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Diversity requires clearer goals

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I sometimes hear good things and bad things about diversity. It's about not only the mix of men and women, but also the mix of Japanese and non-Japanese. At e-Jan, we have had no choice but to increase diversity of the company due to the hardness in acquiring the right talents to accelerate the business development. Now a third of our employees are women, over 20% are non-Japanese.

When it comes to the question of whether diversity was easy or not, I'd say it has been a major challenge to both majorities and minorities. It wasn't that easy. On top of that, the merit of diversity is so vague at the beginning, and it takes quite a bit of effort until it overcomes demerits such as misunderstanding among each other, getting along poorly due to language differences, having a hard time to accepting different levels of hygiene, etc. There are periods when you doubt the success of diversity.

Diversity is more adopting to a given environment than something you desire for yourself. In our case, we needed to get more diverse because of the lack of talent sets we needed. Japanese-only teams were not possible due to the difficulties in hiring enough talented Japanese employees. So, it became more and more diverse even though we had a hard time in the beginning.

There was a point when we realized a diverse team has more advantages than a uniform team. That was when we considered going abroad. Our mix of talents allowed me to think about expanding to different areas without much hesitation; diversity adds flexibility to our path. As of now, I confess, until we had a clear aim of what we wanted to, diversity was a more of a major load than a major advantage to us. Unclear goals can be allowed in a uniform environment, however, shared goals become more important in a diverse environment.

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