Driving the Equity Agenda – BCCJ D&I Taskforce moves into new terrain

Written by BCCJ
August 2, 2021


Written by BCCJ
August 2, 2021

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is proud to be embarking upon a new and inclusive journey towards achieving equity in the workplace.

We are transforming our D&I pillar into DEI:

Diversity Equity and Inclusion



At the BCCJ, we are committed to advancing Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), and over the past 9 years this has run through everything we do. D&I is now embedded in our governance and operations, recruitment of people, elections for our Executive Committee (Excom), nominees and judges for the British Business Awards (BBA), and our choice of suppliers.

Since April 2012, we have been running D&I programmes designed to promote greater understanding of, and develop support mechanisms for, the growth of diverse groups in the workplace in Japan, including: Women, People with Disabilities, LGBTQ community, Generation Y / Millennials.

We are now ready to take the next step and will help to promote, and provide support mechanisms for, the following diverse groups in the workforce.

In alphabetical order:

  • Cognitive Diversity (addition in 2021)
  • Generation Y / Millennials
  • LGBTQ community
  • People with Disabilities
  • Race / Nationality / Ethnicity (addition in 2021)
  • Women

E for Equity

The BCCJ has featured a lot about diversity and inclusion over the past 9 years – particularly in terms of attracting, retaining and promoting talent. We are now ready to tackle what a truly diverse and inclusive organization can aspire to from a more holistic, sustainable point of view — this is equity.

At a basic level, equity sits further along on the spectrum of diversity and inclusion.

Diversity is the first step. For innovation and growth, organisations need to attract diverse thought and talent, which is usually achieved by the kind of diversity you can “see” and measure (attracting employees of different genders and ages at all levels).

Once diversity in the workforce has been achieved, the next step is inclusion. An inclusive work environment is one in which leaders are vocal about encouraging everyone to share their contributions and, when done well, makes employees feel valued and “seen”.

When all employees are empowered, know they’re being valued and treated equally, and feel confident to bring their unique thoughts and ideas to the table — this third step is equality.

What the BCCJ is seeking is Equity, which is created when all of the above steps have been met. Equity might look different for every organisation, depending on size and resources. But in general, equity is what happens when all members of a diverse population of employees have equal opportunities and support each other to succeed and grow.


The future

The BCCJ believes Diversity EQUITY and Inclusion to be vital for the future growth and sustainability of the Japanese and global economy and is committed to creating conditions where leaders and employees can bring their full selves to work.

We hope you will join us on our DEI journey.


Meet the BCCJ DEI taskforce

Our BCCJ Executive Committee’s DEI taskforce members are as follows:

  • Sarah Furuya, Sarah Furuya Coaching
  • Matt Knowles, British Council (Japan)
  • Junko Kubokawa, Croda Japan
  • James Nepaulsingh, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Sven Palys, Yuzu Kyodai

To share DEI updates – best practice and ongoing challenges – from your organisation please email: [email protected]

We would love to hear from you.