Tokyo, Olympics
(Chaay_Tee/Shutterstock)

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe.

Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa and Yuki Hagiwara have reported that Toshiro Muto, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tokyo games, is encouraging all sponsor companies, sports bodies and educational institutions involved with this year’s Olympics to compile and release their plans for improved equality and inclusion before the games begin on July 23. To hold himself accountable and to show that he is not asking other companies to do something he himself isn’t willing to do, Muto will release his own corporate diversity and inclusion plans in May.

According to the Bloomberg story, while Muto didn’t call out any particular companies by name in his announcement of the new initiative, the Olympics will be sponsored by many of the biggest companies in the world, including Japanese corporate giants such as Toyota Motor Corp., Nomura Holdings Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Canon Inc., and NEC Corp.

“Using the Olympics to advance gender equality stands in sharp contrast to the scandals that have weighed on the organizer,” Tomisawa and Hagiwara reported. “The most notable incident occurred in February when Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister and then head of the organizing committee, said women talk too much during meetings. That episode would see Mori step down and be replaced by Seiko Hashimoto, one of Japan’s best-known former female Olympians.”

Improved efforts for diversity and inclusion, especially among women, have been at the forefront of Hashimoto’s leadership plan ever since she took over the role from Mori. The organizing committee created its first-ever gender equality team and added 12 new female members to its executive board in March 2021, bringing the ratio of women among the 45-member group above the 40% target set by Hashimoto. 

The increased push for female inclusion in the Tokyo Olympics will carry over to athletes competing in the games as well. The International Olympic Committee has reported that the total number of female athletes competing this year is 49% — the highest ratio ever.

That being said, Tomisawa and Hagiwara reported on the female representation on Japanese boards, which is incredibly low at just 8.4% — far below the 11% in China, 26% in the U.S. and 33% in the U.K.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

Latest News

Video: How Companies Are Ensuring Equity for People With Disabilities

The National Organization on Disability held its annual forum in Washington, D.C. last week, bringing together community leaders, advocates, government officials and corporate leaders and influencers to focus on the advancement of people with disabilities in the workplace. DiversityInc also met up with leaders from Capital One Financial (No. 22…

Validated Allies wallpaper

DiversityInc Announces 2022 Validated Allies

Allyship is a journey rather than a destination. The work of an ally never really ends and allies understand they are not necessarily always working toward a goal, but rather, serving a greater purpose. Each year, as part of our Women of Color and Their Allies event, DiversityInc recognizes a…

CDO Series: Sysco’s Adrienne Trimble

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the latest installment of a series of articles…

NOD Forum: Honoring the Disability Rights Movement

The road to disability rights has been a long one. One that started long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was passed. In celebration of 40 years of the National Organization on Disability, disability leaders, supporters and activists gathered in Washington, D.C last week to discuss the…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 29

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Research Outlines Lack…

Marriott International building

Marriott International Receives 12 Platinum Honors at the MUSE Creative Awards

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   Marriott International’s unmatched portfolio of luxury brands earned 12 Platinum Awards representing 5 dynamic brands, across 10 categories in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards — an international competition for creative professionals. The industry leader within the luxury…

Marriott International Debuts Its New Global Headquarters Focused on Wellbeing

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139…