Leaders August 2012

Diversity in Our DNA

“Two Wheels + Testosterone”, announced our July cover and, while I thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating article, I would like to point out that our members with oestrogen are equally welcome to enjoy Triumph’s superb motorbikes.

It is fitting at this time to pause and consider diversity issues in the chamber. But this is neither because of the great success of our female athletes in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the time of writing, nor because of the recent arrival of a brand new female baby Walters. It is with an eye on the chamber’s exciting 6 September event, titled “Diversity: What’s the Point?” It promises to be engaging; experienced top-notch speakers will make the business case for diversity from both a global and Japanese perspective.

We at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan do not want to be known for simply hosting an event on diversity; we want to be known for living the diversity agenda, for making the most of and enjoying the diverse nature of our membership, and for having diversity in our DNA. I believe this is something to which the BCCJ can lay claim.

Not long ago, one could be forgiven for thinking that “grey men in grey suits” represented the BCCJ. But it would be difficult to accuse the BCCJ of that today.

The diversity of the Executive Committee (Excom) gives the chamber its energy—the mixture of large and small firms; men and women; individual members and entrepreneurs, working together and bringing their unique skills to benefit the membership at large.

Working with Excom, our Secretariat is, as ever, a great example of the talents an organisation can gain from pursuing an open diversity policy, with a United Nations of interns, and under the leadership of Executive Director Lori Henderson, a true champion of all things diversity-related (follow Lori’s Twitter feed if you need evidence of this).

To ensure the chamber offers benefits and events that support a truly diverse range of members, we are planning to analyse the diversity of members attending events more closely, in order to identify trends and ensure our programme is meeting the needs of all members. As ever, please feel free to contact Excom or the Secretariat with your thoughts, suggestions and comments.