Innovation Through Diversity

Innovation Through Diversity

The Embassy of Canada, in collaboration with FEW Japan, hosted a special symposium on February 6 that focused on how to foster creative workplace cultures in tech. This special event welcomed a panel discussion with representatives of Japan-based companies championing diversity and inclusive business practices, preceded by a keynote speech by Judi Hess, the CEO of Copperleaf.

Judi, who was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner (2018 & 2019), spoke of the importance of Talent 100 and of companies being smarter in using the power and creativity of all men and women in our population. She suggested that we not believe that there are “no qualified women” and mandate gender balanced candidate pools.

Satoshi Ishizaka (Asian Caesars/Third Way Forum) talked about the “unconscious ignorance” that seems to prevail in elder Japanese managers mindsets; this leads to a lack of urgency to push corporations to shift gears and really embrace diversity.

Dr. Jackie Steele (Nagoya University/enjoi D&I Consulting) discussed “diversity as a practice” done daily, and invited companies to carve our freedom for employees to bring the full creative power of their individuality to work.

Yan Fan (Code Chrysalis) explored the importance of diversity in our AI-and technology-driven worlds to make a safer world for women and other groups.  She also red-flagged the “sho ga nai culture” in Japan that leads to complacency among so many stakeholders who fail to step up and lead the change that is needed.

We also enjoyed a vibrant and dynamic panel discussion, adeptly moderated in English and Japanese by Casey Wahl (EQIQ). It is rare for an audience to be challenged to explore this theme of “Innovation through diversity” from so many angles. We explored the implications of perspectives on STEMpathy, software, AI algorythms, political philosophy, change management, recruitment, human psychology, and the power of money to motivate behaviour.

It was a fascinating afternoon and FEW Japan is grateful for this unique opportunity to partner with the Canadian Embassy on an important and timely topic. 

Please enjoy this wonderful video about the event generously made by FEW member Emi Yasuda:

Video by Emi Yasuda
Symposium Speakers
Innovation Through Diversity Symposium speakers and panelists
FEW members gathered for Innovation Through Diversity at the Canadian Embassy.

Thank you to our collaborators: Embassy of Canada to Japan, en-joi Diversity & Inclusion Consulting, Copperleaf, Code Chrysalis, EQIQ, Third Way Forum, Asian Caesars.

Thank you to our supporters: Keidanren Policy & Action, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.