Panasonic has regularly provided many opportunities to think about diversity and developed activities to promote the ideas of Diversity & Inclusion. In July 2020, Panasonic Center Tokyo held an online event, "Let's Think about Diversity: Turning Various Differences into Multiple Values." We would like to introduce this event as a chance to think about and understand Diversity & Inclusion.
At the event, people with diverse backgrounds both inside and outside the company took the stage and talked about diversity based on their experiences.
The following three people from outside the company were on stage. Shiho Shimoyamada, who belongs to the women's soccer team Sfida Setagaya, announced in February 2019 that she has a partner of the same sex. This was a first for an active Japanese athlete. Sayaka Murakami is a major player in track and field for Startline Tokyo, a team of athletes with artificial legs. She is also participating in Panasonic's Beautiful Japan project. Rin Okabe, head of the Corporate Planning Department for Dentsu East Japan, came out and announced to all the employees and officers of the company that she is a trans woman.
From Panasonic, Laurence William Bates, who is Managing Executive Officer and also Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, took the stage.
Bates shared two great leadership lessons he has learned as an LGBTQ person in a corporate work environment. The first lesson is that coming out is a constant process. It's not just done when one comes out to a particular person or audience. The second lesson is that if people fully understand who we are, we can be passionate and truthful about what we believe in.
Bates also talked about diversity in Panasonic and its importance as follows: "Over the past 10 years, Panasonic has transformed greatly as a company, and I've been fortunate to be part of it. We have brought in people with diverse backgrounds at the board level. It is very important to recognize that diversity is necessary to transform the company."
In the second half of the event, a panel discussion was held, and the speakers talked about what is necessary to create a more comfortable workplace from the standpoint of social minorities.
Panasonic believes that by spreading the ideas of Diversity & Inclusion the strength of each person can be brought out and recognized, and that will lead to growth in the organization and society as a whole.
At the same time, we hope that our activities to spread the ideas of Diversity & Inclusion will help build a better society.
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