Ms. Kato asked crucial questions: What can the organization do to facilitate more inclusion and greater diversity? What does it take for individuals to be a part of that change?
Concerning what the organization can do, the panelists provided some pointers and gave great advice on how to lead a diverse team. Ms. Vodusek described her hotel's diverse range of employees, and how this has benefited their business to make The Peninsula Tokyo one of the best hotels in Japan. She recalled her past work experiences in Japan, from being the only international staff member when she was a room attendant, then as a director who was initially not welcomed for being ‘a female’ before being named the first female GM of a luxury hotel in Japan. Mr. Yagi sees diversity as a strategy, one which requires a target. He shared how he worked with his boss to increase diversity percentages, providing some keen insight into how to tackle such a dilemma through smart and strategic thinking. Dr. Abe drew laughs when she admitted to never thinking about diversity, even when she was the only female manager in her company in both India and Japan. She provided statistics on female managers in her company and some of their hiring processes.