging and thoughtful panel filled with representatives from Gap Inc. Erin Nolan, Representative Director, Gap Japan K.K., and three other panelists discussed the Catalyst Award and Gap Inc.’s Award-winning initiative, Women and Opportunity, within the Japanese context and how the initiative has helped to strengthen Gap overall and—in particular, Gap Japan.

Thelast session of the day was led by Yukiko Yoritaka, Director and General Manager, Training Institute, Human Resources Department, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. The session provided attendees with examples of how an inclusive workplace benefits business and all employees.  Yoritaka shared her experiences in demonstrating inclusive leadership to build a stronger sales team and business.

Tsukiko Tsukahara, Vice President, Catalyst Japan, gave closing remarks with an invitation to companies in the room and across Japan to submit their best practices and programs to Catalyst Japan so that we can recognize them at next year’s event and share their stories as shining examples for other companies to emulate.

At the end of the day, a networking reception took place, whereby speakers and participants enjoyed meeting each other.

Click on the image below to view the full conference workbook.

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