I recently had the honor of sitting on a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) panel hosted by the Women in Law Japan (WILJ) organisation. WILJ is a new and innovative networking platform for women in the legal profession in Japan, comprised of legal practitioners working in private practice, in-house, in government, and in the citizenship sector, as well as those engaged in professional support capacities within legal service firms and other similar organisations.
I was excited to hear about the D&I work that co-panelists Suzanne Price of Price Global and Elizabeth Masamune of @Asia Associates Japan, Inc. are doing in Japan and in Asia. And I admire the frank self-reflections that the moderator Kana Itabashi of Baker & McKenzie shared with the participants about her initial views on the need for Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.
The objective of the event was to help raise awareness of current trends and initiatives in Diversity & Inclusion and to address questions such as: What do we mean by “inclusion”? What is the relationship between Diversity and Inclusion? Why does D&I matter? We also explored various strategies for creating more inclusive workplaces.
I challenged each of the participants to pick at least one action that they will take following the event to help further the D&I movement in Japan, such as improving their D&I knowledge, reflecting on their own attitudes toward D&I and its value in the workplace, or gathering the perspectives of their colleagues regarding what aspects of work are inclusive and what aspects are not inclusive.
To “Walk the Talk”, I decided to share this post as one of my own next action steps to raise Diversity & Inclusion awareness. I will also work with some of the participants from the event to create a group where we can regularly brainstorm potential D&I initiatives for our respective organisations. Finally, I plan to explore more ways to integrate D&I approaches into my ExC7eL™ Model.
I extend the same challenge to readers of this post. What will be YOUR next action with respect to Diversity & Inclusion?
I look forward to hearing about the actions the participants (and you) took and to having more conversations that raise awareness about Diversity & Inclusion in Japan and globally.
Maurice L. Rabb