March 24: Developing Actions and Strategies to Support Women’s Advancement
Hosted by Walmart Japan, this event was attended by about 70 people, mainly women, who aspire toward management positions and those already in management positions who support women’s advancement. For the first half there was a panel discussion, which was then followed by group discussions.
In the panel discussion, the panelists included Maki Nakamura, Executive Officer SVP, Seiyu GK, and President and Representative Director, Wakana Co., Ltd.; Tsuneo Fukugawa, Joint General Manager, Global Talent Acquisition and Development Department, Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.; Michitaka Tanihira, Director of Human Resources, Hilton Tokyo; and Michiko Achilles, Vice President, Head of Human Resources, SAP Japan Co., Ltd. Each panelist shared their own personal experiences and talked about the initiatives their companies are taking. Having both men and women on the panel, the participants learned how the two women leaders progressed their careers as well as how men in management can get engaged in women’s advancement by changing their own behaviors and respecting their differences.
For the group discussion, the participants were divided into two groups for their selected topic, “Take Charge of Your Career” or “The Roles and Actions of a Mentor and Sponsor.” For the first topic, the participants reviewed their career advancement strategy and analyzed and discussed actions required to advance. For the second topic, each group discussed issues and solutions for having an effective mentoring and sponsorship program in an organization.
The event concluded with a networking reception whereby the participants had a chance to share their experiences of the day and learn more about initiatives at other companies.
October 28: Walmart Japan D&I Event
Tsukiko Tsukhara, Vice President, Catalyst Japan, spoke at Walmart Japan’s Diversity and Inclusion event and also moderated a panel discussion. During her talk, Ms. Tsukahara presented the real reasons why the number of women has not increased at the management level. Given the current gender gap and its structure, she offered three recommendations as possible solutions; 1. Use of sponsorship, 2. Talent identification and development for high-potential staff, and 3. Behavioral change to combat unconscious bias.
At the panel discussion, she spoke to women graduates of WIR (Women in Retail), Walmart’s women leadership development program, and the area manager who supported the WIR program, about their experiences with the program.
October 27: 2016 ACCJ WIB Summit
At the 2016 ACCJ Women in Business Summit, Catherine Corley, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Catalyst, moderated the session titled “Culture Change: Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Leadership.” She spoke with panelists from Gap Japan, LIXIL Group, Met Life Insurance, and Morgan Stanley, about their views of how to address unconscious bias in the workplace. Ms. Corley emphasized that Catalyst research demonstrates that rather than merely raising awareness of unconscious bias, organizations need to change behaviors as well as team dynamics to make progress.
This event was held with support from Johnson & Johnson K.K., Gap Japan K.K, and Walmart Japan. Approximately 80 people attended, mainly sales and store managers from various industries, including pharmaceutical, finance, and food-service. In a panel discussion and a cross-industry group discussion. participants shared stories and experiences related to women’s advancement.
Three panelists, David R. Smith, President, Johnson & Johnson K.K. Vision Care Japan; Maki Nakamura, Executive Officer SVP, Walmart Japan Holdings K.K./Seiyu G.K., President and Representative Director, Wakana Co., Ltd.; and Hirofumi Mineo, Senior Director, Gap Outlet Japan Region, Gap Japan K.K. shared their views and discussed each company’s initiatives to support women’s advancement in sales and/or stores.
For the next discussion, participants were divided into groups under the following topics; “Workplace Customs/Practices/Mind Set,” “Talent Development and Talent Management," and “Work-Life Effectiveness: Organizational Efforts to Support Employees Outside Work.” Each group had a lively discussion, with participants sharing their own experiences, insights, and practical solutions specific to sales and stores. We received much positive feedback from participants saying that the session was very fruitful.