COVID-19 presents crucial moment for gender diversity in Japan

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

October 1, 2020

COVID-19 presents crucial moment for gender diversity in Japan


In a world of uncertainty triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic, it is important now more than ever to not only maintain but to expand gender diversity in the business and political worlds, especially in Japan.

That was the main message that came across at the 25th International Conference for Women in Business, which took place on Sunday. The COVID-19 crisis forced organizers to move the conference online, with speakers from the United States, Japan and Europe taking part. The Japan Times served as a media partner for the event.

Worldwide, international firms have responded to the coronavirus in a number of ways, starting with ordering employees to work from home whenever possible.

Speaking from New York, Mitsuru Chino, managing executive officer at major trading firm Itochu Corp. and president of Itochu International Inc., said that this is leading to a paradigm shift in how companies think about the workplace.

“What is the best work style? In the past, working from home was not productive, and everyone felt that working in an office was the correct way to work. But we’ve all been forced to work from home now due to the coronavirus,” she said. “So now the emphasis is not on location but on obtaining the best individual work performance under COVID-19.”

Click here to read the full article published by Japan Times on 1 October 2020.

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